Meeting and exceeding customer expectations is an important factor to measure for any organization. Without properly evaluating our customer’s likes and dislikes, how can we be sure they are satisfied with our brand, product, or service? How can we be sure they will continue to give us their business?
While this concept is likely no revelation to sales leaders, it is important to clarify customer satisfaction should not be the only thing you are paying close attention to. Why? Because meeting the expectations of your customers is not the only factor that determines the level of success your organization can achieve.
Before your customers were…well, customers, they were prospects. They entered the sales funnel with some level of awareness or perception of your brand. While their awareness and perception of your organization was likely a positive one, you cannot assume the same as your current target market.
That is where brand equity studies come into play. A brand equity study provides real insight (not assumptions) into if your target customer knows you exist, what he or she thinks your business represents, and, why they have chosen a competitor over you.
What kinds of questions should you focus on in a brand equity study? This is dependent on your main objective for conducting non-customer research. However, to help get you started, our market research company has 4 critical questions you should be asking in your brand equity survey.
Unaided or Top of Mind Awareness
When measuring the awareness of your target demographic it is important to not skew the results in any way. This is oftentimes why researchers recommend conducting a brand equity study with a third-party because the sponsor of the study remains anonymous or blinded.
If the survey is branded with your company logo, and you ask how aware someone is of your organization, the results will naturally skew higher. This provides your team with inaccurate and unreliable results, which will hurt your marketing or business strategy moving forward.
An example of an unaided question for a brand equity survey would be types of SUVs. A car dealership may ask respondents:
“Name the first two or three car dealerships that come to mind when you think of SUVs.”
What percentage of respondents listed your car dealership first? What competing car dealerships ranked higher? This information is extremely valuable.
Yep, there are two types of awareness questions you should include in your brand equity study: aided and unaided awareness.
Aided awareness is similar in that it is better to not mention the sponsor of the study. You want to most honest answers and feedback possible. There is one major difference.
Keeping with the car dealership example from above, this is where you would list 8 or 10 brands of SUV’s and ask the respondent to select what brands they are aware of.
Understanding what word or words come to mind when someone hears or sees your brand name can help determine what the perception of your organization is. Not only can you determine the word association around your brand, but competitors too.
For example, say our market research company was conducting the brand equity study for the auto dealership. From the list of brands we provided in the awareness question, we would program the survey to next ask respondents what word or phrase comes to mind when they see the brand of SUVs they said they were aware of.
This question helps compare how good or bad your competitors are perceived by your target audience. The words or phrases mentioned in this question can help create a strategic marketing campaign to encourage prospects to choose you over a competitor.
Lastly, perception. Of those brands of SUVs respondents are aware of, ask respondents to list their level of perception on a scale of positive, neutral, or negative.
Although your customers and employees think you’re a great place of business and love working with you, it doesn’t mean you should assume the perception among your community is also positive. One bad online review can scare any prospect away from giving you their business.
It is important to truly understand how well you are perceived to know how you should market your brand, product, or service.
Drive Research is a national market research company. Our team specializes in several types of custom market research services, including brand equity studies. Want to learn more about what our team can do?
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