A quick guide to brand awareness survey design

Brand awareness survey results are valuable to brand owners by showing what proportion of the general public, or of their target market, have heard of their brand.

Such surveys are usually undertaken online, and would typically (though not necessarily) have a sample size of 500-1000 respondents. They may be conducted on a one-off basis, or at regular intervals. In the latter case the survey may be referred to as a brand tracker. A tracker would be run in regular waves, perhaps quarterly, or even annually.

Demographic questions

A brand awareness survey will typically need to have the demographic questions at the start of the questionnaire, rather than at the end. So, this would include gender, age, region, etc…

This is so that the sample can be properly structured, to include the correct number of males, females, etc…

Selecting the audience

In addition, the questionnaire may need to include various screener questions. It all depends on who the survey is with. It could be with a nationally representative sample of the general public. Or, more likely, it could be only with the target market.

For example, if the survey is for a brand of hair dye then the brand owner is most likely to be interested in awareness among buyers of hair dye, rather than just anybody. Hence, the survey would need a screener question to identify hair dye buyers, and exclude non hair dye buyers from the survey. There is a particular skill involved in framing screener questions, to make sure they are effective in excluding non target market customers.

Spontaneous brand awareness

After the demographic and screener questions, usually the survey will ask spontaneous (or unprompted) brand awareness first of all. In other words, respondents will be asked to write in their answers, rather than selecting from a list.

Prompted brand awareness

The spontaneous awareness question will typically be followed by a prompted brand awareness question. In other words, respondents will be shown a list of brands and asked which they have ever heard of or are aware of. Ideally this list would not be too long, and only include the leading brands. Otherwise the respondent may well find it too daunting to read through all the choices. Then there is a risk of them giving inaccurate answers.

Other questions

Although a brand awareness survey is concerned primarily with awareness, it may also explore attitudes. For example, it could include questions about “Ever bought”, “Would consider buying”, and so on.

If you are considering running a brand awareness survey we would be pleased to talk it through with you.

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