To brand or not to brand is the question. Market researchers face this with every survey they release. Should they design the survey with corporate approved colors and logos or should they go plain Jane and avoid the design elements?
There are good reasons for both. The advent of online survey platforms has made it relatively easy to incorporate visual imagery and design elements into the survey process. This is something that was unheard of in the days of pen and paper surveys. Whether your survey involves one of the many predesigned thematic templates or your corporate identity package, creating a survey that employs visual elements can lead to a more pleasant experience for the respondent. This can support higher completion rates and better quality data.
Using a pre-designed non-branded template is appropriate if you believe the use of corporate identity elements would bias the results. This can easily occur if you are testing brand awareness or competitive positioning. We have an innate tendency to associate feelings with images. If you want to know what people really think of your brand, or your position in a competitive market, then consider using a ‘blind’ survey. This refers to a questionnaire where the respondents are not aware of the survey sponsor. This minimizes the potential for the halo effect or any bias associated with corporate logos, colors and brand statements.
On the other hand, if you are conducting a customer satisfaction study using your customers then a branded study may be appropriate. This approach tells the consumer that you are actively seeking their feedback in order to improve your product or service delivery. Another example would be a brand image study where you are actively seeking consumer insight into your brand imagery and overall identity.
Consumer and B2B marketing research professionals should have both options available. The use of a survey that is well designed (from a question flow perspective) and that is visually engaging will enhance the participant’s experience. This will go a long way toward creating an open dialog between researcher and survey respondent.
Cvent lets you pick your own path. Check out a few sample surveys to get a feel for how much flexibility you have in the look and feel!