What is brand perception? How to measure and improve it

Two women work together on brand perception for their company.

A brand is nothing without its customers. People form their own opinions about brands through word-of-mouth, social media, and even online reviews—this brand perception can ultimately shape their decisions and interactions with a company.

Think about your own shopping experiences. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, will you choose Apple, the tech giant, or a lesser-known brand?

At its core, brand perception goes beyond mere recognition to encompass the emotional connections that resonate with consumers.

As with most business processes, you’ll need to conduct market research to understand your target audience. Let’s take a closer look at brand perception, how to measure it, and how to improve it.

What is brand perception? 

Brand perception is how people view your brand and how it makes them feel. Your brand perception can influence purchasing decisions and even business success. 

People form their perception of a brand based on their experience with the products or services offered, the messages they receive about the brand through advertisements or word of mouth, and the overall image the brand presents to the public. It’s important to note, however, that brand perception is not how the company perceives itself. 

Customers can also build their perception of your brand through product reviews and even the content they see on social media. To sum things up: How people feel when they see or hear about your brand is brand perception.

How to measure brand perception

Now that you’re more familiar with what brand perception is, it’s time to understand how your existing (and future) customers perceive your brand. 

By measuring brand perception, you can gain valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and track the effectiveness of your branding efforts. It’s best to gather metrics from multiple sources to ensure you’re capturing the full spectrum of brand perception.

Here are a few ways to measure brand perception:

Surveys and questionnaires

Conducting brand perception surveys and questionnaires helps you get down to the nitty-gritty and discover more about what your customers think about your brand. Choose from a variety of question types, including multiple-choice and open-ended questions, to find out what’s on their mind. For example, you can create a Net Promoter Score survey to provide the data you need to determine how people perceive your brand.

Here are a few sample brand perception questions:

  • Please describe [brand] in three words

  • What's your overall impression of [brand]?

  • What emotions do you feel when you think about [brand]?

  • What brand comes to mind first when you think of [service/product]?

Social media analytics

It’s no secret that we live in the digital age where folks aren’t shy to share their opinions online, which is why it’s crucial to track any mention of your brand on social media platforms like Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok, and even LinkedIn.

Gathering social data can help you understand your social presence. When you gain insight into what people are saying about your brand online, you can respond quickly with today’s technology—you’ll be able to tweak or maintain your brand’s social messaging faster than ever before.

Here are a few things you can uncover through social media analytics:

  • What content gets the most engagement

  • How many brand mentions you receive in real time

  • Which platforms can grow your social presence the fastest

  • How much time someone spends on your page

  • Customer reviews and comments

Focus groups and interviews

Focus groups and interviews are another market research method to measure brand perception. Gather a small sample of people, face-to-face or remote, who offer to share their opinion of the positives and negatives of your company. This can help you gain a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not.

You can learn more about how your target audience feels about your brand through open-ended questions and follow-up questions. While this is a great way to gain insight into what some people think of your brand, keep in mind that it’s a limited sample size. Also, not everyone is comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions in group settings.

Customer feedback and reviews

Keep a close eye on online review platforms, including Google and Yelp, to see what people are saying about your company and services. This is an easy way to track reviews, address any negative comments, and take action to improve your brand perception. 

Reading reviews and receiving customer feedback can help you determine what aspects of your brand customers appreciate or find lacking. You can also respond to customer feedback in a timely manner to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. Just be careful not to get defensive when responding to feedback—make sure each response is thoughtful and personalized.

Why is brand perception important?

Positive brand perception is the key to success. When your target audience trusts your company, they're more likely to purchase your products and services. Aside from maintaining a positive relationship with your customers, other businesses will be more willing to partner with you, which can help your business grow.

Knowing your target audience’s thoughts and opinions is crucial if you want to build and maintain a successful business. By measuring brand perception, you’re gathering the data you need to shape, adapt, and grow your company. Positive interactions can also boost brand equity and brand value, which can help foster long-term success. 

How do people form brand perceptions?

Creating a positive brand perception involves tapping into your customers’ senses to leave a lasting impression. 

