Brand Perception Surveys

Who owns your brand? Your marketing team? Your public relations staff? Your CEO? In a very real sense, your customers own your brand. It is what they think it is. It promises what they say it promises.

What Does a Brand Perception Survey Do?

Brand Perception Surveys help you understand how your brand is perceived in the mind of customers, prospects, employees and other stakeholders. They paint a picture of the mental real estate your brand owns and how it is considered against competitive brands.

At a very simple level, a brand is just an idea connected to your product. For example:

  • Simple + Computer = Apple
  • Cola + Youth = Pepsi
  • Rebel + Motorcycle = Harley Davidson
  • Pictures + Temporary = SnapChat

Brand perception studies track how well consumers are accepting the ideas you try to associate with your brand. The ideas they associate with your brand help determine their affinity towards it.

There are 4 core human factors that lead to brand affinity:

  1. Cognitive – the concepts that a consumer associates with your brand
  2. Emotional – the feelings that a consumer associates with your brand
  3. Language – how a consumer describes your brand
  4. Action – the experiences a consumer has with your brand

What to Include in Your Brand Perception Survey

When you design your brand perception survey, focus on these 4 key areas that will help you understand the cognitive, emotional, language and action factors of your brand. The following sections will describe each area and provide some example questions to start you off.


These questions should draw out the associations that consumers connect to your brand. You can start off with open-ended questions and then tighten using multi or single-select lists.

For example:

  • Open-ended question: When you think of [your brand], what comes to mind first?
  • List question: Which of the following words describe [your brand]?
  • Positive to negative scale question: Of the words you selected, how do you feel about each?


These questions should attempt to identify the feelings connected to your brand, and if those draw them closer to the brand or pull them away.

For example:

  • Open-ended question: What kind of feelings do you experience when you think of [your brand]?
  • List question: How would you describe your level of emotional attachment to [your brand]?
  • List question: When you think of [your brand], how do you feel?


These questions teach you how consumers internalize and understand your brand by asking how they would describe it to others.

For example:

  • Open-ended question: Which three words would you use to describe [your brand]?
  • Open-ended question: How would you describe [your brand] to a friend?
  • List question: Which words would you use to describe [your brand]?


These questions should answer how positive or negative a consumer’s previous experience has been with your brand.

For example:

  • Open-ended question: How would you describe your last experience with [your brand]?
  • List question: Which best describe your last experience with [your brand]?
  • Scale question: On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend to a friend or colleague?

Brand Perception Studies for Strategic Input

Brand Perception Studies are helpful tools to understand how effective your marketing and messaging is, but they are even more helpful at helping you understand if your product experience is aligned with your brand values.

If you conduct brand perceptions studies at least annually, they become a valuable trendline to help you measure the health of your business, market share and future goodwill from customers.