Conducting Corporate Image Studies in 2023

A corporate image study, similar to a brand equity study, measures the perception of an organization among its specific target audience.

The goal is to better understand the thoughts, feelings, and expectations of the brand among that group of targeted consumers or clients. For this reason, defining the target audience is a critical factor in the success of a corporate image study.

In this guide, our market research company will discuss:

  • Defining Corporate Image Studies
  • Benefits of a Corporate Image Study
  • Factors That Influence Corporate Image
  • The Process of Measuring Your Corporate Image
  • Example Corporate Image Survey Questions

What is a Corporate Image Study?

A corporate image study is a research initiative undertaken by a company to assess and understand how it is perceived by its target audience, stakeholders, and the general public.

This type of market research involves collecting and analyzing data to gauge perceptions of the company's reputation, brand identity, values, products or services, and overall public image.

The insights gained from measuring corporate image can help organizations refine their communication strategies, make informed business decisions, and work towards aligning public perception with their desired brand image.

Benefits of a Corporate Image Study

A corporate image study serves as a strategic tool that empowers organizations to make informed decisions, strengthen their reputation, and forge deeper connections with their stakeholders, ultimately contributing to their overall success in the market.

The key benefits include:

  • Unique insights into public perceptions: A corporate image study helps a company gain a deep understanding of how it is perceived by various audiences, such as customers, investors, employees, and the public at large. This insight can reveal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential threats to the company's reputation.

  • Smart decision-making: By collecting data on how the company is viewed in the market, a corporate image study informs strategic decision-making. Organizations can identify areas for improvement, allocate resources effectively, and adjust their business strategies based on the findings, ensuring they align with public perceptions and preferences.

  • Better brand reputation management: A corporate image study enables companies to proactively manage their brand reputation. By identifying negative perceptions or misconceptions, organizations can take corrective actions and address issues before they escalate, safeguarding their brand's integrity.

  • Guidance for communication strategies: The insights from a corporate image study provide guidance for crafting effective communication strategies. Companies can tailor their messaging to align with the desired image they want to portray, ensuring consistency across various platforms and touchpoints.

  • Competitive advantage: Understanding how the company is perceived in relation to its competitors is essential for maintaining a competitive edge. A corporate image study helps identify unique selling points and areas where the company can differentiate itself in the market.

Factors That Influence Corporate Image

Corporate image is shaped by a combination of factors, and companies must actively manage these factors to build and maintain a positive reputation in the eyes of stakeholders.

Here are some key factors that can influence corporate image:

Quality of Products or Services

The quality of the products or services offered by a company plays a significant role in shaping its corporate image. Consistently delivering high-quality offerings can enhance the company's reputation.

Customer Experience

The way a company interacts with its customers, including customer service, responsiveness to feedback, and overall customer experience, greatly impacts its corporate image.

For example, when customers encounter issues or have questions, their experience with customer service representatives can greatly impact their perception of the company. 

Companies that prioritize excellent customer service and go above and beyond to resolve issues tend to earn customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Companies that demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental issues through CSR initiatives tend to have a more positive corporate image. This includes actions such as sustainable business practices, philanthropy, and community involvement.

Media Coverage and Public Relations 

How the company is portrayed in the media, as well as its public relations efforts, can significantly influence its corporate image. Positive media coverage and effective PR strategies can help shape a favorable perception.

Financial Performance

A company's financial health and performance directly influence its corporate image.

Consistent profitability and growth signal stability and competence, boosting credibility and instilling confidence among investors, stakeholders, and customers.

Conversely, financial struggles or poor performance can erode trust and negatively impact the company's reputation in the eyes of the public.

How to Measure Your Corporate Image

While there are several different ways to measure your corporate image, an online survey is the most impactful. Using market research to measure your corporate image will allow you to collect data-driven insights to steer future decision-making. This is far more beneficial than relying on secondary research or best guesses. 

But remember, the quality of your survey directly affects the quality of the insights you'll gain.

For this reason, it's worth partnering with a market research company, like Drive Research. Our team can invest time and resources in crafting thoughtful questions, selecting the right audience, and analyzing the data thoroughly to ensure your corporate image study delivers meaningful results.

Below, we outline the key steps to conducting a corporate image study for more context.

  1. Define your objectives: Clearly outline what you want to achieve with the survey. Determine the specific aspects of your corporate image you wish to measure, such as brand perception, reputation, values, product quality, customer service, etc.

  2. Identify your audience: Define the target audience for your survey. This could include customers, employees, investors, partners, or the general public. Tailor the survey questions to their perspective and level of interaction with your company.

  3. Design survey questions: Craft well-structured and unbiased questions that directly relate to your objectives. We recommend using a mix of closed-ended (multiple-choice) and open-ended (text-based) questions to gather quantitative and qualitative data

  4. Field the corporate image survey: Choose appropriate distribution channels for your survey, such as email, social media, or your company's website. Ensure the survey is easily accessible and mobile-friendly to accommodate respondents' preferences.

  5. Data analysis and reporting: Once fieldwork is closed, the team runs data quality checks and begins the analysis. After this, report writing begins. We translate the insights into actionable recommendations to identify areas for improvement, address negative perceptions, and capitalize on positive feedback to strengthen your corporate image.

  6. Continuous improvement: Our team recommends conducting regular corporate image studies to track changes in perception over time and evaluate the effectiveness of your initiatives. It is important to adjust your strategies based on evolving perceptions and feedback.

Example Corporate Image Survey Questions

Here are a few corporate image survey examples questions.

Q1: What is your perception of the following brands? Select one for each. 

corporate image surevy example question 1

Q2: What do you know about the following brands? Enter your response below.

corporate image surevy example question 2

Q3: [Show brands respondents use only] How satisfied are you with the following brands you’ve used? Select one for each. 

corporate image survey question example 3

Q4: [Show brands respondents are aware of only] Which of the following brands have you used? Select all that apply. 

  1. Example brand 1
  2. Example brand 2
  3. Example brand 3

Contact Us to Conduct Corporate Image Studies

Drive Research is a national market research firm located in Upstate New York. We have helped businesses and brands from across the country conduct successful corporate image surveys. Interested in partnering with our team?

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



emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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