5 tips for building a brand awareness questionnaire

by | Jul 30, 2021 | Analysis, Public Relations

Do people know your brand? If so, do they know your brand well enough to choose it over your competitors? What associations do they make with your brand? These are all questions you can answer with a simple yet strategic brand awareness questionnaire. And what’s more– we’ve gathered all the best tips for creating one.

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is how recognizable and familiar your brand is to your potential customers. When potential customers already know your brand, they are more likely to trust it and choose it when shopping in your product or service category.

This is especially important as consumers are continually facing more and more choices when they shop, and are less likely to consider brand names they don’t recognize. Familiarity with a brand also helps customers to make faster purchase decisions—while increasing conversions and sales for your company.

However, making your brand more recognizable is only half the battle. You don’t just want people to think about your brand– you want them to think highly of your brand. This requires finding out what customers currently think of your brand, your competitors, and what they’re looking for in your product category.

That way you can build your brand awareness based on the traits that customers care about the most, or already associate with your brand. By including brand perception questions in your brand awareness survey, you can get a more holistic view of how (and when) customers think of your brand.

5 steps to building a brand awareness questionnaire

Surveys are an essential tool for measuring and tracking brand awareness. They allow you to measure the extent to which people recognize your brand at any given time, so you can keep track of the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and discover areas for improvement. Here are some simple steps for creating a survey that will get you the insights you need.

1. Identify your target audience

The first step to creating a brand awareness survey is to identify your target respondents. In most cases, you want to measure brand awareness within a specific segment of customers that are likely to be interested in your product or service.

For example, if you are an e-commerce company that sells handmade jewelry, you’ll likely want a sample of respondents who you know shop for jewelry or related accessories online, not just any online shopper. Depending on your goals for the survey and the size of your business, you can adjust the scope of your target population.

Getting your survey to the right audience will give you a better idea of how well your brand is recognized within your specific industry, as well as how you stack up against your closest competitors.

2. Ask effective brand awareness questions

Once you have narrowed down your target audience, you can use survey questions to find out what potential customers are thinking about your brand– and if they’re thinking about it.

There are two main types of brand awareness questions: aided and unaided. Each provides important insights on the extent to which people recognize your brand.

3. Start out with Unaided Questions

Unaided questions identify whether consumers remember your brand name without any assistance from the question itself. This is a strong indicator of brand awareness because it reveals what major brands are top of mind for respondents in a specific product category. For example, an unaided survey question could look like this:

  • Please list any running shoe brands you are aware of.

Anything come to mind? Nike, Adidas, Brooks? If so, you’re not alone. These global companies have spent years building their brand awareness to achieve this response. Hence, unaided questions often reveal brand names of relatively established companies but can be a great tool for smaller companies to identify their biggest competitors. Unaided questions should be asked first to gather unbiased responses from respondents before moving on to your aided questions.

4. Measure brand recognition with Aided Questions

Aided questions are just what they sound like: questions with a little extra help. Instead of asking what brands come to mind, respondents are shown a list of brands (including yours) and asked which ones they recognize (to measure brand recognition). Just make sure to include all of your main competitor brands. Here’s an example:

Which of these companies are you familiar with?

  • Nike
  • Reebok
  • Brooks
  • Puma
  • Adidas
  • Allbirds
  • Atoms
  • New Balance
  • None of these

If you’re interested in measuring awareness for your brand logo or other design element, you can also include list of images here instead.

So now what? Let’s pretend you’re Allbirds for a moment and you want to find out how your brand recognition compares to leading competitor Adidas. The survey results might tell you (for example) that 90% of the target segment is familiar with Adidas whereas only 75% are familiar with Allbirds. This allows you to benchmark your current brand recognition against your competitors and measure your progress following future marketing campaigns.

Pro tip: Include a fake brand name as one of the options to serve as a trap question. This will help you filter out respondents who aren’t paying attention or answering honestly.

5. Dig deeper into what customers think of your brand

Aside from measuring brand recall and recognition, you can use your brand awareness survey to dive deeper into brand perception. For example, if you found that respondents were at least familiar with your brand in the previous question, you can follow up to get more feedback using open-ended questions:

  • What words or phrases would you use to describe {insert brand name}?

This type of question gives customers more space to tell you what they really think about your brand and what they associate it with, so you can easily build off of their feedback. Using open-ended answers can give you greater insights into the mind of your consumers and help catch ideas you might not have thought to ask in your choice questions.

This article originally appeared on the GroupSolver blog; reprinted with permission.

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Rasto Ivanic
Rasto Ivanic is a co-founder and CEO of GroupSolver—a market research tech company. GroupSolver has built an intelligent market research platform that helps businesses answer their burning why, how, and what questions. Before GroupSolver, Rasto was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company and later he led business development at Mendel Biotechnology.