What is a Brand Lift Study?

What is a Brand Lift Study?

A Brand Lift Study assesses the impact of a marketing campaign on brand perception and consumer actions by analyzing changes in key metrics before and after the initiative. It aims to understand the campaign’s effectiveness on awareness, consideration, and preference, providing valuable insights to enhance future marketing strategies, budget allocations, and business outcomes. Unlike ongoing brand tracking or broader brand equity research, brand lift studies specifically measure the short-term effects of a particular marketing effort on brand metrics.

The Benefits of Brand Lift Studies

Brand lift studies are crucial for refining marketing strategies, allowing marketers to gauge campaign effectiveness and adjust tactics accordingly. They guide budget allocation to the most impactful channels and campaigns, optimizing spend. Insights from these studies also inform future strategies by highlighting successful messaging, creative approaches, and audience targeting. Additionally, they deepen understanding of audience preferences and engagement, enabling more effective and resonant marketing efforts.

Determinants of Brand Lift Success

The effectiveness of brand lift studies hinges on factors like the quality and clarity of the creative message, strategic channel selection and targeting, meticulous media planning and execution, and the campaign’s duration and frequency. Moreover, prevailing market conditions and the competitive landscape play significant roles. Optimizing these elements can significantly boost the likelihood of achieving meaningful brand lift, underscoring the importance of thorough planning and execution in marketing campaigns.

Brand Lift Metrics to Measure

To evaluate a brand lift study’s success, several key metrics are pivotal: Ad recall gauges consumers’ memory of an ad, brand awareness measures recognition of the brand, brand consideration assesses the brand’s potential selection in purchase decisions, purchase intent evaluates the likelihood of future purchases from the brand, and brand favorability reflects positive consumer perceptions. Monitoring these metrics provides insights into a campaign’s impact on brand perception, guiding future marketing efforts.

Designing and Implementing a Brand Lift Study

Undertaking the design and implementation of a brand lift study may appear complex. Yet, with meticulous planning and execution, it is possible to gain invaluable insights that shape future marketing strategies. Here are essential steps to consider in the process of designing and implementing a brand lift study.

Setting Objectives and KPIs: Before initiating a brand lift study, it is crucial to clearly define the study’s objectives and establish the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will measure success. This establishes a definitive framework for the study, ensuring that the outcomes are both actionable and pertinent.

Choosing the Target Audience: Identifying the target audience for the brand lift study is paramount. This choice influences the research methodology and survey design. It’s important to ensure the target audience accurately represents the consumers your marketing campaign intends to reach, offering the most precise and relevant insights.

Selecting a Research Methodology: Choosing the right research methodology for your brand lift study is critical, as it affects the accuracy and reliability of your findings. Common methodologies include online surveys, face-to-face interviews, and social media monitoring, among others. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each to select the method that best fits your study’s objectives and target audience.

Developing the Survey or Measurement Tool: After selecting a research methodology, the next step is to develop the survey or measurement tool for data collection. Make sure the questions or metrics are aligned with your study’s objectives and KPIs, designed to garner accurate and insightful responses from your target audience.

Analyzing and Interpreting Results: Following data collection, the final step involves analyzing and interpreting the findings. This may include comparing metrics before and after the campaign, identifying data trends and patterns, and evaluating the marketing campaign’s impact on key brand lift metrics. It’s important to acknowledge any potential biases or data limitations and, if necessary, conduct further brand research to confirm your conclusions.

By adhering to these steps, you will achieve more precise and reliable results, forming a solid basis for your marketing and branding decisions.

Leveraging Technology and Platforms for Brand Lift Studies

The category of brand lift tools and services is incredibly fragmented, with no single brand or approach emerging as the definitive solution.

Typically, solutions fall into one of four categories: advertising platforms, brand lift platforms, proprietary brand lift products, and survey/customer experience (CX) platforms.

Advertising Platforms
Many brands start their brand lift testing using the products available on various advertising platforms. These tools are valuable as they demonstrate the incremental impact of advertising efforts on brand growth within that platform.

These platforms essentially operate in the same manner by using control/expose groups within existing ad campaigns to show the impact of brand advertising on the exposed group.

To detect lift with statistical significance, each platform enforces campaign budget minimums to guarantee the necessary impressions for the test to achieve confidence.

Current brand lift offerings from major ad platforms include:

  • Google Ads Brand Lift
  • Facebook/Instagram Brand Lift Tests
  • Amazon DSP Brand Lift
  • Spotify Advertising Brand Lift
  • Brand Lift Platforms
  • Specialty brand lift platforms exist to showcase incremental brand performance gains outside the “walled gardens” of Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.

