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8 Tips for Building a Brand Awareness Questionnaire

Jul 12, 2021
GroupSolver Brand Awareness Blog

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.

Unaided vs. Aided Questions

When you gauge consumers’ awareness of your brand, there are two ways to go about it: using unaided questions or aided questions. Each one has its place and its pros and cons.

Unaided Brand Awareness Questions

Unaided brand awareness questions are open-ended questions that ask a consumer which brands they’re aware of within a certain industry or type of product. For example, if your company produces cleaning products, an unaided brand awareness question would be: “What brands of cleaning products can you name?” and there would be a text box where respondents type in all the brands that come to their mind.

These types of questions are helpful for finding out if consumers are significantly aware of your brand–familiar enough that it comes to their mind unprompted. However, most won’t take the time to truly comb their memories for all the brands they can think of, so if they don’t include your brand on the list, they might still be aware but it isn’t at the top of their minds.

Aided Brand Awareness Questions

Unlike unaided questions, aided brand awareness questions mention your brand by name and ask if the consumer is aware of it. For example, you may ask, “Which of these brands of cleaning products are you aware of?” You’ll have a list of brands, including yours, and respondents will click the ones they recognize.

Here’s an example for athletic shoe brands:

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 a 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.

With aided brand awareness questions, you’ll find out if the consumer is actually aware of your brand but perhaps wouldn’t recall it without prompting. This is still positive because your brand is still familiar to them.

Because each of these have pros and cons, it’s best to include both aided and unaided questions in your brand awareness survey.

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8 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. Create an immersive experience

At the risk of stating the obvious, you only benefit from your brand awareness survey if people actually complete the survey. More survey respondents get bored and stop the survey early than you might think. How do you get people to stick with your brand awareness survey? It comes down to the experience you create.

You need to immerse and engage your respondents to keep them interested and motivated to continue the survey. This could involve interactive graphics, inventive question formats, and conversational questioning, for example. The availability of these features will depend on the survey platform you choose, so make sure to pick one that provides an engaging survey design.

2. 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.

3. Keep Their Attention

You want to gather as much data from your brand awareness survey as possible, so it’s natural to try cramming in a long list of questions. The problem, though, is that respondents’ attention spans aren’t unlimited. If you want to get accurate answers and high completion rates, you need to keep them engaged.

Keep your surveys fairly brief and use strategies to keep people on the hook. Change up the types of questions you’re asking, for example, and include only questions that are essential to answering your research question.

4. Combine aided and unaided questions

As we explained above, if you want to know if someone is aware of your brand, there are two ways to ask: with aided or unaided brand awareness questions. The most effective brand awareness surveys use both.

Start with unaided questions

Begin by asking an open-ended question, “What brands come to mind when you think of <industry or type of product or service>?”. Respondents should have a text box where they can jot down as many brands as they can think of. If your brand comes up in that list, it means the respondent is highly aware of your brand.

Take a cue from aided questions

After leading in with the unaided question, ask about your brand awareness in an aided way: provide a list of brands in your field, including your own, and ask, “Which of these brand names do you recognize?”. This allows you to differentiate between people who are 100% unaware of your brand and those who are mildly aware of your brand when prompted.

Combining these two types of questions in your brand awareness survey can give you a clear understanding of the level of awareness your brand has.

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.

6. Design for the user

Even if you’re offering incentives for completing your survey, remember, respondents are doing you a favor. You need to make your survey user experience as seamless and intuitive as possible so they’ll stick with it. If it’s too cumbersome, they’ll click away and move on.

One of the most important aspects of a user-friendly design is designing your survey for mobile platforms as well as desktop. Making your survey easy to complete on mobile platforms allows respondents to answer the survey while they’re relaxing on the couch, on public transportation during their commute, and so on.

7. Don’t leave room for interpretation

Who among us didn’t have times of panic in school when we were taking a test and weren’t sure what a question was asking because it was phrased poorly? You don’t want that to happen in your brand awareness survey because some people will answer based on one interpretation and others will answer entirely differently, making your data unreliable.

Be clear and conversational in writing your survey. Make it easy for lay people to understand. If it comes down to it, choose understandable language over language that uses technically correct grammar, such as, “Who do you go with?” versus “With whom do you go?”.

8. Offer Incentives

Your respondents are taking time out of their busy schedules to help you gather data. Offering incentives for completing your survey will go a long way toward maintaining a relationship of respect and showing them you value their time. It also boosts the chances that they’ll complete your brand awareness survey–and do so accurately.

There are plenty of ways to structure your survey incentives. You could offer cold, hard cash, or discount codes, rewards points, coupons, and more. You could even offer a special gift package of free products. The goal is to strike a balance between an incentive that is valuable enough to motivate respondents but affordable enough for your budget.

Save time with a platform that turns your qualitative feedback into key insights

Traditionally, analyzing and manually coding brand awareness open-ended responses would have been time-consuming and expensive, but GroupSolver®’s platform can automatically organize and quantify these answers into meaningful insights for your business. What’s more, our conversational survey design provides the engaging survey experience you need to hold respondents’ attention. Find out more about how our intelligent survey platform works or visit our blog for more tips, tricks and survey best practices.

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