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How to Write Better Brand Positioning Questions: Types and Examples

Naira Musallam, PhD • 21 Jun 2024

Achieving effective brand positioning requires more than just a catchy slogan or flashy logo—it demands a deep understanding of your target market and what they really want out of a brand like yours.

Today, we'll cover the fundamentals of brand positioning and share some of the key survey questions you can ask to better understand and improve your own.


What is Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning is the crafting of a distinct brand identity—one that resonates with your target audience and differentiates you from competitors. It's the foundation upon which all branding activities and marketing efforts are built, influencing everything from product development to advertising campaigns.

However, achieving effective brand positioning requires more than just a vague idea of how you want to be perceived and by whom—it necessitates a clear, well-defined strategy rooted in an understanding of consumer and market dynamics.


The Importance of Asking the Right Questions

To position your brand correctly, you'll need a clear understanding of your audience. And to get that clear understanding, you'll need to ask effective survey questions.

While simple enough in theory, developing relevant questions takes some intention and a bit of practice. But that doesn't mean it has to be complicated. 


What is a "Good" Question? 

Before we go any further, let's take a step back and investigate what a "good" survey question really is. 

Definitionally, a good survey question is: 

checkmark bullet point Clear and direct in meaning. 

 checkmark bullet pointConsiderate of user experience. 

 checkmark bullet pointFree from bias. 

 checkmark bullet pointFocused on achieving the goal of the survey. 


If that sounds incredibly simple, you're not wrong! But, it does require some forethought. 

By focusing your energy on writing straightforward, unbiased questions that point back toward your objective, you can set yourself up for high-quality insights. 


Types of Brand Positioning Survey Questions

To extract meaningful insights from your brand positioning survey, you'll want to leverage a diverse array of question types. Here are three popular question types we recommend using:


Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions encourage respondents to provide qualitative feedback in their own words, offering deeper insights into their thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Examples include:

checkmark bullet point"What is your first impression of [brand]?"
checkmark bullet point"How would you describe [brand] to a friend?"


Multiple-Choice Questions

Multiple-choice questions offer respondents predefined options, providing structure while allowing for flexibility in responses. Examples include:

checkmark bullet point"What would convince you to switch brands?". The options can include price, convenience, uniqueness, values, etc.


Rating Scale / Likert Scale questions

Rating scale questions prompt respondents to assign a numerical value to their opinions or experiences, allowing for quantifiable data analysis. Examples include:

checkmark bullet point"On a scale of 1-10 ranging from I don't like it at all to I extremely love it, rate the following X brands 
checkmark bullet point"Has your perception of [brand] changed within the last [x] months?"


10 Great Brand Positioning Questions to Use

1. What first comes to mind when you think of [brand]?" (Open-ended)

2. "What is your first impression of [brand]?" (Open-ended)

3. "Which three words would you use to describe [brand]?" (Multiple choice or open-ended)

4. "How would you describe [brand] to a friend?" (Open-ended)

5. "On a scale of 1-10, rank the following brands." (Rating question)

6. "Rank the following brands from most to least favorite." (Rank question)

7. "In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between [brand] and [competitor]?" (Multiple choice or open-ended)

8. "What would convince you to switch brands?" (Open-ended or multiple choice)

9. "How would you describe your last experience with [brand]?" (Open-ended)

10. "Has your perception of [brand] changed within the last [x] months?" (Multiple choice)


Tips for Writing Your Own Brand Positioning Questions


Begin with an End in Mind

Before you even begin a rough draft of a brand positioning survey, you need to clarify the objectives of your study. What do you want to know, exactly?

A great way to do this is by asking yourself (or your team) some basic questions, like how will this data be used? What metrics matter most to us? And what decisions could be made based on the insights we uncover?

Nailing down these details early on will ensure your questions are relevant and the feedback you collect is reliable. 


Use Simple Phrasing

Unless your sample is a specific targeted group (think Ph.D. students or IT decision-makers), it's best to keep your language simple and free of jargon, undefined acronyms, or buzzwords. 

A general best practice is to write questions at your audience's level of understanding. If the sample for your survey is the general public, you'd want to write for a 6th-grade level of comprehension. That means keeping your vocabulary and sentence structure direct and simple


Provide Alternative Answer Options

It's impossible to list every potential answer to a question.

That's why you should always provide alternative answer options for multiple-choice questions, like; "none of the above" and "other- please specify."

Including these additional options gives respondents an out in situations where they would otherwise be compelled to select a choice that didn't reflect their feelings.


Vary Your Question Types

Multiple-choice questions aren't the only (or best) way to collect feedback!

Adding rank order, matrix, or rating-scale questions can make your survey more engaging and provide interesting insights. A win-win for everyone. 

Plus, rating scale/slider questions work seamlessly with SightX's automated persona tool- which uses Machine Learning to uncover buyer personas you might be missing. If you're interested in this topic- check out the blog Consumer Segmentation: Maybe You Could Be Doing it Better. 


Keep Your Scales Balanced and Consistent 

We've said it before and will say it again: do not use even-numbered scales. Instead, stick to a 3, 5, or 7-point scale. 

Why? Because even-numbered scales do not leave room for a neutral option. And without a neutral option, truly neutral respondents can be forced to select a rating that doesn't reflect their feelings. 

You also need to make sure your scales are consistent.

If the first scale question you ask begins at "Very Negative" and ends with "Very Positive," you will want to keep this structure throughout your entire survey. 


For more tips on writing questions for your brand positioning surveys or any other type of study, check out this piece: The Do's and Don'ts of Writing Survey Questions.


Brand Positioning Surveys with SightX

By infusing the power of generative AI with advanced market research capabilities and survey tools, SightX makes brand positioning research a breeze. 

Green checkmark bullet pointCreate a fully customized survey, study, or experiment with a prompt.
Green checkmark bullet pointCollect data from your target audience.
Green checkmark bullet pointReceive fully analyzed and summarized results in seconds, revealing key insights and personalized recommendations.

Let us show you how simple it can be to collect powerful brand positioning insights. 

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Naira Musallam, PhD

Naira Musallam, PhD

Naira the co-founder of SightX and our in-house expert for all things research, statistics, and psychology. She received her doctorate from Columbia University, and served as faculty at both Columbia and NYU. She has over 15 years of experience in data analysis and research across multiple sectors in various industries.

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