How to Identify Brand Attitude

Marketing Research Can Provide Valuable Insights About Brand Perceptions

Young Couple Enthusiastically Window Shopping
Henglein and Streets/ Cultura/ GettyImages

A customer's brand attitude is made up of two components: The strength of positive or negative association that a customer experiences with regard to a particular brand and the conviction that the positive or negative association is accurate. In other words, how much does the customer like/dislike a brand, and how convinced is the customer that this perception about the brand is correct?

How Survey Methods Are Used to Build Customer Brand Attitude 

Customer brand attitude is a state of mind that enables a consumer to view a brand through a filter.

Consumers develop viewpoints about brands along with a spectrum or continuum, but nothing is lost by thinking of this spectrum as a type of Likert scale. The five or seven points of a Likert scale are markers of customer brand attitude at a particular point in time. Customer brand attitude is expressed as a lasting opinion or conception of product differentiation, whether good or bad.

What a Brand Manager Can Do

A primary purpose of brand management is to move consumers from one point on the continuum to another.  And naturally, the objective is to move consumers up the continuum. For example, when analyzing customer satisfaction survey response data, a market researcher talks about moving the survey respondents from a mid-range box to the two top boxes in the scoring range. An example of this follows: 

What Is Meant by Top Box Scores on Satisfaction Surveys

A customer satisfaction survey often uses a 5-point rating scale, a practice that is similar to a Likert scale.

The number five generally represents a very satisfied customer, while the number one represents a very dissatisfied customer. This convention is primarily due to the tendency of people to consider larger numbers as suggesting a better rating.  This line of thinking is associated with the practice of using percentages with 100% considered to be the best possible score.


Using this five point rating scale, the percentage of customers who chose to mark the number 5 when responding to a question are grouped as “top box” raters. This means that a total score for the top box represents 100 percent of the customers who selected the number 5. The total score for the top box does not, then, consider ratings of 1 through 4 as counting toward the total score. 

How Do You Figure? For instance, two survey responses have been received: the first customer marked a rating of 5 on brand quality, while the second customer gave brand quality a rating of 3. In this example, the top box score is 50, which is taken to mean that 50% of the customers are very satisfied with the brand quality. The calculation to arrive at this figure is: [ (100 + 0) / 2 surveys = 50 ]

The top box scoring methodology is an aggressive scoring system in which positive changes are not easily accomplished. That is to say that it is difficult to “move” a customer into the top box range. A key advantage of using such a rigorous rating system is that it tends to compel an all-hands-on-deck orientation to provide stellar experiences for customers.

The Value-Add of Very Satisfied Customers

The lifetime value of customers who rate in the top box range has been shown by market researchers to be much greater than for customers who respond that they are just satisfied with their consumer experience.

Concerted efforts to raise customer satisfaction is considered a good way build customer brand affinity and brand loyalty.