Customer Perception of Your Brand: What, Why, How

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It takes an average of 10 seconds for consumers to form a perception of a brand. (Source: ActionCard)

This is how quickly people judge brands. Every second counts when it comes to making the desired brand. But what is customer perception? Read on to discover.

Human factors or senses that lead to a brand perception

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Olfactory
  • Taste
  • Emotional
Brand Perception What Why How7

01

Introduction

Although the term “customer perception” is a fairly self-explanatory branding term on the face of it which essentially means the perception of your brand in the market, only a few understand the art of shaping that perception to lead a brand to success.

In this article, we’ll discuss what customer perception is, its importance, the different ways to monitor and measure brand perception, and what you can do to improve or shift your brand’s perception in the mind of your audience.

Brand Perception What Why How1

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02

What is brand perception?

The brand image of Nike is different from other apparel brands. It is considered as a premium, cult brand which deals only in sportswear. Nike consumers perceive the brand as one that deals only in sportswear.

This is an example of what a customer perception is.

However, a lot of times, brand owners feel they understand exactly what their brand represents, but utterly fail at figuring out the actual perception of the audience.

Brand perception is owned by consumers, not brands. Regardless of what image you aim to represent for your brand, your brand perception will be defined by what people think your product or service represents.

Common types of brand perception

  • Quality
  • Value
  • Visual
  • Senses
  • Personality
  • Reputation & Legacy
  • Status & Culture

Want to know what your customers’ perception is of your brand?

Try this sample survey to measure your brand perception

A lot goes into how you form the desired perceptions of your brand.

Factors that lead to this perception

  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Public relations (PR)
  • Word-of-mouth
  • Customer experience (CX)
  • Employee experience (EX)



Brand Perception What Why How2

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03

Why brand perception matters

Do you know people are far more likely to share negative brand experiences with their friends and family than positive brand experiences?

Over 50% more likely according to a report published by MarketingCharts.

What is customer perception if it doesn’t impact your customers’ decision to choose your product or service, do business with you, or recommend your brand to others or dissuade them entirely?

Brand perception can impact your bottom line to a great extent.

In today’s hyper competitive marketplace, brand perceptions or customer opinions matter a lot. Just like your customers do.

Tracking and understanding customer perceptions give you an opportunity to shift and elevate these perceptions. It’s an essential part of brand reputation management.

Brand perception

Positive

Negative

Impact on customers

Consumers are more likely to choose and even recommend your brand to their friends over a competitor.

Customers are more likely to choose your competitor’s brand — and tell other potential customers why they didn’t choose you.

Brands often assume they know how their customers feel about them. Based on the customer interactions alone, brands tend to magnify brand perception. But that is not what customer perception is.

According to a Bain and Company study, even though 80% of brands believe they provide great experiences, only about 8% of customers agree.

Believing your brand perception to be more positive than it actually is won’t help yield results. An honest look at the factors driving or killing your brand loyalty will.

This is why brand perception is so important in building your business and leading it to success.

Brand Perception What Why How3
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04

How to measure brand perception

A study on brand recognition statistics by JAMA Network discovered that 91.3% of 6-year-olds could match Old Joe’s image with a picture of a cigarette in 1991.

This demonstrates just how early brand name recognition and perception starts.

Although brand perception can be very difficult to quantify without the right tools in hand, it is, after all, what affects your brand visibility and marketing success.

Here are some of the most efficient ways of monitoring and measuring your brand perception:

  • Send out customer surveys

Surveys prove to be one of the most efficient ways to gather targeted and detailed insights from your consumers to better understand how they perceive your brand and the key drivers of these perceptions. These valuable first-party insights will help you dig deeper into what your brand’s consumers perceptions are and boost them by taking strategic CX decisions.

What questions should your brand perceptions survey include.

Brand Perception What Why How8
  • Monitor social media

Today, social media is the most popular place where people share their opinions and experiences.

Keep a close watch on the different social media platforms out there, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Reddit, among others. Your aim should be to catch the latest trends and see how people’s opinions shift around certain keywords or topics.

Consider performing a sentiment analysis for this. Track the mentions of your brand.

  • Keep an eye on review sites

Customer and employee reviews will help you stay on top of what your customer perception is and how your brand is being mentioned and discussed online other than on social media. Keep an eye on public online forums, customer review sites (like Amazon customer reviews, Google Places), blogs, and news sites for mentions of your brand.

  • Maintain an active email list

Reach out to your target audience regularly via emails to know what they think about your brand. This is probably the most straightforward way and often not very effective to get the lowdown from the horse’s mouth.

Brand Perception What Why How3

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05

What questions should your brand perceptions survey include?

Surveys can get you very detailed and honest insights on what your brand’s customer perception is, provided you frame the right kind of questions.

It all comes down to the kind of questions that can best get you to the insights you need to shape and enhance your brand perception.

If you’re running short on ideas, consider using these types of questions in your brand perception survey:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) questions
  • Ability to meet expectations
    • Did your most recent experience or interaction with our brand meet or exceed your expectations?
    • What did you like least about the product or service?
  • Brand Image
    • Has your most recent experience enhanced your view of our brand? In what way, and why?
    • Do you rate our brand highly in specific attributes and poorly in others, and how?

Be sure to include follow-up questions to dig further into your customer feedback and power your research.

Brand perception surveys collect feedback from three critical stakeholders:

  • Customers
  • Prospects or non-customers
  • Employees



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06

How to improve brand perception

Once you’ve developed what you believe is a great product or service and unleashed it to your audience, you will start receiving reviews on your social media channels. Reviews that are both positive and negative.

But there’s no point in feeling baffled about them. 

The real verdict lies with your customers and their perception of your brand. That will ultimately decide whether your business will take off or break down.

Here are some tips to put you on the right track to improve your customer perception and increase brand loyalty:

  • Identify your audience and understand their perception of your brand

This goes beyond having a dry notion of surface-level customer details such as age, gender, demographics and language. To get the answer of what your customer perception is, you need to analyze your customer behaviors such as how they consume information and what drives them to choose you over your competitors.

You do not need a huge marketing budget to understand what your customers’ perception is. Omnichannel survey software proves to be the quickest and most efficient tool of capturing their perception.

  • Develop and maintain a positive connection with your customers

Tons of studies have shown how customers who have had the best and most personalized experiences with a brand spend over 100% more money compared to those who have had the poorest interactions. Apart from improved profitability, positive customer-business relationships can directly influence how your consumers perceive your brand.

  • Be open to feedback and strive to improve

It just can’t be stressed enough how important it is to not ignore the negative criticism from your clients. Be open to receive both positive and negative customer feedback. When it comes to collecting customer feedback, some of the best options include surveys and polls.

Like any other perception, brand perception too, doesn’t change overnight.

Be prepared to research and take the necessary steps to improve how your consumers perceive you.

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07

Over to you

The Consumer Content Report by Stackla suggests that in this age of authenticity, brands need to get real if they want to connect with their audience. According to the report, 86 percent of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support.

Do you think you know what your brand’s customer perception is or what it represents?

Before you nod, just remember that brand perception is not what you say in your advertisements.

It is what consumers think and say you are.

Rolls-Royce is an excellent example of a brand that has their marketing efforts on point which is why it is perceived to be an exclusive premium brand for wealthy and influential people. Exactly the brand perception that company intended to represent.

Regardless of the message you transmit, it’s important that your audience receives it the way you intended them to. Otherwise, it’s null and void.

Once you have the insights on your customer needs and motivations, you can devise strategies to shift and improve your brand perception among them.

Ready to improve your customers’ perception of your brand? Start off on the right foot with the world’s leading omnichannel survey software out there.

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