Millward Brown rebrands qualitative unit

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Brand research agency Millward Brown is doing some rebranding of its own. The company said September 14 that it will rename its global qualitative research business, including 40 offices around the globe, Firefly Millward Brown.

The unit's services include focus groups, consumer testimonials and blogging efforts. The company, founded in 1973, also runs a wide range of quantitative research, such as the annual BrandZ study each April, which assesses the top 100 most valuable brands by dollar value. It also conducts BrandDynamic assessments, which provide measurements of a brand's performance, consumer loyalty, positioning and personality.

The firm also wants to strengthen its brand identity while maintaining relationships with its clients.

“Each office functions as kind of an entity in itself, so they are still close to the clients, but are still operating under a core philosophy,” said Cheryl Stallworth-Hooper, CEO of Firefly Millward Brown. “You're big enough to be really effective, but small enough to…really serve our clients.”

Stallworth-Hooper emphasized that the qualitative aspects of marketing are more important in a digital age when consumers share their opinions of brands easily. In addition to using blogs and social media, the company is working to “go where the consumer is” with video testimonials and ethnographic studies - or “reality research,” as Stallworth-Hooper calls it - learning how consumers relate to brands and what influences their buying decisions.

In these ways, the “Firefly” name is particularly appropriate, according to David Keefe, SVP of client marketing.

“Firefly, and the theme of illumination, forms the bedrock of our brand positioning,” said Keefe, explaining that the idea of illumination offers a richer picture than basic data. “It also relates to our people, who are not just researchers but have a really eclectic background as musicians, rock climbers or chefs, which helps them to connect with the client.”

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