Brand Perception Surveys [2023 Ultimate Guide]

Although there are a handful of ways organizations can measure brand perception, there may be no better approach than to rely on data-driven feedback from your ideal consumers.

Brand perception surveys can be utilized in many touchpoints of the customer journey to capture a full picture of how target audiences describe your organization.

This is an effective tool in offering the best possible customer experience and improving retention rates. In addition to keeping current customers happy, understanding your brand’s perception is helpful for new business development as well.

Keep reading as our online survey agency describes how to conduct brand perception surveys and sample questions to include in your next study.

What is a Brand Perception Survey?

First and foremost, brand perception illustrates the way consumers feel about an organization and its products or services.

Therefore, brand perception surveys are a type of market research that gathers feedback from customers and non-customers to measure the overall sentiment of your brand. This is also a great opportunity to measure your brand perception vs. competitors.

Brand perception surveys collect feedback from three critical stakeholders:

  • Customers
  • Prospects or non-customers
  • Employees

These three audiences should all share similar thoughts and feelings about your brand, products, or services. An online survey is the best tool to ensure they are aligned. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: How your brand is perceived can be a make or break for earning new business. Therefore, a brand perception survey gathers feedback from customers, non-customers, and employees to showcase a 360-degree view of how your key stakeholders would describe you.

Ways to Measure Brand Perception

Insight from your key audiences can be gathered through several different types of market research such as online surveys, in-depth interviews, and focus groups.

Let's briefly cover each of these! 

Online surveys

If a brand is looking for quick and cost-effective data around brand perception, online surveys are the best choice. 

Online surveys offer…

  • Quick turnaround time
  • High-quality insights
  • Greater access to respondents 

What's more, this option is also highly versatile - making them respondent-friendly and the best choice for asking brand perception questions. 

They're also self-administered, so the respondent can take it at a time that works for them. This flexibility allows for better-quality answers because respondents can complete the surveys when/where they're most comfortable. 

Depending on the specific goals of the client, online surveys can also include both simple and complex questions. For example, this can be anything from standard multiple-choice questions to conjoint analysis

Focus groups

If a brand is looking to conduct more exploratory research, then a focus group may be the best option. 

Focus groups to measure brand perception can be run traditionally (AKA, in-person) or online. Both provide equally reliable results, the choice ultimately comes down to what's best for the client. 

Traditional focus groups offer:

  • Unique discussions among participants
  • Ability to pick up on non-verbal cues
  • In-person interactions

The in-person setting of a focus group offers tremendous insight into the research due the its intimate nature. 

Moderators are able to pick up on small details that may be glossed over otherwise. 

That said, online focus groups provide a whole host of benefits as well. 

Online focus groups offer...

  • Decreased cost
  • Flexible locations
  • Easy management

Clearly, the ease of online focus groups is a key factor in their growing popularity. Their pricing is also significantly less than in-person focus groups, making them attractive to companies who have a tight budget. 

In-depth interviews (IDIs)

When measuring brand perception, IDIs may be the best option for some businesses. 

IDIs are perfect for gathering brand perception attributes because they're strictly one-on-one. This means that they are held by a trained interviewer and a participant--that's it. 

IDIs can be ideal for brand perception surveys because they: 

  • Offer detailed insights about consumer preferences
  • Provide opportunities for meaningful conversations
  • Personal connection to the interviewer, leading to more detailed feedback.

How to decide on a methodology

Each approach is selected for varying reasons. For example, if a brand is looking to conduct more exploratory research then a focus group may be the best option.

If a brand is looking for quick and cost-effective data, then an online survey is the best choice.

If your budget allows, there's always a hybrid market research approach. In this scenario, your organization can conduct both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to gather both measurable and in-depth feedback.

More times than not, our market research company will recommend conducting online brand perception surveys.

Online surveys offer a quick turnaround time, high-quality insights, and greater access to respondents.

💡 The Key Takeaway: While there are several market research methodologies available for brand perception surveys, Drive Research often recommends online surveys to our clients. Both focus groups and IDIs have a place in this space, but online surveys are ideal.

Recommended Reading: Choosing a Methodology: Explore or Measure?


How to Conduct a Brand Perception Survey

Depending on what market research methodology your organization would like to utilize (quantitative or qualitative), the process of conducting a brand perception study is different.

As mentioned in the previous section, our market research company would likely suggest an online survey.

Below is the process our market research firm follows when conducting a brand perception survey for our clients.

Step 1: Proposal

When choosing a market research company for a brand perception survey, they will send a proposal that includes the project’s cost, timeline, and recommended approach.

Curious about how to write a market research RFP? Check out our free market research request-for-proposal template where we will guide you step by step on what information to include.

Market Research RFP Template from Drive Research - Download Now

Step 2: Kickoff Meeting

Once a proposal is signed a market research company, like Drive Research, will schedule a call with team members from your organization.

The goal of this kickoff meeting is to learn about your objectives for conducting a brand perception survey.

