How to use consumer surveys for brand awareness

What is a brand awareness survey?

Any product or service needs to differentiate itself from competitors and understand how they are performing in the market with the right audience. One way to measure how well they are standing out with their target audience, or whether the audience is correctly associating their brand with the product, service, or message they offer, is by tracking brand awareness. However, awareness can be hard to quantify making it difficult for teams to justify the expense associated with brand awareness campaigns. 

Brand awareness surveys are a helpful tool in measuring these efforts. These are consumer surveys that are specifically about consumer attitudes and recognition toward a brand, its competitors, and its products. 

How do businesses use consumer surveys to measure brand awareness?

Brand awareness surveys not only capture consumer sentiment but also offer a detailed breakdown of demographic audience data that can help brands ensure their message or product is resonating with the audience they are trying to reach. 

For example, if a lawn care brand was focusing on becoming top-of-mind among homeowners, they might ask consumers to list the lawn care brands that come to mind. Analyzing the results might reveal that homeowners age 45+ recognize their brand instantly, while younger homeowners identify a competitor more readily. They could use this information, along with attitudinal data, to develop a new campaign aimed at attracting younger audiences.

By using brand awareness consumer surveys, marketing and insights teams can get insights that help them understand how their brand is perceived by consumers and use that information to their advantage when it comes to pivoting or improving their positioning with target audiences. 

How to create a high-quality brand awareness survey

Like all surveys, structure brand awareness surveys clearly and logically to minimize bias or confusion. Although brands want consumers to recognize and choose their product over a competitor’s, it does not help them to present their brand as “superior” in the survey. Questions and the order they are presented should remain neutral in tone and logical in order. 

Brand awareness surveys often begin with an open-ended question asking consumers to identify brands within a specific category or products offered by a brand. Allowing consumers to freely list brands before they have seen any other questions where a name or logo might be included offers a more accurate portrayal of their ability to recall who is in the market. 

    • Please list all the lawn care brands that come to mind
    • Please list all the products that you associate with LawnBetter

Open-ended questions, while not always ideal for mobile environments, provide a non-leading way for consumers to recall whatever comes to mind when asked to think of a specific product category. 

Likert Scale questions asking consumers to rank their familiarity with a brand or competitive brand are also common near the beginning of a brand awareness survey. This helps establish the consumer’s recognition of the brand, although should follow any questions asking them to recall specific brands to get a more unbiased response. 

Brand awareness surveys also can include media, such as logos for recognition or association, or potentially a new advertisement that a brand is running in a specific geographic area. 

It is ideal to survey the target audience for a brand to determine how effective marketing efforts have been. However, target audiences can be broad or vary depending on the maturity of the brand, whether it is a new market or product launch, or if there has been an incident that inspired the brand awareness survey in the first place. 

If the brand recently launched in a new geographic area, monitoring recognition across a broad audience can help them decide who the right target audience is. Whereas if the brand or industry had recently been involved in a scandal, the focus would be on measuring the sentiment of potential customers who have shifted their perceptions as a result.

Survey template for brand awareness

To help you get started, use the Pollfish Brand Awareness survey template. Make sure to keep the best practices for creating survey questions, respondent experience, and platform in mind when developing your questionnaire for the best results.