Brand Strength Survey: Know Your Audience Better

In this new series of how-to posts, I’m going to show you how I conducted a brand strength survey at my day job for $12 of incremental cost. That survey generated at least a half-dozen major reports, all of which are useful in growing the reach and impact of our work.

(As with all my how-to series, I’m going to show you how to combine concepts and tools. I assume that you can figure out or research the details of how to use the various tools that I’ll mention. I have confidence in you and the vast amount of how-to information available on the Internet.)

If they ever thought about it, most people would equate a brand survey with asking random strangers whether they know about your product, service, or organization. That is one valid form of brand survey. However, delivering a survey to a quality list of truly random people is expensive. Once you’re done with such a survey, the main things you’ll learn are that many people don’t know your brand, and some ways to help these new folks about your brand.

But if you survey people who already know a little bit about you, in what I call a brand strength survey, you can learn a lot about how to better market to, sell to, and service your existing audience. Selling to an existing customer is much easier and more profitable than winning over a new customer.

Because your survey audience consists of people you already know, it’s much cheaper to conduct the survey. Odds are you already have a way to contact them through email, paper mail, or telephone. I’m going to focus on conducting a brand strength survey through email, since it’s the easiest and least costly method.

I can hear the scientists and survey professionals objecting already: selecting people you already know, and then letting them decide whether to respond, introduces all sorts of selection bias. Yes, it does, and that’s okay. Even if all you get are responses from your most loyal customers, that’s a worthwhile sample to study. Based on my experience, even within a biased sample such as this you’ll find important and surprising distinctions between different groups of respondents.

By structuring your survey correctly, you’ll be able to

  • Survey multiple audiences using the same survey, to save on time and labor
  • Analyze the data multiple ways for multiple uses, easily and quickly
  • Apply your analysis across much of your organization
  • Use any limited research budget to explore more formally the questions or directions suggest by your inexpensive, in-house survey

The posts in this series will show you how to

  • Write the survey questions you need in Survey Monkey, a high-quality, free survey tool
  • Distribute your survey through multiple avenues, and know what what responses came from which avenue
  • Perform your own analysis using Microsoft Excel to examine multiple facets of your data

Warm up your spreadsheets and email programs, and let’s get started!

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