Example survey questions

Questions like these will help you establish the general breakdown of your consumer base into groupings of similar beliefs, behaviors, motivations and more.

Remember!

The questions, their structure and their answers in this guide are just examples and can absolutely change to suit your research needs.

Demographic questions

Through demographic profiling you establish some of the basic criteria used to segment consumers. Think about things like age, gender, income, marital status, religion and so on. 

You might not need to ask these questions at all… Some survey platforms (ahem—like Attest) have loads of demographic filters built in, allowing you to segment consumers without needing to ask these kinds of qualifying questions. 

Pro tip 💡

“In some countries, it’s against the law to ask about certain demographic details, so make sure you check the rules that apply to the market you’re running research in.

At the bottom of this page is some guidance from our lovely lawyers on how you can make sure your demographic research is all above board.” 
Nikos Nikolaidis
Customer Research Manager

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

  • How would you describe your ethnicity? 
    • White
    • Black
    • Asian 
    • Amerindian/Alaska native
    • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
    • Mixed ethnicity, namely ______
    • Other:_____
  • What gender do you identify as?
    • Cisgender woman
    • Cisgender man
    • Transgender man
    • Transgender woman
    • Genderqueer
    • Non-binary
    • Prefer to self describe: ______
    • Prefer not to say
  • What’s your main source of income?
    • Freelance work
    • Own business
    • Employment
    • Pension
    • Dividend income
    • Rental income
    • Other:_____
  • How much do you earn on average, on a monthly basis, before taxes?
    • $0-9,999
    • $10,000-19,999
    • $20,000-39,000
    • $40,000-59,999
    • $60,000-79,000
    • $80,000+
  • What’s your highest degree or education completed?
    • Early childhood education 
    • Primary education
    • Lower secondary education
    • Upper secondary education 
    • Post-secondary non-tertiary education 
    • Short-cycle tertiary education
    • Bachelor’s or equivalent level 
    • Master’s or equivalent level
    • Etc.
  • What’s your marital status?
    • Single
    • Married
    • Widowed
    • Divorced
    • Separate
    • Registered partnership
  • What is your current employment status?
    • Worker
    • Employee
    • Self-employed
    • Business owner
    • Retired
    • Job-searching
    • Not working, not searching
  • What religion/faith/belief, if any, do you have?
    • Bahá’í
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Confucianism
    • Druze
    • Gnosticism
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Jainism
    • Judaism
    • Rastafarianism
    • Shinto
    • Sikhism
    • Zoroastrianism
    • Traditional African Religions
    • African Diaspora Religions
    • Indigenous American Religions
    • Other
    • No religion
    • Prefer not to say

Psychographic questions

Psychographic profiling is an emotive form of profiling, allowing you to offer a really meaningful and memorable customer experience. It can be especially helpful when working on your sales and marketing strategy, and to find out the types of content that resonate with your audience.

  • Which of these statements applies to you?
    • I actively seek out new experiences
    • I prefer to stick with what I know I enjoy

  • Which activity do you do most often when you have free time?
    • Tennis
    • Rowing
    • Boomeranging 
    • Cosplaying
    • Etc.

  • Which do you prefer?
    • A big night out
    • A quiet night in

  • Which of the following countries would you most like to visit for a holiday?
    • Japan
    • Barbados
    • Brazil
    • Kenya
    • Estonia
    • New Zealand
    • Etc.
  • How do you feel about the recent news story regarding [current affairs story]?
    • [open-text]
    • Very happy
    • Happy
    • Neither happy or unhappy
    • Unhappy
    • Very unhappy

  • Thinking about the impact climate change will have on future generations, which of these statements applies to you?
    • I’m very worried about the impact climate change will have on future generations
    • I’m quite worried about the impact climate change will have on future generations
    • I’m not worried about the impact climate change will have on future generations

  • Which of the following big-ticket items, if any, was the last you bought?
    • Car
    • House/flat
    • Boat
    • Motorbike/scooter
    • Art
    • Home entertainment tech

