Wednesday, February 22, 2012

7 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Brand Your Online Survey

Some DIY Marketers will tell you that it doesn't matter what your online survey really looks like - people will answer it and you'll get data and that's all that matters.  I'm not so sure.

While I wouldn't go spending thousands on branding and customized templates just to make my survey look good.  I'd want my survey to look professional and match the branding that I have for my organization -- wouldn't you?

What does it mean to "Brand" your survey?

We all may have different definitions of what "Branding" a survey really is.  I'm going to say that "Branding" your survey means that it has a "look and feel" that is clearly defined as your brand.  If you stood 20 people against a wall and asked them who sent the survey -- they would say your company name.

So what might they see that would give them the idea that it was from your company?

  1. The logo - Placing your logo in the survey gives a clear message as to which company is sponsoring the survey.  More than anything, your logo will put your respondents in a specific mindset as to how to respond to the survey.  You can easily upload your logo inside your QuestionPro or Survey Analytics platform once - and have it available to use over and over again.

  2. Slogans or taglines - A slogan or tagline can often define a brand more powerfully than the logo.  Insert your slogan or tagline in the header of your survey as a graphic or if it's keyword rich, you can insert it as text.

  3. The colors - People quickly recognize a brand by the color combinations that you use.  You can easily use a base QuestionPro or Survey Analytics template and then create a branded header that you upload as an image.  Like a coat of paint, it's a quick and easy way to brandify your online survey with very little effort.

  4. Typography - Fonts are another defining element of a brand.  If you're using a unique font, be sure to show it prominently in the header art so that your brand shines through - and then use a complementary font for your questions.

  5. The tone of the questions - Brands aren't just visual, they have a voice.  Be sure that the questions are worded in your brand's voice.  If your brand is very professional, then it doesn't make sense to create fun, casual questions with snarky answer options.  Likewise, if your brand is more fun and casual, you will shock your audience by using a formal voice or tone to your survey.

  6. Images and photography - Some brands use illustrations, others use photography and still others have a style to their videos.  Be sure that the design images you use define your brand while still leaving you space to use images and video in your online survey.

  7. Values and purpose - These are can often be forgotten whenever a survey opportunity comes along.  If you're surveying your customers and they know it's you -- then be careful and mindful about the topic of your survey and see how it meshes with the values, purpose and promise that your brand stands for.  So, if your brand has clearly taken a stance or position as being environmentally conscious - you wouldn't want to do a branded that puts that position in jeopardy.



To brand or not to brand your survey

While it might be nice to always have a branded survey, it may not always be appropriate.  There are times when you want your respondents to THINK about your brand and times you don't.

When you customize and brand your survey, your respondent sees that brand and is instantly influenced by what they think and feel about the brand as they answer the questions.  This isn't always a bad thing.

When doing surveys on customer satisfaction or customer experience, I want them to think about my brand and what they expect from my brand as they answer the questions.  I want them to take their expectations and overlay them on their actual experience and then give me that impression.

If, however, I'm thinking about taking on a position that's different from what might normally be expected from my brand -- for example, say my brand has taken a stand against animal testing and now I'm considering some animal testing.  It might not be a good idea to blast my brand on that survey.  I would want to know what my audience feels about animal testing without being influenced by my brand.

The bottom line is that using a DIY online research tool doesn't have to look unprofessional.  You can create a high-end customized look to your brand with very little effort or even technical skill.
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