As part of our marketing audit series, this month we’re looking at the Brand Perception Survey. How people perceive your organisation, good, bad or indifferent.
Done well, it will give you clarity on how your brand is perceived in comparison to that of competitors. It will also help you track how well your stakeholders are accepting the ideas you try to associate with your brand and help you to benchmark your brand to others.
The purpose of conducting a brand perception survey is to understand how your brand is viewed in the market, what brand attributes are preferred by your customers, and to identify how your customers position your organisation to your competitors.
How to complete a Brand Perception Survey
Avoid survey overload
To complete a brand perception survey for your business, the first step is to identify the people you want to approach, i.e. your key stakeholders. Make sure you cover a wide range of stakeholders to enable you to get a 360o perspective of your business.
If you already conduct a customer satisfaction survey or employee survey, then if possible try to use the findings from these surveys to inform your brand perception survey. If you don’t already run such surveys, then set up the brand perception survey to ask a broad range of questions relating to your brand and overall satisfaction to help you gain helpful insights.
The key to the brand perception survey is to include as many of your stakeholders in the survey as you can and to avoid too much repetition where possible with other surveys conducted by the organisation.
Ask the right questions
Once you’ve agreed your stakeholders, decide the right questions to ask. There are a number of factors that lead people to have an affinity to your brand. These include, a connection to the concepts that they associate with your brand (cognitive e.g. quality, service, value, etc.), the experience and feelings they have about your brand (e.g. emotional), or ethical, cultural, historical, or other ethos represented by your brand.
When deciding which questions to ask, include questions that help you to understand the cognitive associations with your brand; the emotional appeal of your brand; the language your stakeholders use to best describe your brand, and the tangible or intangible experiences people have with your brand.
Your brand is what distinguishes your organisation from that of others and should clearly demonstrate your point of difference. The questions you ask should be closely aligned to what you want to get out of the survey and help your business address any known, or unknown issues with perception and ultimately engagement.
Tailor your questions to the need of your business to make sure you get responses that are useful and help you understand what people think and feel about your brand, and what motivates them to buy from you. Here are some questions you may want to consider asking in your brand perception survey.
1. Thinking about companies that provide [xyz] what companies come to mind?
2. Have you heard of [your company name]?
3. What does [your company] do and what services does it offer?
obvious right? Some people can pass a building every day and not be aware of
what happens at that location, or may have heard of your company name but think
it is a different business; or perhaps they may think you offer one service and
not be aware you offer a whole range.
4. Have you used our [service/product] before?
5. What characteristic(s) do you feel best represents [your company name]?
6. When you used [your service/product] from [your company name] how did it make you feel?
7. What are the biggest pain-points with the current services/products in the market?
8. Why do you buy from us [your company name]?
9. Which competitors, if any, did you consider before using [your company name]?
10. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest score, how would you rate us on the following attributes? List attributes most relevant to your business.
11. How can we do better?
12. How likely are you to recommend [your company name] to a friend?
Evaluate and summarise results
Take all of the responses you receive and classify them into negative, neutral, or positive to see the level of experience people have had with your brand. A negative or neutral comment provides an opportunity to develop and improve; therefore feedback should always be actively encouraged.
The answers to these questions will help you to get a better understanding of what people think about your organisation, identify what issues, if any, come to light to help you assess people’s needs, solve problems or create new services; and clarify what areas need to be improved or developed.
The brand perception survey will also allow you to establish a baseline with which to measure your performance and benchmark to competitors. You can analyse trends and monitor how the trends of perception change over time.
So as we have seen there are many benefits to conducting a brand perception survey and I hope it helps you understand the value of brand in the market. If you would like to find out more about conducting a brand perception survey for your business, we would love to hear from you.
Edna Petzen is director and marketing consultant at Lynden Consulting, a specialist marketing and communications company to the care and retirement living sector. We work with private, public and not-for-profit operators of retirement communities, extra care housing, residential and nursing care, home care, day care and providers of specialist provision for adults and older people. Get in touch to find out how we can help.