Case Study: State College Uses a Re-Branding Survey to Test New Name

Drive Research, a higher education market research firm, recently conducted a re-branding survey for a State University of New York (SUNY) college looking to test the advantages and disadvantages of renaming their school.

There are plenty of market research opportunities such as this for colleges and universities like program feasibility research, brand-equity research, website re-design research, and more.

Program feasibility helps a college or university better understand the level of interest for a potential new program from prospective students and employers. It also tests what should be included in the program (i.e., courses, length of program, etc.) Learn more about higher education program feasibility market research.

Brand equity research measures levels of awareness, perception, interest, and usage for a college or university. It can also test interest in programs, sources of awareness, and more. Learn more about higher education brand equity market research.

Website redesigns can be tough since there is so much content to update and reorganize. Website redesign research for higher education helps colleges and universities ensure it is on the right track before plans are finalized. Depending on the research objectives, the study can include an online survey, focus groups, and user experience (UX) interviews. Learn more about website redesign market research for higher education.

For this higher education research project specifically, the college turned to facts and data to answer the questions, "Is re-branding in the best interest for a SUNY school?"

Find out below!

Case Study: State College Uses a Re-Branding Survey to Test New Name with Drive Research

Our higher education market research firm uses a re-branding survey for a state college to test the advantages of renaming their school. Learn more about the objectives, approach, and results of the project.


The purpose of the survey was to test the opportunity to re-brand the SUNY school. The objectives were to capture brand awareness, word associations, impressions, source(s) of awareness, and drivers to impression.

These metrics were also gathered for the top 9 competitors identified by the SUNY school. This helped the team identify areas it is preforming well, where it can improve, and what strategies would perform best to improve.

While other secondary objectives were also addressed as part of the market research, these metrics proved to be the most valuable in determining if renaming the college was in their best interest.


The re-branding survey took an average of 8 minutes to complete and included 39 questions. Fieldwork for the education research survey began on September 10 and lasted until October 11 of 2019. The survey received 1,165 responses.

All respondents were screened to ensure they met target audience quotas as requested by the college including age, gender, and geography. Also, the re-branding survey was blinded which meant respondents did not know it was sponsored by the SUNY school when starting the survey. The practice of blinding a survey or other market research studies is the elimination of sponsor bias. 

Should You Blind or Reveal the Sponsor of Your Survey? Let us help


The outcomes of the market research study included a full report. The report featured the background and methodology, executive summary, infographic, scorecard, strategic implications, survey charts, and survey questions.

The survey was designed to answer these questions:

  • What is the awareness of the SUNY school?

  • What are the impressions of the SUNY school?

  • What are the impressions of SUNY?

  • Do audiences understand the school is part of SUNY?

  • How does the SUNY school compare to key competitors?

  • How likely are audiences to choose the SUNY school?

  • What are sources of awareness for colleges/universities?

  • What influences college/university selection?

The results of the study clearly and objectively answered each of these questions. The data collected from this re-branding survey helped the college decide whether or not it was best to rename their school.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

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