What are you more focused on: how many people know your brand, or how well they know it? Here’s a piece of advice: it should be both. To collect all that information and still make sense of the data, use a brand awareness survey. Here’s how.
What is a brand awareness survey?
A brand awareness survey is a questionnaire that measures how aware your target audience is of your brand’s existence, and how it is perceived. It combines:
Brand recognition: measuring how familiar consumers are with your brand.
Brand recall: does your brand spontaneously come to mind when thinking about your product or service?
Brand identity: are your mission and vision recognised and understood?
Brand image: what do people think of when thinking of your brand?
Here’s a real-life example of a brand awareness question from a survey we sent to smartphone shoppers in the US.
How do you measure Brand Awareness?
Measuring brand awareness is an exact science, even though identity and image seem more abstract than recognition and recall. But by asking the right brand awareness survey questions, you can get a detailed and data-rich analysis of how your marketing efforts are contributing to your goals.
We’d recommend you combine several tools to complement your brand awareness survey with other information and data. Here’s the recipe to follow.
The survey should have different question types, with open-ended questions to find out more about how you are perceived in the minds of your target group. And of course, quantifiable data to find out how often they’ve seen or remembered your company over a certain period of time.
Clueless on what to ask to get the answers you need? Keep reading for some tried-and-tested examples.
2. Check your social media followers and reach
On its own, social media metrics don’t say much about brand awareness. That’s why we recommend you combine it with a brand awareness survey.
3. Keep track of direct traffic
Combine a survey with research on your website’s analytics. Focus on the number of visitors from direct traffic you get. If this is bigger than traffic from search engines or links, you know that consumers spontaneously recall your brand when looking for your product or services: they directly type in your website, without the use of search engines. That’s winning.
4. Use brand tracking software
Brand awareness is just one part of your brand’s health. To really make a difference, you’ll have to measure it more than once. Brand management software takes the busywork out of that, helping you track your brand awareness every few months or every year, helping you stay on track of your goals.
Attest is a vital tool for informing our business strategy. The brand tracker allows teams across multiple markets to compare their results to the global picture and access insights that guide their day-to-day operations.
Louise Mustard, Head of Global Brand Build, Tommy Tippee
Try our brand tracker survey template
Evaluate your brand’s performance across global markets with our brand tracking survey, written by our in-house research experts.
Brand awareness – when measured correctly – is not a vanity metric. It says a lot about the relationship between your business and consumers, and how well you’re performing in your product category. The ROI of brand awareness is real. Here are a number of reasons why that survey will help you grow your business.
1. Higher brand awareness saves you money
Sure, you could just focus on sales. Maybe people blindly buy from you, without ever knowing it’s you. Your brand is not important to them.
That’s great in the short term, but in the long-term, you want to be the go-to choice for anyone. That would save you the money you’d be pumping in Google and other ads. You don’t need to be on top of the search results if you are already top of mind.
Getting data points around things like brand awareness and ad recall makes it easier for us to link back to high growth in short term sales metrics. Attest shows us what the ROI of brand work truly is.
Phil Dennington, Creative Lead, Wise
2. Brand beats products
Your service, product, or solution is not all that matters. Not even price is. As markets mature, brand becomes increasingly important.
Product features are coming closer together as companies innovate. The options in your product category might be limitless, but they’re also all very much the same. Think about this: there are plenty of TV brands that are all making great televisions. What do they do when they can’t add any more pixels, nor knock anything off the price?
You simply have to make consumers more aware of your brand and what you stand for. It’s all about getting them to choose your brand over the competitors, not just choosing your product over the alternatives. If you’d have to buy a TV right now, close your eyes and think of the brands you would consider. This has zero to do with the specific product, right?
Think of brand loyalty and why people go for Apple instead of Samsung. Or even Pepsi instead of Coca-Cola. It’s about what comes to mind first, what business you identify with most. This is often a subconscious act, but you can use it to sneak your way into minds with targeted campaigns and selling not just a product, but a brand experience.
3. It helps you create more effective marketing campaigns
What if your survey shows you’re doing great in terms of brand awareness amongst women, but men don’t seem to be having a clue of who you are?
