case studies

SBA Research Rebrand Study

Industry: Public sector (governmental agency)
Market: U.S.
Demographics: U.S. citizens (small business owners)

The quest: The Small Business Administration (SBA) was preparing the launch of a new brand and communications plan during National Small Business Week in 2018.


The need: A multi-phased research study to explore the motivations, challenges and barriers small business owners face, and to measure their familiarity, usage and perceptions of the SBA and its services. The testing of new communications and creative concepts for the SBA was also part of the research effort.


The solution: Together with the SBA and its marketing agency, ThinkNow developed a comprehensive research plan that covered all of the requirements.


  • ThinkNow conducted qualitative listening sessions among SBA resource partners to determine their needs and perceptions as it related to the SBA and its services.


  • Existing data, trends and other information on small business owners was synthesized in a detailed report.


  • ThinkNow developed a profile of the SBA’s key audience segments that included demographic and psychographic information, key issues/desires/motivators, and communication habits.


  • Creative concepts were tested among small business owners of different business life stages in 12 focus groups. The weakest concepts were eliminated and insights provided direction on the stronger ones. A second round of online focus groups (9) was held to test the revised creative concepts.


  • Through this comprehensive and successful research program, ThinkNow was able to provide the SBA with critical information and insights that guided and informed its brand and creative strategy for 2018.


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