Brand Awareness

Brand perception survey questions – what to ask


Companies may think they own brand perception, but they don’t - customers do. Brand perception is what customers feel a product or service represents, and it stems from customer use, experience, functionality, reputation and word of mouth recommendation – online and person to person.

You need to be able to track and measure your brand perception, and there are various ways you can do this: focus groups and forums, social media monitoring and that stalwart of experience metrics, the survey.

Four human interactions

Brand perception surveys help you to understand what’s going on in your customers’ minds when they interact with your brand. There are four human interactions that may (or may not) lead to brand affinity:

  • Cognition: concepts associated with the brand
  • Emotion: feelings associated with the brand
  • Language: words used to describe the brand
  • Action: a customer’s experience of the brand

What to put in a brand perception survey

Of course, you’ll include your demographic questions such as age, gender and location first. Then base your survey on the four interactions described above. Use a mixture of open-ended questions (these can be open text that customers fill in and the right analytics software will be able to analyze), list questions (‘which of the following words describes…’) and positive-to-negative Likert scale questions (‘Strongly agree… Strongly disagree’).

Here are some examples for each of the four interactions:

Cognition

You’re extracting what associations customers have with your brand.

Open-ended question: What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you think about [Brand X]?

List question: Which of these (associative) words describe [Brand X]?

Positive-to-negative scale question: My association with [Brand X] is a positive one (‘Strongly agree… Strongly disagree’)

Emotion

You’re finding out what feelings are connected to your brand, and whether these bring the customer closer to the brand or put them off.

Open-ended question: What do you feel when you think of [Brand X]?

List question: Which of these (emotional) words describe [Brand X]?

Positive-to-negative scale question: I love [Brand X] (‘Strongly agree… Strongly disagree’)

Customer Story

See How L.L. Bean Keeps a 100 Year Old Brand Top of Mind

Language

When people have taken on board a brand’s messaging, they are then able to describe it to others. These questions are great for testing the reach of that messaging.

Open-ended question: Which three words would you use to describe [Brand X]?

Open-ended question: How would you describe [Brand X]?

List question: Which of these words best describe [Brand X]?

Action

These questions will reveal how positive or negative customers’ experience of your brand has been so far.

Open-ended question: Please describe the last experience you had with [Brand X]

List question: Which of these words describe your last experience with [Brand X]?

And to complete your brand perception survey you can use a classic Net Promoter Score metric with the question: On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend [Brand X] to a friend or colleague?

Net Promoter Score is a strong indicator of brand perception, as customers who perceive a brand as poor will be unwilling to recommend it.

Added extras

Depending on your product, you can also ask whether your customers consider themselves to be loyal to certain brands, whether they tend to choose brands over generic products, and whether price is a deciding factor.

You’ll get a lot of information out of brand perception surveys. They’ll not only reveal how effective your marketing and messaging is, but also whether your brand values chime with your customers’ perception of them. Run a brand perception survey at least quarterly to keep your finger on the pulse of your business’s health, market positioning and customer goodwill.

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Want to learn more about how to take control of and improve your brand perception? Dig deeper with our guides:

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