To understand what is a brand perception, one has to know the meaning of perception. A perception is the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted. In branding, a brand perception is the audience’s impression towards the brand. Brand perceptions are managed by brand stewards. A brand perception is also known as brand image and it can shape the audience’s experience. The audience is the group of people to which a product, service or message is targeted at.
1. Why Do We Need to Manage Brand Perception?
The bottom-line for branding is to achieve Top-Of-Mind Awareness (TOMA) for your brand. If you want your brand to be at the topmost position of the consumer’s mind when they think of the word ‘joy,’ your brand must be perceived as the herald for joy, joy-maker and even for joy itself. To achieve TOMA, brands must manage brand perceptions.
2. How Do We Measure Brand Perception?
Your brand does not stand for greatness just because your brand stewards had wanted it to be great. Your brand is what consumers think or say you are. It is how the audience has perceived your brand. How do we know and even measure the audience’s perception of your brand?
Brand perceptions can be measured by survey methodologies and consumer feedback loops. Surveys and research studies can be conducted, but they are usually time consuming and expensive. They are also subjected to response bias where the respondents answer questions in the way they think the enquirer wants them to answer. In modern-day marketing, brand stewards have turned to inexpensive ways to assess their brand. They seek audience’s perception from social media networks, blog comments, product reviews, etc. These opinions and sentiment data are readily available in the online world and most importantly, provide a more accurate measure of your brand image.
3. How Do We Manage Brand Perception?
Anything and everything that are put before the senses of the audience makes impressions on them. And any impression made to an audience has the ability to shape their perception towards your brand. In a nutshell, brand stewards manage perceptions by creating or appointing brand symbols to deliver desired experiences to the audience. These brand experiences seek to influence them, shape and develop the perception they have towards the brand. Good brand stewards manage perceptions by meticulous handling of the various brand symbols employed by the business. They are careful of what they say and what they show to their audience.
The table below shows the relationships between brand symbols and the human senses they penetrate to influence the audience’s perception towards the brand.
|Graphic Devices||Sight||Logo, Brand Identity, Marketing Collateral|
|Trade Dress||Sight, Hearing, Smell & Touch||Packaging|
|Spokesmen||Sight & Hearing||Celebrity, Founder, Mascot|
|Words||Sight & Hearing||Slogans, Abbreviations, Taglines|
|Sounds||Hearing||Unique Tone, Theme Music|
|Scents||Smell||Unique Fragrance and Bouquet|
Brand perception can be influenced on social media platforms when the business communicates and interacts with the audience. Making your brand social transcends the single-sided conveyance or projection of your ideal brand image. A social media platform provides double-sided communication and fosters relationships with your audience.
4. How Does Design Influence Brand Perception?
Because sight is our dominant sense, most business communications are made through visual means. Likewise, most brand messages or impressions are conveyed through visual mediums. To foster effective communication and deliver the desired experience to your audience, good graphic design is necessary. Poor design forms negative brand sentiments and leads to undesired brand perceptions. Good design makes positive associations and ushers desired brand perceptions.
Manage perceptions today! Let not consumers make wrong perceptions on your brand!