That’s a sign you leave quite some revenue on the table. By diving into your different target audiences and how well they know you, you can set up segmented campaigns that let you focus on parts of the market where there’s more for you to win.
We’re able to identify specific campaign moments when we can use above the line adverts to widen our reach. We’ve got a tracking program and partner in place that’s sustainable for the long term, and hands-on support when we need it as well.
Jacq Ellis-Jones, Head of Marketing, Pip & Nut
15 Powerful brand awareness survey questions
Every business will need their own mix of questions, based on what they’re specifically researching. When choosing what questions to include in your survey, always ask yourself if they actually contribute to the goal of your survey, as to only collect relevant data.
That being said, it can be helpful to look at questions other brands have used for brand tracking. Feel free to take some inspiration for brand awareness survey questions and mix and match to make them your own. This is a list to pick from, not a template to copy and paste. Always tailor your questions to your specific research.
1. When thinking about companies that provide product X, which one comes to mind first?
2. When thinking about other companies that provide product X, which brands come to mind?
3. Which brands do you purchase product X from?
4. Which of the following brands have you heard of?
5. Which of the following brands make you most happy?
6. Thinking about product X, which brands would you consider purchasing from in the next 6 months?
7. Which of the following things would make you loyal to our brand?
8. If [your brand] was a person, how would you describe that person?
9. On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend [your brand] to friends and family?
10. How did you find out about [your brand]?
11. Which (if any) of the following messages do you associate with [your brand]?
12. What stood out most from the ads you have seen?
13. Which of the following emotions do you feel when you think about [your brand]?
14. Which (if any) of the following traits do you associate with [your brand]?
15. You have problem X – what company do you turn to?
Running a regular tracker with Attest has reinforced our USP, which is especially important as the category becomes more saturated. Because of the regular insights, we know what we need to do to grow.
Steph Morris, Head of Marketing, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee
How big brands survey brand awareness
When is the right time to conduct a brand awareness survey? How are successful businesses using the data from these surveys to create better campaigns, build their brand awareness, improve advertising and make better budgets? Let’s look at how three big brands are getting valuable data from their customers.
Measure brand awareness with expert survey templates
Learn which brand attributes matter to your ideal customers with our intuitive brand tracker template and results dashboard.
Bought by Many developed a benchmark for success with brand tracking.
When Bought by Many realised that the measurements they were getting from their performance data had their limits, they knew where to go: directly to the consumers. They were analysing search engines but missed the link with ”real people”. Monthly surveys closed that gap.
Their goal was to expand brand awareness to get people to search for them directly. Simultaneously, the data they gathered justified spending more on brand awareness, making it easier to get budgets signed off internally.
Wise measures the long-term impact of increased brand awareness.
Wise used brand awareness surveys to get a better understanding of the ROI of a solid brand strategy.
For mission-driven businesses, it is key to know that what they stand for is communicated well. This goes beyond tracking pixels and revenue.
Brand awareness insights helped them gain the confidence to invest in mission-driven campaigns. This went beyond online ads: they also used it to measure the effects of their campaign on the London Underground.
Pip & Nut tracks brand awareness before and after a campaign.
Pip & Nut researched brand awareness to track the success of their advertising pre and post-campaign launch.
The surveys help them measure where they are before launching a campaign and understanding the impact of their investments, and what long and short-term benefits these are having. This helps them improve their content, targeting and overall advertising.
Create your own effective Brand Awareness Survey
Time to craft your own survey! Preferably with as little consumer bias as possible. The key is to think about every question, to avoid confusion and get the most value out of your data. Here are our top tips.
Start with a brand awareness survey template
No need to put in the time to create your own format – use a template that you can customise to your liking.
Determine the right questions
Ask yourself: what is the specific goal of every question?
Add demographic questions
With demographic questions, you can identify differences between population segments, allowing you to create ultra-targeted campaigns.
Make sure you’re talking to the right target audiences
Do research into whether it’s more valuable to speak to past customers or, if you can, random focus groups of people who fall into your target market.
Nick joined Attest in 2021, with more than 10 years' experience in market research and consumer insights on both agency and brand sides. As part of the Customer Research Team team, Nick takes a hands-on role supporting customers uncover insights and opportunities for growth.