  • Do you prefer spending time with your family or with your friends?
    • Family
    • Friends

  • Thinking about your current work-life balance, which statement applies to you?
    • I’m very happy with my work-life balance
    • I’m quite happy with me work-life balance
    • I’m quite unhappy with my work-life balance
    • I’m very unhappy with my work-life balance

  • Which of the following would you describe yourself as?
    • Optimist 
    • Pessimist

  • Which of the following issues, if any, do you most want brands to take a stand on? Choose your top three or add your own…
    • Poverty
    • Racism
    • Climate change
    • Women’s rights
    • LGBTQ+ rights
    • [Other]
  • Which of the following statements applies to you?
    • I have boycotted a brand because they’ve acted unethically
    • I’ve never boycotted a brand because they’ve acted unethically
  • If so, which brand did you boycott?

  • Thinking about how much attention you pay to the price of products you buy, which of these statements applies to you?
    • I pay more attention than I used to
    • I pay the same amount of attention as I used to
    • I pay less attention than I used to

  • Where do you tend to go for advice on which products to buy?
    • Social media
    • Ask friends or family
    • Online review sites

  • How often, if at all, do you give money to charity?
    • Once a week or more
    • Once or twice a month
    • Every 2-5 months
    • Every 6-12 months
    • Less than once a year
    • Never

Behavioral questions

Behavioral profiling lets you analyze things like a customers’ purchasing journey, engagement and usage patterns, and loyalty to your brand or product. Understanding your customers’ behavior throughout their buying and usage journeys is crucial to giving them the products and services they really need.

  • How do you travel to work?
    • Bus
    • Train/Subway/Metro/Underground
    • Car
    • Bicycle
    • Walk
    • Other

  • Which, if any, of the following physical activities do you take part in?
    • Swimming
    • Running
    • Cycling
    • Rollerblading/roller skating
    • Etc.

See some of these questions in action as part of our quarterly Media Consumption Trackers for the US and UK. 

See US media consumption tracker

See US media consumption tracker

  • In a typical week, how many hours do you spend watching live/streamed TV?
    • Less than 1 hour
    • 1-5 hours
    • 6-10 hours
    • 10-15 hours
    • More than 15 hours

  • Which commercial radio stations do you listen to?
    • Capital FM
    • Magic FM
    • Absolute
    • Heart
    • Etc.

  • Which news websites do you visit to keep up to date with current events?
    • Yahoo!
    • NBC
    • CBS
    • CNN
    • Etc.

  • Which of the following social media platforms do you use daily?
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • TikTok
    • Twitter
    • Etc.

  • What mobile phone do you currently own?
    • iPhone
    • Samsung Galaxy
    • Google Pixel
    • Huawei
    • [Other]

  • Which of the following newspapers do you regularly read?
    • New York Times
    • Washington Post
    • Wall Street Journal
    • USA Today
    • Los Angeles Times
    • New York Post
    • Etc.

Understanding how people feel about the economy and how it affects their spending is super valuable insight for consumer brands. We run our Inflation Sentiment Tracker every month for the US and the UK. Take a look below…

See US Inflation Sentiment Tracker

See UK Inflation Sentiment Tracker

  • How are you currently feeling about [X]?
    • Very positive
    • Somewhat positive
    • Neither positive or negative
    • Somewhat negative
    • Very negative

  • Which of the following statements best describes your financial security? 
    • I am completely financially secure 
    • I am quite financially secure
    • I am not very financially secure
    • I am not financially secure at all

  • If you’re feeling stressed, how do you calm yourself down?
    • Exercise
    • Yoga
    • Watching TV/films
    • Socializing 
    • Social media
    • Etc. 

  • Which of the following best describes how you’re spending money at the moment?
    • Very freely
    • Fairly freely
    • Neither freely or cautiously 
    • Fairly cautiously 
    • Very cautiously

Industry-specific questions

Every industry has its own, unique profile so it’s crucial to build up a profile of how your target customer connects with the industry your brand operates in. By asking these questions, you’ll understand what sets your brand apart from competitors and what consumers think of your product.