Here are some ways people form brand perception through different senses.


Logos are among the most obvious ways people identify and remember a brand. Designing a strong (simple and direct) logo that needs little to no explanation can signal visual cues. Think about Nike’s distinctive swoosh or Apple’s apple—these logos are easily recognizable around the world. Commercials and marketing campaigns are also examples of visual cues. 


Ever catch yourself humming a random song from a commercial? Jingles and taglines are great ways to signal auditory cues and help customers remember your brand. 

Close your eyes and think about McDonald’s. Does “I’m lovin’ it!” come to mind? What about when a Nationwide commercial pops up? Do you sing along to the catchy “Nationwide is on your side” jingle? And we can’t forget the classic “Five-dollar foot long” jingle from Subway!

Songs and other musical elements are convenient ways to tell your audience about your brand with more personality. Think about whether or not you can use auditory cues with your brand’s tagline or slogan to increase brand awareness.


Have you ever noticed the soothing, earthy aroma when you go to the salon or indulge in a spa day? What about when you walk into a hotel? Even when you enter a restaurant, the smells that fill the room can make or break your experience. None of these smells are accidental—in fact, businesses will use certain smells to trigger different emotions, and some will even stir up memories. Try to use certain scents to draw in customers.


When it comes to brand perception, taste cues may sound funny—but have you ever gone to the grocery store with free samples? Product sampling is an excellent way to engage with customers and even foster a positive experience, which can result in more sales.

Don’t be afraid if you’re not at Costco's level just yet—smaller retailers can still benefit from giving out free samples. Try it at farmers markets or local events.


It’s no secret that tugging at the heartstrings is an effective way to connect with your audience. Think about those Budweiser dog commercials that show the dangers of driving under the influence. An emotional ad doesn’t have to be heart-wrenching, though—the Subaru ad with the golden retrievers will have you smiling from ear to ear. Think about which emotions you can evoke to help improve your brand perception.

How to improve brand perception

Building a positive brand perception takes time and effort, especially when your business receives negative feedback. While it may not be easy, there are plenty of ways to improve your brand perception.

Create consistency in branding

Maintain consistency across all branding touchpoints, including messaging, visual aids, and customer experiences. Consistency helps reinforce your brand’s identity and values while fostering customer trust and recognition. Make sure to define your brand’s values, mission, and uniqueness before creating a strategy to improve your brand perception.

Deliver exceptional customer experiences

Focus your efforts on delivering outstanding customer service and customer experiences in every interaction. Make sure to prioritize your customers’ needs, listen to their feedback, and go the extra mile to exceed their expectations. Positive experiences often result in positive brand perception.

Leverage storytelling and emotional connections

Share authentic and compelling stories that resonate with your target audience. Storytelling can help you connect with your audience and communicate your brand’s values, mission, and selling points effectively.

Be transparent and authentic

Transparency and authenticity are hard to come by nowadays, but they’re essential to building trust and credibility. Be honest about your business practices, pricing, and policies to help promote a positive brand perception.

Engage with customers and address feedback

Don’t shy away from negative (or positive) comments from customers. Engage with your target audience on social media by replying to comments, responding to reviews, and building a sense of community around your brand. Encourage user-generated content and provide opportunities for customers to share their experiences with your brand.

Monitor and adapt strategies

No brand has the privilege of staying stagnant. While change may sound scary, it’s important to adapt your brand as your customer base grows. Regularly monitor your brand perception through surveys, focus groups, and social media analytics, then use these insights to adapt your strategies and initiatives to ensure ongoing success.

Shape your brand perception with Typeform

Let’s face it—perception is everything. Regardless of the products or services you offer, the way people perceive your brand will define your success. While you may perceive your brand one way, your audience may think the opposite. Poor brand perception can hurt your growth and limit your customer base. 

Whether you’re a big name in the industry or just starting out, you can improve your brand perception with surveys, focus groups, and even social media. 

With Typeform, you can discover your brand perception with customizable surveys. Choose from over 1 million multimedia options, including icons, videos, and photos, to take your branded survey to the next level. 

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