Understanding the objectives of any market research project is important because it helps frame the questions of a survey.

Without knowing what your team wants to learn from the research, a third party will have a hard time capturing insights that are more important to you.

Step 3: Survey Design & Program

After the kickoff meeting, our team will begin drafting the survey. Each survey is custom to our clients to assure their unique goals and objectives are met.

For instance, a brand perception survey for a hospital should not be identical to that of a restaurant.

In this stage, our market research company will send the brand perception survey to clients in a Word document.

Doing so allows our clients to share feedback or edits before the survey is programmed. Once both parties are satisfied with the questionnaire, Drive Research will begin programming and testing.

Learn more online survey programming tips in this short video from our online survey company.

Step 4: Fieldwork

The brand perception survey is ready to launch.

First, our team sends the survey to a small sample of respondents to assure it is working as intended. It is important to Drive Research that we pay attention to detail no matter how small.

Shortly after the soft launch, the brand perception survey is moved to full fieldwork.

Our market research company recommends collecting at least 400 responses, but this can be altered depending on your project budget.

Step 5: Cleaning & Analyzing Data

As responses start coming in, our experts begin cleaning the data. We remove duplicate responses, answers from survey bots, and those who are not offering honest responses.

It is important to clean responses as they are collected so that the goal number of responses is achieved in the given timeline.

For instance, if your team has paid for 500 survey responses, Drive Research will deliver 500 fully qualified responses.

Once fieldwork is closed, our market research company begins analyzing each survey question and drafting our findings.

Recommended Reading: Your Survey Fieldwork is Complete - Now What? Use These 9 Data Cleaning Tips

Step 6: Market Research Report

A market research report for a brand perception survey varies by client. The two popular reporting packages are a topline report and a comprehensive report.

A topline market research report shares the key findings of the study, while a comprehensive report is more thorough.

This type of reporting often includes an executive summary, a breakdown of the question by question results, an infographic, actionable recommendations for how to use the data, and more.

Learn more about the differences between a topline and a comprehensive market research report.

reporting packages by drive research

Step 7: Debrief Meeting

Lastly, Drive Research schedules a debrief meeting with our clients to discuss the results of the brand perception survey.

Oftentimes our project team reviews the market research report page by page. It is important for clients to have a full understanding of the data presented.

💡 The Key Takeaway: The process of conducting a brand perception survey often includes a kickoff meeting, survey design and programming, fieldwork, reporting, and a final debrief meeting to discuss how to use the results to improve your branding strategy.

Brand Perception Survey Example Questions

Depending on what audience you choose to include in the brand perception study, each survey will be designed with different questions.

Below, our market research firm shares sample questions for each key group of stakeholders.

Sample Questions for Customers

  • What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of [INSERT BRAND NAME]?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [INSERT BRAND NAME] to a friend, family member, or colleague?
  • How would you describe your last experience with [INSERT BRAND NAME]?

Sample Questions for Non-Customers

  • How familiar are you with [INSERT BRAND NAME]?
  • How would you describe your overall opinion of [INSERT BRAND NAME]?
  • How likely are you to purchase from [INSERT BRAND NAME]?

Sample Questions for Employees

  • Why did you choose to work for [INSERT BRAND NAME]?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend the services/products of [INSERT BRAND NAME] to a friend or family member?
  • What does [INSERT BRAND NAME] do that is not in keeping with the brand vision?

💡 The Key Takeaway: Brand perception survey questions will range based on the audience you are studying. By working with a third-party market research company, you can feel confident that you are including best practice questions that drive future decision-making.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brand Perception Surveys

We know this is a lot of information! Below, we've included some common questions to summarize what we've just discussed. 

How do you measure brand perception in a survey? 

This can be measured most easily by conducting an online survey with a market research firm like Drive Research. The questions in the survey will be designed for the target customer audience, providing the client with key data and additional information.

Other ways to obtain this information include in-depth interviews and focus groups, although these are not commonly used. 

What is the purpose of a brand survey? 

These surveys aim to deliver actionable insight into the impact of a brand on consumers. 

More specifically, brands often turn to this research method when they're unsure about how to nail their public messaging. Brand perception data can help companies improve marketing strategies and campaigns, allowing them to attract more consumers. 

What are good branding survey questions? 

Good survey questions to include when measuring brand perception will often cover a variety of topics. These differing questions may be targeted toward current customers, non-customers, and employees. 

Common themes include: 

  • Likelihood to recommend the brand
  • Perception of brand
  • Details on working for the brand

Final Thoughts

Organizations should consider making a small investment in brand perception surveys

Remember, the way your target market describes a brand may be similar to or completely different from how internal stakeholders would choose to describe it.

While it is important that organizations are highly perceived by their employees, the perception of customers and prospects is critical in a growing business.

Measure Brand Perception with Drive Research

Drive Research is a full-service market research company. Our team executes a variety of market research methodologies, including brand perception surveys, for organizations across the country.

Contact Drive Research by filling out the form below or emailing [email protected].



emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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