  • To what extent are you familiar with [product category/service]?
    • I’m very familiar with [product category/service] 
    • I’m quite familiar with [product category/service] 
    • I’m not very familiar with [product category/service] 
    • I’m not at all familiar with [product category/service] 

  • How often, if at all, do you use [product category/service]?
    • Every day
    • A few times a week
    • A few times a month
    • A few times a year
    • Never

  • How long have you been using [product category/service] for?
    • Less than 1 year
    • 1-3 years
    • 4-6 years
    • 6 years or more

  • How would you feel if you could no longer buy [product category/service]?
    • Very disappointed
    • Somewhat disappointed
    • Indifferent
    • Not very disappointed
    • Not at all disappointed

  • How has your opinion on [product category/service] changed within the last 12 months?
    • I like it a lot more 
    • I like it slightly more
    • I like it the same amount
    • I like it slightly less
    • I like it a lot less
  • Which of these [products/services] have you purchased in the past 3 months?
    • Ice cream
    • Soda
    • Popcorn 
    • Chocolate
    • Etc.

  • How often do you buy [product/service category]?
    • Every day
    • A few times a week
    • A few times a month
    • A few times a year
    • Never

  • Approximately, how much would you say you spend on [product category] per month?
    • $0.00-4.99
    • $5.00-9.99
    • $10.00-14.99
    • $15.00 or more 

  • What, if anything, is stopping you from buying more of [product/service category]? 
    • Price
    • Availability
    • I don’t feel I need more of this product
    • Other

  • Please rank the following factors on how important or unimportant they are when deciding which [product/service category] to buy, where 1 is the most important and 5 is the least important:
    • Price
    • Customer support
    • Pre-purchase information 
    • How the product looks
    • Brand

  • How do you prefer to shop for [product/service category]?
    • In store
    • Online 
    • Subscription
  • Which of these brands are you aware of?
    • Brand 1
    • Brand 2
    • Brand 3
    • Brand 4
    • Brand 5

  • Which of these brands have you purchased in the last 3 months?
    • Brand 1
    • Brand 2
    • Brand 3
    • Brand 4
    • Brand 5

  • Where do you look for advice when you’re shopping for [product/service category]?
    • Brand’s/retailer’s website
    • Google
    • Social media

  • When thinking about which brand(s) you buy with for [product/service category], which statement applies to you?
    • I tend to buy from one brand
    • I buy from different brands

  • What is one thing that [Brand 1] could do better?
    • [open text]

  • What do you love about your favorite brand of [product/service category]?
    • [open text]

  • How did you find out about the last [product/service category] you bought?
    • Social media
    • Google/search engine
    • Recommendation from a friend
    • Saw/read a product review

Considerations for sensitive/special category data

It’s important to consider that, in many jurisdictions, some categories of data are considered to be particularly sensitive, special category data for the purposes of data protection legislation, so extra caution should be taken when collecting or processing the data.

Amongst other things, this includes asking questions related to a respondent’s racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation, etc. When asking demographic questions, you should:      

  1. Always get comfortable that you’re acting in compliance with the legislation applicable in the relevant jurisdiction; and   
  2. Exercise extra caution if you are collecting any sensitive/special category data.

You should seek your own advice if you’re unsure. Some things we’d recommend are:

  1. Linking to your company’s privacy policy, including a message to confirm that the survey will include optional questions relating to X, Y and give an explanation as to what that data will be used for;
  2. Making sure the questions are optional and can be skipped; and
  3. Obtaining the respondent’s consent to process the data, by including wording like “If you don’t consent to your data being processed, please skip question(s) X and Y. In responding to the question(s), you are confirming that you consent to the processing of data relating to your X, Y, Z [Link to your privacy policy]”.