Example survey questions

Here’s a list of example questions that can help you uncover the brand insights you need.

Brand tracking fails

Wouldn’t it be useful if there was a bank of survey questions and ready-made surveys to inspire your brand tracking project?

YES—that would be so useful!

And here it is!

Remember: the questions, their structure and their answers in this brand tracking guide are just examples and can absolutely change to suit your research needs.

And with that, let’s get stuck into the brand tracking questions!

Qualifying questions

It’s important to make sure you are asking the right people too. You’ll probably need to know if your respondents are active customers in your particular sector or market before you can know if they’ll support your brand health

To find out which of your respondents you need to complete your survey, you could ask them a qualifying question.

In the example question below, imagine your brand offers Allergy aids.

  • Which of the following, if any, have you purchased in the past 12 months? Select ‘None’ if none apply.
    • Eye care (e.g. eye drops or glasses)
    • Painkillers (e.g. aspirin)
    • Flu and cold remedies
    • Vitamins, minerals or supplements
    • Allergy aids
    • Heartburn or indigestion products
    • None

You should include the product or service type you offer in this list—in this example, you offer allergy ads—along with a selection of other related items. You’ll either want to hear from people who’ve used your products, or you’ll want to hear from people who haven’t but might in the future. 

You don’t want your respondents to know who or what they’re being asked about straight away, to avoid any potential bias. Because of this, you shouldn’t make your product or service stand out from the other list items. If you looked at the list above you wouldn’t know that ‘allergy ads’ is the answer that will qualify respondents in—that’s exactly what you want so you avoid dishonest responses. 

Once you’ve established that you’re asking the right people you can move onto drawing up your list of questions. In general, brand tracking questions can be broadly separated into four areas: what people think; how people feel; what people say; and what people do.

Cognitive questions

Cognitive questions will help you establish what people think about when they think of your brand (or your competitors’…). Things like the concepts and words they associate with your brand, and the values they think your brand has. 

The answers will help you establish where your brand sits in the wider market, as well as the qualities that your target audience is looking for in your product category.

Pro tip: You should avoid using pronouns in your questions that might identify your brand as the one asking the questions. Ideally you want neutral answers from your respondents, and if they have a preconceived opinion of your brand, they might answer differently when they know you’re asking the questions.

  • Thinking about [product/service], what brands, if any, are you aware of? Please type in all the brands that you can think of.
    • Open-text

This question gives you a good sense of the unprompted awareness of you or your competitors’ brands.

You can then follow it up with a prompted list of brands to understand your position among specific competitors… 

  • Which of the following brands in [product category] are you aware of?
    • Brand A
    • Brand B
    • Brand C
Pro tip 💡
For prompted awareness questions, some people might say they’ve heard of brands when really they haven’t (this is often called overclaiming).

Here are a couple of simple ways you can avoid this:
👉 Add a message card to the beginning of the survey making it clear that there are no right or wrong answers and people should answer completely honestly.

👉 Put an unprompted awareness question before the prompted one. This should get respondents thinking about the brands they genuinely recall.

👉 Use a broad spread of brands for your prompted answers, including a couple that you know have high awareness.
Sam Killip
VP Customer Success
  • When you think of [brand], which of the following words come to mind?
    • Luxury
    • Value
    • Expensive
    • Quality
    • Eco-friendly

It can sometimes be useful to use open-text responses for this kind of question. That way you’ll get feedback directly from consumers in their own language. 

  • What was your first impression of [brand]?
    • Easy to use
    • Effective
    • Competitive price
    • Eco-friendly
    • Well made
  • Rank the following brands on price/quality/relatability on a scale from 1-10.
    • Brand A
    • Brand B
    • Brand C
  • What would you say is the biggest difference between [brand] and [competitor brand]?
    • Value for money
    • Effectiveness
    • Quality
    • Eco credentials
    • Design

Emotional questions

Emotional questions will give you a closer insight into how people feel about your brand. They’ll uncover the subconscious connections consumers have with your product or service. 

The data generated by these questions will help you to find the right tone in your marketing messages and content.

  • How does buying/using [brand] make you feel?
    • Frugal
    • Energized
    • Proud
    • Extravagant

  • How would you feel if you could no longer use [product]?
    • Devastated
    • Sad, but I’d get over it
    • Indifferent
  • How have your feelings towards [brand] changed over time?
    • I like it a lot more
    • I like it a bit more
    • My feelings haven’t changed
    • I like it a bit less
    • I like it a lot less
  • Thinking about [brand], which of these statements applies to you? 
    • Using [brand] is fundamental to my self-image
    • I share the same values as [brand]
    • I associate [brand] with a healthy lifestyle
    • I believe that other users of [brand] have similar values to me
    • I trust [brand] to make products that have a positive effect on my life
    • I am not especially attached to [brand]
  • Which of the following statements applies to you when you think about how proud you are to use [brand]?
    • I am proud to be a user of [brand]
    • I have no strong feelings of pride when using [brand]’s products
    • I could just as easily use [rival brand] as [brand]
    • I like people to know that I use [brand]
  • What three words come to mind when thinking about [brand]?
    • [open-ended answer]

Action questions

How your target customer acts—or interacts with your product or service—is key to understanding their purchasing behaviour. 

These questions can relate to how people discovered your brand in the first place as well as the most recent interaction they had with your customer service team.

  • When did you last purchase a product from [brand]?
    • Within the past week
    • Within the past month
    • Within the past six months
    • Within the past year
    • More than one year ago
  • How did you become aware of [brand] and the products/services they offer?
    • Online advertising
    • Social media
    • TV advertising
    • Supermarket/shop
    • Recommended by a friend/family member
  • Which other brands did you consider?
    • Competitor A
    • Competitor B
    • Competitor C
  • Why did you choose [brand] over [competitor brand]?
    • Price
    • Wanted a change
    • Availability
    • Recommendation
    • Advertising
    • Preferred design/packaging
    • Other (please specify)
  • What elements do you consider when shopping for [product category]?
    • Value for money
    • Brand values
    • Quality
    • Design
    • Availability
  • Which of the following events/actions would influence you to switch brands?
    • No availability of product
    • Price increase
    • Change of design/packaging
    • Change of ingredients
    • Special offer for competitor product
  • From the following list, where do you tend to buy [product] from?
    • Supermarket
    • High Street Store
    • [Brand]’s bricks-and-mortar store
    • Online marketplace
    • Direct from [brand]’s website

Scale questions like these, including the common Net Promoter Score (NPS), can also be really good ways to gauge consumer opinion about your brand.

  • On a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to recommend [product] to a friend?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how satisfied were you with your last purchase of [product]?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how happy were you with your last interaction with [brand]?

The Consumer Research Academy is brought to you by the Customer Research Team—our in-house research experts. Any research questions? Email or chat with the team.