This authors of this paper argue that brand leadership is not about reacting but about anticipating and taking risks. The imperative for change and innovation is particularly evident when national brands embrace the challenge to become global players. How is a brand to create a global identity that is relevant meaningful and appealing? It is inevitable that when a new visual identity is developed to reflect a change in strategy particularly when dealing with a service brand going global and the new design offers a revolutionary solution it will be placed under the market research spotlight. The challenge for research is to ensure that potentially effective and novel design solutions are not rejected due to an insensitive research process. The British Airways decision to change its visual identity has been controversial. The challenge facing the initial stage of qualitative research was how to present and explore the response to a visionary visual identity which represented a significant change in direction to a much loved and respected national brand (albeit with an existing global awareness and presence).