March 07, 2011

Insperity | Gathering New Insights

When Administaff first approached Addison Whitney in late 2008, it was experiencing strategic challenges similar to many of our clients. In recent years, the company had grown through acquisitions and product development, creating a need to redefine who it is (brand positioning) and how its brands relate to one another (brand architecture).

Founded in 1986, Administaff pioneered the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry. The PEO provides small and medium-sized businesses with HR services, including payroll, benefits and administrative support, so that these businesses can better compete for employees and remain compliant with state and federal regulations. As the company grew so too did the types of services it offered.

Through acquisitions and internal product development, the scope of Administaff’s services expanded. Administaff now had to manage not only its own changing corporate brand, but also to develop a strategy for integrating new product/service brands.

Strong market research is critical to developing a compelling and differentiated brand strategy. Addison Whitney’s market research team worked closely with the Administaff team to develop a thorough research plan that would gather insight from internal and external target audience members.

In-depth interviews are a great way to gather detailed insight. First, in-depth interviews were conducted among key Administaff team members to learn about challenges and to help drive the brand process. Then, in-depth interviews with members of the external audience (customers and prospective customers) were conducted. Both of these studies helped the Addison Whitney team develop the survey instruments for quantitative studies with employees and external audience members, which were both conducted online. The employee and external studies were designed to closely align with one another in order to show perceptual gaps.

Using both qualitative (in-depth interviews) and quantitative (online surveys) methodologies to evaluate external audience perceptions, Addison Whitney was able to identify unmet needs and areas in which Administaff out-performed competition.

Having strong, detailed and quantifiable data is important to drive strategic decision making and to support the proposed brand positioning and architecture. This multi-layered research design was important for the Administaff team and critical to the next step in the process, brand strategy.

(Please note: Administaff is now Insperity. You can find them on the web at

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