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How to conduct a survey to improve your brand identity

Guest author Matt Diggity shows how you can improve your brand identity by conducting more surveys with your customers.

User research

Last updated

18 Aug 2022
How to conduct a survey to improve your brand identity

Does your brand truly reflect your ethos as a business? It may seem a straightforward question, but many brands fail to represent themselves in the way they originally intended. 

Your brand identity is one of the most important things to consider when marketing a business. Get it wrong, and customers will turn away from a company that doesn’t align with their values and individual preferences. 

This article will demonstrate how you can improve your brand identity by conducting a survey. Surveys can reveal fantastic insights into your customers and what they expect from your brand. 

Let’s get started. 

The importance of brand identity

A brand identity reveals a lot about your business. Think of it as your shop window to a world of potential customers. To attract and retain loyal customers, you need to advertise your brand in the best possible light. 

Many global brands have built their reputations on having a solid brand identity.

The foundations of a strong brand identity start with powerful visual elements, most often in the form of a logo. The logos below are instantly recognizable and have become cemented in our minds due to their association with quality and trustworthiness. They also represent brands that are leaders in their own niches.

Aside from wide recognition, a strong brand identity represents a solid reputation and personality. 

An example of a solid brand identity is The Huffington Post, a digital-only news brand. When they launched 17 years ago, they were the first news brand to be digital-only. But ever-increasing competition forced the website to rebrand to Huffpost in 2016. 

This rebrand makes the company appear more suited to the online-only news territory and more comfortable with its identity. Since its inception, the rebrand has remained in place, suggesting a successful move by the company. Their editor-in-chief, Lydia Polgreen, saw the change as part of a broader reimagining of the brand’s mission. 

Polgreen even claims that the rebranded name is “what our readers call us anyway.” Embracing a name that customers are already comfortable with reinforces familiarity and signified a natural move for Huffpost specifically.    

One of the best ways of measuring your brand identity is via a survey. Surveys help you to see what consumers think of you. Negative feedback could be the reason for a rebrand. You can also see whether your brand goals align with perceptions and whether your rebrand is working. 

A survey allows you to collect insights from the public. You can match these insights with your intentions as a brand to see if you’re speaking your audience’s language. 

How to conduct a survey 

The questions you ask in your survey will be critical to the further development of your brand identity. Therefore, your questions and answer options will also need to be clear. They need to fully address the areas in which your brand needs to improve. Here are tips you should follow in conducting a survey for brand identity development:

1. Use surveys to create buyer personas

Why do your customers keep coming back to your brand? It’s probably because they can relate to your brand and vice-versa. To build a relatable brand, you need to create buyer personas. These will help you create better campaigns across email campaigns, social media, and content marketing. 

A buyer persona is something that your loyal customers have in common. In your surveys, you ask demographic questions to get statistics such as age and gender. You can also use survey questions to gauge interests and more about consumers' backgrounds. Then, use these insights to create better marketing materials moving forward.  

Dollar Shave Club advertisements, for instance, typically use humor because their surveys revealed that their audience responds favorably to funny ads. Their market research also shows that many of their customers are males of a certain age, and in the case of the ad below, a certain body type:

dollar shave club dad bod

By celebrating the ‘dad bod,’ Dollar Shave Club reinforced its brand identity as a top source of grooming products, whether their customers are dads or models or anywhere else in between. After all, a business named Dollar Shave Club should embrace accessibility and diversity.

Regardless of your industry, your marketing campaigns could always use insights from customer demographic data.

Once you’ve identified your buyer persona, you can work on optimizing it for your customers.

2. Find problems that your product can solve

Every brand should solve a problem customers face. Why else would anyone buy from you specifically? But, first, you need to show potential customers what benefits your products can give. 

You can identify pain points that consumers are facing via surveys. The insights you gain can help you create new product lines to target those pain points. That ensures niche relevancy.

A survey also helps you understand how people are using your product and how you can market the product better. Surveys can also help identify frustrations people have with your product, which you can then improve to make people happier. 

For example, Apple advertises their products as being simple to use. Apple recognizes that most individuals aren’t interested in tinkering around with complex settings (a problem in the tech industry for many consumers). Instead, they want a device that works straight out of the box.

Since Apple’s products ‘just work,’ this is a desirable feature for the everyday consumer, and such a strategy has worked wonders for the company. 

