Your Brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room. – Jeff Bezos
Whenever we try to do something different and we find people criticizing us, we often motivate us by saying “Do they matter?.” However, the same can not be said about brands trying to make it big with their new product or service. In this case, nothing matters more than that. With millions of brands available to the consumers at their fingertips, the most important fact that decides whether your product will stand out is brand perception. It can make or break your business.
Brands often tend to believe that marketing is just about putting thousands of posters, social media campaigns, ads, and so on. However, we forget that word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising and it depends on brand perception. It determines your brand positioning in the market.
Let’s just explain it to you with an example.
Volvo is a premium brand known for its amazingly designed buses, trucks, and cars. Whenever one has to buy a vehicle, it is one of the first names to pop up in the mind. It has carved a niche with its style and strong built products. However, this was not the case when the brand started. In fact, it’s image was exactly opposite to what it is now.
Before the 2000s, Volvo was considered a brand for fat drivers, and middle-class people leading boring lives. It was known for its strong built and never for its design and even people driving them were laughed at or considered boring. This was a common perception and the brand never promoted it that way. So, how did that happen? We will come back to this question in the latter part of the blog, for now, let’s continue with the story.
Now, the question is how Volvo became what it is today, how did that change. Well, it didn’t happen in the blink of an eye. It took years and a lot of effort.
In the early 2000s, Volvo shed its image of being just a safe vehicle and it went on complete transformation. Keeping its core value of safety intact, the company embraced a sleek, classy, and fashionable design for its vehicles. Within a few years, it became a premium brand competing with several bigwigs in this niche.
What exactly is brand perception?
Now that Volvo redeemed its image, let’s go back to the question, how did the company’s image come to be prior to the present one? The answer is brand perception. Even though Volvo wouldn’t have wanted it to be that way, it just happened. So, this is exactly what brand perception is. It is what customers believe a product to be not what the brand wants them to. The audience owns brand perception, not the brands.
Brand perception is the aggregation of people’s emotions, knowledge, word of mouth recommendation, and their experience of the product over the years. So, It is critical to consider brand perception during the process of a brand-building if you want your company to be known for exactly what it is.
Why is Brand Perception crucial for your business?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the fact that any brand thrives on loyalty and trust that they build in their consumers. Brand perception is a reflection of those two factors. How much trust and credibility you have among your clients depends on how they perceive your brand. Also, if your product is not being seen the way they have been designed, it is difficult to maintain a particular standard of the service that you offer. This is because the audience’s perception contradicts the values and principles that you have set for your brand and that particular product. So, it’s extremely important to ensure that any message about you must be taken in the way it is meant to be.
Almost everything important such as brand naming, architecture, and brand building revolves around brand perception. So, you must ensure that you give a lot of thought to it before working on other prospects of your company.
How to understand and change your brand’s perception?
Getting to know how people perceive your product is not that difficult. The advent of thousands of communication channels has made it quite easy. You can start with surveys asking people directly what they think about your company. Social media engagement is one of the most effective ways to observe people’s reactions when they come across your products. You can also adopt a slightly orthodox method by having a face to face conversations with the people about your brand.
If you find your brand’s perception to be the same as what you would want it to be, then it’s the best. However, if it’s not then you need to take measures to rectify that. You can start by deciphering your observations of the people through your surveys. Once you do that, you can compare it with the things you want people to think about your company. You will notice a difference and based on that you can run campaigns, change your approach, and work in that direction. You can also improve your brand architecture to change your brand perception. If executed properly you will surely be able to revolutionize your brand’s image to your liking. You can also hire a brand identity agency to save you from the hassle and do things more effectively.
Understanding brand perception is not so easy and one write up can’t help you do so. However, it will provide you with a fair idea of its importance. If you want to comprehend it better and use it to your benefits, seeking help from a brand consultant is a good idea. They have the prerequisite skills needed to make you understand the nuances of branding and the steps you must take to guide your brand to the pinnacle of success.
No matter whether you understand brand perception or not. You must know that everyone in this world cares about how they are seen by society and the people. Your brand is your reflection and if people’s perception matters to you, it should matter to your company too.