There’s more versions of “YES”

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing, Marketing

Think through and answer the following questions for yourself:

01) What has to happen in a restaurant for you to rate it with a single star?

02) What has to happen in a restaurant for you to rate it with five stars?

You can ask both questions with other services as well – buying online, rating the movie you watched, rating the brand whose TV ad you saw, rating the packaging of a product…

The most common way of measuring customer satisfaction are surveys, and in surveys, the so-called Likert scale. For those unfamiliar with the method, here’s what the Likert scale looks like:

Neuromarketing, digital marketing, hebavioral marketing,  promosapiens, surveys, customer satisfaction, likert scale


Have you noticed that the distances between the numbers on the scale are always the same?

But is this a realistic depiction of our behavior? Is there really an equal difference between your choice to give someone 1 or 2, 2 or 3, etc …?

Some users will give 1 if their experience is really catastrophic, and 2 if the experience is improved only by a nuance, but the decision to give a 5 instead of 4 will require a lot of positive elements.

Thus, the problem of the most widely used method in research is the so-called problem of equidistance – all ratings are equally distant from each other, and this is not a reflection of real human behavior…


What if instead of the Likert scale you decide to simply ask users if their experience was positive or negative? Can a simple “YES” or “NO” give a clearer picture?

Actually, they can’t.

Why? I will show you why in an example of a study conducted by Promosapiens.

Here’s what the survey results look like in which respondents are asked if they like the ad 

Here’s what the result of neuromarketing measurement of how much respondents like the ad looks like

So, the answer to the question of whether respondents like the ad is YES, but that answer is YES on a conscious level, and on a subconscious level it is a mild positive reaction that actually enters the zone of indifference – advertising is not repulsive to me, but it is not spectacular either.

To find out how much do they like your brand, even with customers who’re inclined to your brand, especially in relation to the competition, it’s not enough to just ask them.

For example, there are several types of positive emoticons, but:

This emoticon 😂 and this emoticon 🙂 don’t show the same emotion, just as your customers do not necessarily mean the same thing when they say “YES”…