How To Prepare A Brief – Market Research Made Easy

This is a semi-hypothetical case study created in order to teach the concept of making a brief.

In the given situation, the marketing manager of Nice Hair Shampoo (H&F company) needs to prepare a brief and submit it to the market research agency. Here is how to go about preparing a brief:

1. Background And Business Issue

Ideally, start with what has been the scenario for the product category in general. Then, establish the position of the brand historically in the market. Then quickly move to the problem the brand has been facing – declining market share or stagnant sales etc.

This section should also include your hypotheses i.e. reasons why you think the business issue has arisen. This should be done in as much detail as possible, as it will help the research agency understand and prioritize what should be covered in the research. Provide data which is available to you, as that will elucidate the extent of the problem.

Post this, mention clearly what should be the desired outcome for the brand once the research has been done and the results implemented.

This should be laid out as precisely as possible. For example, instead of writing “Growth in market share”, you should write “A 3% growth in market share in Financial year 2017 – 2018 pan India arising from Brand A.”

Remember: The more precise you are in defining the desired outcome, the easier it will be to map the success of any marketing initiative which you will take.

2. Research Objectives And How It Will Solve Business Issue

Now that you have identified the business issue, you need to then convert it into a research objective. Let us consider an example of Radio Pepper.

Business Issue: Radio Pepper has been seeing a decline in the number of listeners over the last four quarters. The decline is coming during the morning (7 – 10 am) and evening slots (5 – 9 pm). At the same time, Blue FM has been growing its listeners in the same time slot. Radio Pepper has checked that its signal strength is good across the city, and listeners have no issues connecting to the station on their mobile phone.

So, what could be the possible research objectives?

Research Objective:
1.  Understand the music preferences of listeners in the morning and evening slots
2.  Understand how listeners perceive Radio Pepper vis a vis Blue FM

The research objective should provide direction to the research agency as to what are the key questions you want to be answered.

How It Will Solve The Business Issue:

Understanding the music preferences would help in changing the music that is being played currently. Understanding the imagery will help correct any perception problems arising out of music / RJ’s etc. which can be done via targeted marketing.

Similarly, while preparing a brief, define the research objectives and state how they will solve the business issue. Research is pointless unless it is going to help you solve a problem, hence, you need to define the research objectives in very clear terms.

Activity: Put yourself in the shoes of the marketing manager of Nice Hair Shampoo company, and prepare a brief for the market research agency based on what you learnt above. Use the data sheet available for download here to prepare the brief. 

This article is a part of the free sample of the Market Research For Beginners course available on You can view the free sample by clicking here, and if it interests you, buy it for the price of a pair of jeans. 😉