Survey Design Tip #4: Brands are people too


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Here’s another questionable practice in the survey research industry. It’s very common and the brand people love it. But, survey takers hate it! What am I talking about? Surveys where the brand is talked about as if it was a person. Check out this example for a non-alcoholic beverage:
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I know some arrogant people and I know some dominant people. I can’t say I’ve ever met an arrogant or dominant beverage. Now, that’s not to say I don’t understand why the survey is set up like that. It is extremely useful to understand how people perceive your brand and this is one way of doing it. It works fabulously in focus groups when you lead the folks into a new way of thinking about a product.
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Unfortunately, a lot of survey takers just don’t have the time, incentive nor inclination to get as passionate about a product as the brand manager does. The brand manager lives, eats, and breathes that brand. They come to work, spend 8 to 14 hours reading about it, researching it, and hypothesizing about it. At the end of the day, that brand really is a person to them.
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To me, it’s just a can of pop. And i’m thirsty now.

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