While ad platform brand lift solutions generally work in the same way, there is usually much more variety in the methodologies and approaches used by specialty brand lift platforms.

Notable brand lift providers include:


Brand lift testing across various media types including digital, linear, addressable, and CTV without the use of cookies, emails, MAIDs, or PII
Swayable: Panel-based creative pre-testing for brand lift and other creative testing purposes, independent of ad platforms
Brand Metrics: A retargeting-based, panel-less brand lift solution for publishers that builds and targets respondents within the actual digital environment

Audience Project

A cross-device brand lift solution that operates with or without cookies by selecting the most suitable identifying methodology among identifiers and other factors
Latana: Longitudinal brand analytics SaaS that measures brand lift over time and across all efforts within a brand’s entire target audience
Proprietary Brand Lift Products
Beyond specialty brand lift platforms, there is another tier of proprietary brand lift products offered by major measurement and consulting firms in the advertising industry.

Some of these companies have been in the industry since the golden age of TV and have either acquired or developed their own proprietary brand lift solutions over time, complementing their suite of broader advertising, measurement, and research solutions.

Prominent providers in this space include Nielsen, Kantar, Ipsos, Lucid, Momentive, Core Brand, Morning Consult, Savanta, and YouGov.

Survey/CX Platforms

Lastly, some survey and customer experience (CX) solutions offer brand lift as one of many use cases for their platforms.

These SaaS products are typically used for a broad range of qualitative and quantitative research projects but can be customized to conduct brand lift studies with proper planning and execution.

Unlike the other solution categories described here, which tend to specialize in control/expose brand lift methodologies, survey/CX platform tools are more commonly used to measure brand lift over time.

Survey/CX Platforms may also be well-suited for brand lift programs in highly niche markets where developing or reaching panels or advertising audiences with statistical confidence may be challenging.

They often represent the smartest choice when brands aim to include brand lift as one of several objectives in a larger consumer insights study or brand tracking project or program.

Survey providers commonly supporting brand lift projects include:


Panel-based surveys with access to over 250 million respondents in 160+ countries, sourced through mobile apps and refined through AI
Qualtrics: The industry leader in Experience Management (XM), used by many leading brands; studies can be administered to respondents across any industry via panels, email, ads, social media, and more
Attest: Internet panel-based studies with access to 110 million people in 49 countries, boasting impressive AI and additional human checks to verify data quality


An end-to-end qualitative research solution supporting surveys, video interviews, and focus groups to help create a more comprehensive view of the customer journey
SurveyMonkey Audience: A suitable email or panel-based option for small-to-medium businesses looking to occasionally run DIY brand lift and consumer insights projects in-house

Additional considerations regarding technology include:

Ease of Use

Opt for a tool or platform that is user-friendly and easy to navigate to streamline the research process and ensure accurate data collection.
Customizability: Choose a tool or platform that allows for customization of surveys, questionnaires, or measurement instruments to tailor your research to your specific study objectives and target audience.


Ensure the tool or platform can accommodate the scale of your study, whether conducting research on a small scale or across a large, diverse audience.


Consider the cost of the tool or platform relative to your budget and the potential return on investment (ROI) it offers in terms of insights gained from your brand lift study.


A Brand Lift Study evaluates the impact of marketing campaigns on brand perception and consumer behavior by analyzing key metrics before and after a campaign. Its primary goal is to measure the campaign’s effect on awareness, consideration, and preference, thereby offering insights to improve future marketing strategies and budget allocations. Unlike ongoing brand tracking, brand lift studies focus on the short-term effects of specific marketing initiatives.

The success of brand lift studies is essential for refining marketing strategies, guiding budget allocation to the most effective channels, and optimizing expenditure. These studies help identify successful messaging, creative approaches, and audience targeting, deepening understanding of audience preferences and engagement. Success factors include the quality of the creative message, strategic channel and audience targeting, meticulous media planning, and the campaign’s duration and frequency, as well as prevailing market conditions and the competitive landscape.

Key metrics for evaluating success include ad recall, brand awareness, brand consideration, purchase intent, and brand favorability. Implementing a brand lift study involves setting objectives and KPIs, selecting the target audience, choosing a research methodology, developing a survey or measurement tool, and analyzing and interpreting results for actionable insights.

The landscape of brand lift tools and services is fragmented, with options ranging from advertising platforms, brand lift platforms, proprietary products, and survey/customer experience (CX) platforms. Effective use of technology in brand lift studies requires considering ease of use, customizability, scalability, and cost, ensuring the chosen tools and platforms support precise and actionable outcomes to inform future marketing and branding decisions.