A survey would help you create products that people will like. For example, when Apple released their iPhone 5S in 2013, it included a brand-new feature—a fingerprint sensor (called Touch ID). Customers who bought the phone were later sent 10-minute surveys asking them what they thought of Touch ID.

Also, notice how 'ease of use' is a primary point in the survey questions. Apple recognized that making iPhone users put in a passcode to unlock their phone was time-consuming and not as secure as a biometric sensor. This was the 'pain point' they identified, hence the introduction of Touch ID.

This survey helped to solidify their assumptions that this new feature was worth their while. Touch ID continued to be used in iPhones until the iPhone X in 2017 (when Face ID first became a standard feature on all new iOS devices). 

Identify a similar pain point that your products can 'heal' and market the solution. Then, make your customers want to buy from you because you're doing them a favor and making their life easier. 

3. Focus on knowing consumers’ opinions of you

A positive vibe around a brand is fundamental to its success. How do you want your consumers to feel? Relaxed? Relieved? Establish how they feel about your brand by asking them in your survey. If the results aren’t so positive, then take steps to address this. 

A good option for your question is to list many positive and negative adjectives and ask customers to tick the ones that apply to your brand. Then, look for common trends in the results. 

For example, if 50% of respondents tick the word ‘overpriced,’ then revisit your pricing structure. Allow the results of this question to direct your next move concerning improving your brand identity. 

Ask customers how they feel about other critical aspects of your brand, too. These include your logo, colors used, typeface, photos/videos, and your main website's design. In addition, web development helps your business build brand perception. A survey question such as ‘how was your experience with the website’ will go a long way in improving the customer experience.

Hotjar NPS survey

The results from this type of survey will identify how successful your brand identity improvement process has been, or at least identify areas in need of further improvement. You want your brand to appear competent, attractive, and instantly recognizable to attract and retain customers. Link your brand with positive vibes, and you’ll be on your way to either maintaining a positive association or subverting a negative one.

Customers, in general, prefer it when a company takes its perception seriously. Consumers expect a company to understand their needs and expectations. Consumer opinions are valued. 

4. Ask how to differentiate selling proposition 

A unique selling proposition (USP) is another way of telling potential customers why they should choose you. Ask consumers in your survey whether your brand does something that other brands don't do, and you’ll identify your USP. 

Conversely, ask how your brand could do things differently from other brands. 

The most effective USPs take a unique quality and confer how that exceptional quality will benefit all potential customers. Many USPs come in the form of slogans.

For example, Avis boosted their market share by 7% in just three years, thanks to one clever slogan. Knowing that they were consistently the second-largest rental company behind Hertz, they turned a negative into a positive with their copy ‘We're number two. We try harder.’ 

How did they come up with such a counter-intuitive yet catchy slogan? Avis used a customer opinion survey to get feedback from their customers. One common thread that emerged in customer responses was that Avis constantly went the extra mile to make its customers happy. Hence, the slogan ‘We try harder.’

Carve out your niche, show why it's unique to you and why it can benefit everyone looking to buy your products. You should be on to a winner.

5. Get ideas on how to fine-tune image

It would help if you also asked survey questions about what changes you need to make in the future. 

Getting your customers to analyze your brand identity with fresh eyes can reveal areas you may never have even considered needing improvement. So, allow room for more detail in the answers respondents give to get as much detail as possible. 

Apple achieves a high net promoter score (NPS) by carefully listening to the customer and actively responding to feedback on their experiences. Negative reviews are highlighted immediately. Within 24 hours, store managers call those who gave low scores and ask how they can improve. 

Using customer responses, Apple store managers coach their employers on the finer points of customer service. While it might seem like a performance management matter, Apple takes so much pride in its customer experience that it has also become a key component of its brand identity. This attention to customer service reportedly yields an extra $25 million worth of revenue each year.

Conclusion

Ensuring your brand reflects your values is crucial to its success. Conducting a thorough survey should highlight any areas of concern you may need to address. 

Refining your brand identity will enable you to attract the right customers for your brand. In addition, such refinement will help cement your position in a crowded marketplace. Follow these tips so you can use surveys to improve your brand identity. Make sure you encourage high engagement levels in your surveys, too.

Do all these, and consumers will always love your brand and what it stands for. 

About our guest author 

Matt Diggity is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.