Brand perception can make or break your business which is why it is so important. In fact, all your marketing and sales tactics can go in vain if you cannot convince your customers of how good you are. If you think about it, you’ll realize that all the purchases that you make – products or services, are influenced by brand perception. Nearly 81% of customers want to trust a brand before they invest their money there. Creating a good brand image is not an easy feat. People are bombarded with thousands of advertisements (which they prefer to avoid), each company drooling for customer attention. To grab attention towards your business, it is important for you to stand out.
In this article, we will discuss the four key drivers influencing brand perception. We will also discuss why brand perception is so important and how you can measure it.
Why is brand perception important?
As a business owner, you might think that you understand exactly what your brand represents.
Yet, that’s far from the truth.
Your brand image is not how you see it, but how your customers perceive it. What you think about reflects your aspirations for it, not what public opinion is about it. This public opinion decides a lot for your business. It decides whether or not people will buy from you, how much are people willing to pay for your product, and whether you stay in the market long enough to get a robust foothold. Imagine that a customer has a really bad experience with your company. It might be in due to poor customer service or the quality of your product. In today’s day and age, the news of this bad experience will spread like wildfire, especially if you’re already a reputable brand. Another reason you want to keep working on brand perception is that trends keep changing. What people see as ‘in’ today, may not be what they want tomorrow.
Denim brand Levi’s is a great example of this. The brand was skyrocketing in the mid-nineties. However, with the beginning of fast fashion in the early 21st century, its sales took a major blow. So, the brand made a major comeback after revamping its products and collaborating with some high-profile brands like Jordan B. Its campaign ‘Live in Levi’s’ was a huge hit and the brand continues to rule the denim market today.
How to measure brand perception?
Since brand perception is critical to establishing brand equity and its influence on sales and profitability, it must be measured on a regular basis. Here are three ways to measure brand perception.
- Create surveys
- Monitoring social media websites
- Holding force groups
Surveys are the easiest ways to help you learn better about what your customers think of your brand. They are simple to fill and enable customers to give feedback. You can create a survey easily using brand perception templates available online. These templates can track real-time brand insights in your result dashboard. Surveys help you find loopholes in your products or services so you can start working on improving your brand. It also adds to your market research because you already know what customers want from you which gives you an edge over your competitors.
2. Monitoring social media websites
People are truly honest on social media, therefore you should monitor mentions and reactions to your brand on Facebook and Instagram. It helps you assess the effectiveness of your social messaging. Knowing what people are discussing or posting about your brand allows you to reply quickly and expand your social presence more quickly.
3. Holding force groups
Gather people in small groups from your target audience and ask for honest reviews from them. You can either hold a focus group via video calls or in person. Though it sounds old school, focus group discussions help you identify weak areas in your business and how to positively improve product design.
4 Key Drivers Influencing Brand Perception
1. Online conversations
Online conversations are the top driver that influences brand perception. Social media websites, articles, forums, and blogs about your product greatly determine how people perceive your brand. Apart from that review websites like Google and Glassdoor, where people generally come to vent about their experiences with a certain product, greatly determine how successful your brand is going to be. As per research, there’s a risk of losing nearly 22% of business if people find even a single negative review about you on these websites.
2. Brand globalness
Brand globalness is referred to as the availability of a brand worldwide. It is another important factor that drives brand credibility in an emerging market. A positive brand globalness is associated with several factors. These factors can help you create a strong image for your company.
Scarcity and a higher price
Consumers tend to associate a higher price and scarcity of a product with a better brand image. It creates a sense of aspiration among them. In fact, some studies indicate that consumers will buy a global product to enhance their image among peers and portray themselves as modern and sophisticated. Some examples include Starbucks, Nintendo, and Gucci, although exceptions like Coca-Cola do exist.
People generally think that if a brand is globally available, it must be of superior quality. This enhances its perceived prestige which again, drives a positive brand perception. As an example, advertisements for Nivea Visage have used testimonials from women across the world to improve its image and send a message of high quality.
3. Customer service
Almost everyone who has had bad customer service will remember it. A call to customer care is frequently a user’s first human-to-human engagement with your organization. That agent, for better or worse, becomes your brand until the call is terminated.
When a consumer has a negative experience, you can be sure that their friends, family, and coworkers will learn about it faster than ever before, thanks to the power of the internet. People who have terrible experiences are particularly driven to share them on social media because they make for fascinating, effortlessly viral material. These viral stories have the potential to leave a greater impact on your business than advertising, packaging, and other elements combined.
4. Brand website
User experience or UX is how a user feels about your website when engaging with it. It includes whether the user is getting what they were looking for, if they faced certain constraints and how easily they were able to overcome it, and the overall design and user-friendliness of it. User experience is not just the visual design, but the overall experience for the customer as they engage with your site and its pieces, and how each aspect influences the total. Considering the number of options that your customers have, one cannot stress enough on how important it is to make a positive impact on them. Your website is frequently one of the first contacts with your audience, and the experience may make or break their image of your organization. In fact, 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a negative experience.
Positive brand perception for scaling your business
Creating a positive image of your brand is not so simple. There’s too much competition for every product/service, regardless of the industry. If you are an emerging brand, it gets even more difficult to do so. It is not a single day or a month’s work. You need to keep working on improving your brand image every single day. If you don’t, rest assured, your competitors are going to leave you far behind. It is not always about advertising and campaigns. When you start listening to your target audience and start a two-way dialogue, you have a better probability of creating a positive impact. Remember, your consumers are not dependent on you, they have immense options to turn to. It is you who depends on them. So, if you still haven’t thought of putting more work into brand perception, now is the time to start.
Photo credits: Unsplash
Author bio- Tuba Sarosh
Tuba Sarosh is a result-driven SEO content writer and editor, who helps businesses turn their readers into clients. She writes about trends, tips, how-tos, and other cool stuff that helps businesses serve their customers better. When not writing, she’s either reading a good book or experimenting with recipes.