A common project that we often field for our clients here at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a brand equity survey, which is often called an image and awareness survey. Many businesses find it easier to survey their own customers because they have customer samples available (phone numbers, emails, etc.) but it’s often difficult to assess a company’s image among non-customers. Therefore, because companies cannot easily access non-customer feedback, they often use a third-party market research firm to conduct an online survey or telephone survey to contact all consumers or businesses within a primary market area (PMA). By conducting a random sample study, a market research firm like RMS will be able to assess your company’s brand equity within a specific margin of error (+/- 5 percent of stated totals or better).
In many cases, RMS recommends using a telephone survey using a random sample for determining the image and awareness of a company. It provides the widest range and longest reach in a given market to consumers and businesses (using both landline and cell phone sample). General email sample purchases provide abysmal response rates (because the study needs to be blinded) and panels often do not produce enough regional participants to provide high reliability to small and mid-size companies. Using a panel for a national study where you need 400 completes for PepsiCo is a lot easier than trying to use a panel to get 400 completes on a local or regional level for Joe’s Snow Plow Company. The random telephone survey also ensures that you will obtain a representative number of completes for both customers and non-customers.
Here are four quick steps to setting up a brand equity survey:
1) Use a third-party market research vendor. Because you will be assessing awareness, image and perception of your company, it’s important to eliminate the bias that could incur if you conducted this study in-house. Using a third-party will ensure objectivity of the statistics. If you are wondering how to hire a good market research firm, click on this blog article about choosing the right market research vendor.
2) Determine the objectives of your brand equity study and work with you vendor to finalize the script. In most cases, the general topics that are covered in a brand equity survey are unaided awareness, aided awareness, source(s) of awareness, advertising recall, impressions, perceptions and associations with the business, and high-level satisfaction questions for customers. Lastly, the demographics section to understand the profile of your market.
3) Have the vendor field the survey. As mentioned before, RMS recommends using a telephone survey for image and awareness studies like this one. The market research vendor will work with you to purchase representative sample in the market (based on ZIP Codes, radius, business locations, etc.). From there you will receive fieldwork updates and initial data from the study through completion.
4) Review the report and recommendations from the vendor. A good market research vendor will provide you a dashboard/executive summary with recommendations followed by a full deck of question-by-question results for your study. You’ll receive a percentage of people in your market who are aware of your business, you’ll receive advertising awareness data, which will help improve your ROI on your advertising dollar, and you’ll receive key perception and image data in the market including a potential Net Promoter Score (NPS), which looks at how likely consumers are to recommend your business. Obviously, there are many more benefits you will receive in the report, but that just names a few.
If you are interested in conducting a brand equity survey or an image and awareness survey and you are looking for a market research vendor to partner with, contact Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) through our Business Development Director, Sandy Baker, at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling (315) 635-9802.