In this day and age, you have the entire world at your fingertips. When you’re in the market for a new product, there are literally thousands of options to choose from. So, how does someone make the right decision with so many choices out there? That’s where brand perception comes in and why it’s more important than ever before.
What is Brand Perception?
Brand perception, also referred to as corporate image, is the reputation a company has based on customer experiences including past purchases, opinions of friends and family, advertisements, and even from reading or watching online reviews.
Brands can help shape their image in many ways. They can do so by performing well financially, showing the world they’re a powerhouse in their particular industry, by being ahead of the curve and developing innovative products and services, being ethical and socially responsible in their business practices, responding to criticism with outstanding customer service, and having the best of the best on their team.
When your options are endless, people will tend to do a bit more research and will oftentimes choose a brand that best aligns with their personal values. Impulse purchases dropped from 50% to 38% in the last year, proving that customers are digging a bit deeper into a brand before going through with a purchase. They’ll also choose a company that reflects their personal values and beliefs over others. Now more than ever people are shopping with a purpose. In a 2020 study, 83% of millennials said they find it important to buy from companies that align with their values.
Simply put, brand perception influences customers, and if you can improve your image with brand perception basics, you’re more likely to increase brand loyalty and attract new buyers.
Brand Perception Basics
1. Have a Mission Statement
As a brand, what do you stand for and what’s the purpose of your company, product, or service? Your purpose or mission statement can have a huge impact on how your brand is viewed—and, ultimately, can be the driving force behind your success. It’s important because it shows your customers that you’re not just your products or services, and that you value more than just turning a profit. Customers want to feel like their spending is doing more than just buying a new pair of hiking shoes. Alternatively, if you advertise a particular mission statement and don’t live up to it, you could severely tarnish your brand perception and lose a lot of credibility. Be sure to practice what you preach to garner loyalty.
2. Integrate Cohesive Branding
It’s important to have basic identifiers that will separate you from your competition. Think of a logo, color-scheme, or mascot. If you’re a family-focused brand, be sure to gear your branding and advertising to appeal to families and young couples, showcase strong, diverse females if your target audience is women, and so on. Be sure to do this on all of your platforms—from print to social channels. If your branding needs a refresh to attract potential customers, now is the time. This will allow your brand to be effective and streamlined throughout every avenue of the buyer’s journey.
3. Hire the Best People for Your Team
It’s important to build a team of like-minded individuals that are advocates for your brand, passionate about where they work, and showing it to the world. This ties back to brands practicing what they preach. If you’re building teams of people ready and willing to make a difference, it’s going to show in the products and services developed, and in marketing efforts.
4. Be Transparent
Brands will make mistakes from time-to-time, but it’s how you react to these mistakes that will ultimately determine your overall brand perception. Successful brands own up to their mistakes by being honest with customers, vowing to do better, and putting actions to their words. We’ve seen this most recently with brands promising to be more socially responsible and taking ownership for how they can be better and more inclusive. By being transparent and actively making strides to improve, customers will appreciate the honesty and humbleness and stay loyal to the brand.
5. Have Top-Notch Customer Service
Brands should always strive to make the buying process as easy and enjoyable as possible. In an effort to do this, customer service is king. Any interaction a customer has with your brand has the ability to form their entire perception of the company. Customer service reps are a great way to relay your brand’s mission statement and values by offering timely responses and solutions. Examples of this include responding to website chats, customer emails, and even responding to online reviews and comments on social media. It’s one of the quickest ways to positively influence brand perception and keep people coming back for more and recommending your company.
Tracking Brand Perception
It doesn’t have to be difficult to figure out what people are thinking about your brand. Keep in mind the following measurement tools, and you’ll easily be able to see where you can improve your brand perception.
- Read Online Reviews — The quickest way to see what people are saying about you is to read reviews. Only 48% of consumers would consider using a business with fewer than 4 stars and 20% of consumers expect to receive a response within one day.
- Measure Satisfaction with Surveys — Utilize sending surveys to customers to pinpoint where you can improve and what people enjoyed about their buying experience.
- Set Up Google Alerts — Instantly be in the know with what people are saying about your brand by setting up Google Alerts for your company.
- Practice Social Listening — When you monitor what people are saying about your brand on social media, there’s a wealth of knowledge you can gain from reading comments on posts, watching someone’s YouTube review of your product, or which paid ad is performing best. Easily discover what people are raving about to alter your advertising, or see what’s getting the most negative publicity and go back to the drawing board.
Brand perception can make or break a company, but it doesn’t have to be difficult to change. Remember the five brand perception basics and the easy ways to track it and you’ll be well on your way to increasing brand loyalty. Are you looking for ways to improve your brand perception? Contact Amplified Digital today.