This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS). 

Background: An athletic goods retail establishment in New York partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct brand perception market research. The store wanted to better understand the brand perception held by its customers and non-customers from the general population. The market research objective was to determine brand knowledge, the consumer decision making process, where else consumers are shopping, what else the store could offer customers, and preferences of top customers.

Approach: The study consisted of an online survey administered to customers as well as non-customers. To reach the customer audience, the RMS team provided the survey to a list of customers supplied by the client. Customer feedback was segmented into two categories – perceptions from customers (individuals who have made a purchase at the store) and top customers (those who spend the most at the store). The RMS ViewPoint Research Panel allowed the client to obtain timely and affordable feedback from consumers who are not current customers of the store. The time frame for this type of project was six weeks.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • Research revealed a strong sense of brand loyalty among current customers. There was a high level of familiarity with the store, as well as a high likelihood for survey respondents to shop at the store for their next athletic goods purchase.
  • Brand preference for athletic shoes varied based on customer type. Customers prefer New Balance, non-customers favor Nike, and the store’s top customers opt for Saucony.
  • When consumers are deciding where to purchase athletic shoes, the quality of the product is the most important factor in the decision process, while prices are most important when deciding where to purchase active wear (clothing).
  • As expected, customers and top customers are much more active than non-customers. Walking is the most common physical activity engaged in by survey respondents, and running is popular among customers and top customers.
  • Data revealed a gap in awareness of differentiating features in the customer experience. RMS recommended marketing efforts promoting the presence of these offerings to capture an additional share of the market.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at