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Brand Research

Brand research is a broad term that covering different types of insight activity to support and strengthen your brand.


The three main types are:

  • Brand awareness: measures how well your brand is known, how this compares with your competitors and how it changes over time.  

  • Brand perceptions: what people think about your brand, the immediate associations and what is driving those views.

  • Advertising awareness: measures if the advertising has been seen, what people can recall and how, if at all it affects their perception of your brand.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is understanding if people know or recognise your brand and how much they actually know. Brand awareness is generally thought of as the first step in the buying process and the most important.


It is therefore a key metric of a brand’s health. 

Spontaneous and Prompted Brand Awareness

Brand awareness research needs to measure both spontaneous and prompted awareness (also referred to a brand recall or recognition):

  • Spontaneous awareness: 

    • Spontaneous is another way of saying “unaided” brand awareness. It gives a clear view of the brands that are in people minds without any other stimulus. 

    • In particular, the first brand that people mention, their ‘top of mind’ brand is a key measure. 

    • “When thinking about home printers, what brands can you think of?    

      • First mention

      • Other brands spontaneously mentioned 

  • Prompted awareness:

    • Prompted awareness is another way of saying “aided” or brand recognition. It identifies which consumers have some, but low awareness of the brand.  This measures the total awareness of the brand. 

    • Customers are given a prompt with either the name or shown the logo.  

    • “Which of these brands of home printers have you heard of, if any?”

      • Brand x 

      • Brand y

Monitoring brand awareness and that of competitors is therefore a key tool for brand managers to understand the brand health and the impact of marketing activities.   

Brand Perception Research

Brand perception plays a crucial role in shaping how customers perceive your brand and influences their decision-making process. It refers to the way in which your target audience views and interprets your brand's image, reputation, and overall identity.


A positive brand perception is essential for attracting and retaining customers, as it builds trust and credibility in the minds of consumers.

Understanding Brand Perception

Understanding brand perceptions involves analysing various aspects such as customer feedback, employee and other stakeholder views.


This can be done using different market research techniques:

  • Qualitative (interviews, focus groups etc): to explore in depth what people think and importantly, understand what is driving those perceptions. 

  • Quantitative (surveys): to measure how many people hold different view and importantly, how views differ by sub groups such as age. 

  • Desk research: a surprising amount of information about a brand can be found online such as news, third party reviews, competitor comparisons, past employee feedback as well as information put out by the company itself.  

  • Social listening: tracking and evaluating the sentiment expressed in social media mentions

The views of customers, employees and other stakeholders can differ significantly from the company's own view.  Many projects therefore, are holistic. 

It is also important to recognise that perceptions can be shaped by both recent and past events. 

Therefore, perceptions may not reflect reality, but it is important to recognise that they are the reality for that person and cannot be discounted. 

Understand how the brand is actually perceived, enables brand managers to identify and address key gaps.  

Example Brand Perception Questions

  • How would you describe our brand in three words?

  • What comes to mind when you think of our brand?

  • How likely are you to recommend our brand to others?

  • Which brand do you consider best for ....?

Using Social Listening to Influence Brand Perception

Social listening involves monitoring and analysing online conversations about your brand. By listening to what people are saying about your brand on social media and other online platforms, you can gain valuable insights into your brand's perception. This allows you to identify and address any negative sentiments and engage with your audience effectively.

This crosses more with communications and is not something we provide.  

Advertising Awareness Research

Market research can be used to assess the effectiveness of specific advertising campaigns, or other specific marketing activity such as trade show events. 

As with brand perception research, we measure both spontaneous and prompted awareness and any impact it has on perceptions of the brand (positive or negative).  

We have experience of tracking campaigns nationally as well as specific customers and event attendees. 

Typically, we combine advertising awareness with brand perception research. 

If you would like to know more or have a project in mind, please get in contact. We will be happy to help. 

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