In Marketing

Recently, in her post Breaking Down Brand Barriers, Tracy shared Dana’s principal philosophy. It bears repeating: “…like a real person, a brand builds relationships based on its characteristics and reputation…(it’s) a collection of perceptions and beliefs that live in the hearts and minds of your customers.”

That got me thinking. When planning marketing strategies, it’s easy to focus your attention on attracting new customers. But what about existing customers? After all, they’ve already formed their perception of your brand, whether through one or repeat experiences. Failing to account for their feelings could be a surefire way to alienate fans—your core customer base—and miss out on the best opportunities to improve your brand image.

So what do they really think about you? What brought them to you in the first place, and what makes them come back for more? For the fiscally minded out there, what motivates them to close the deal?

There’s only one way to find out. Ask! Conducting a brand perception survey provides you with an invaluable understanding of how your brand is currently viewed, what it is actually delivering (and what it could) and how you can strengthen its reputation and better impact your bottom line.

But your brand awareness market research is only as good as the way you stage it. Presenting our key tips for crafting meaningful, high-quality brand perception customer surveys:

Lure them with treats.
An enticing incentive can work wonders to encourage participation. Be sincerely grateful with your thank-you gift (think exclusive offer or giveaway), and your customers will be that much more motivated to pitch in.

Anonymous all the way.
For better or for worse, allowing your customers to remain nameless grants them the freedom to be totally truthful. You’re more likely to receive constructive criticism and reap the benefits of a far more effective survey.

It’s a survey, not a second job.
Therefore, it should be quick and easy. Respect your customers’ limited time and their willingness to help, and be up front about how much time is involved. Surveys should take only several minutes to complete.

Don’t be boring.
To get the full picture, ask engaging questions designed to provoke thoughtful responses. Limit surveys to top-priority, focused questions, and omit any that are irrelevant or less important to your immediate goals.

Honesty is the best policy.
All in, or all out. It’s not doing your brand any good to skew the results to what you prefer to hear. Open up the dialogue, keep it real and let your customers do the talking.

Assess your brand identity, and start building a more powerful brand. To sharpen your brand survey strategy, contact

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