Branding
It’s not a war to build better brands, it’s a battle to get better perceptions about them. Let’s start from the premise that the differentiation between products/services is becoming less and less and it is often difficult to find objective realities that demonstrate that a product is superior to its most direct competitor. The difference is achieved only in the minds of the customers, turning a perception into a reality for that person. For this reason, it is possible to say that a brand is what others think of it and not what the company says it is.

Customers’ values and emotions are formally reflected in their own opinions. Through the meanings constructed for brands, consumers are able to find an equivalence between their principles and what brands stand for. In other words, the real
Engagement
is achieved through enhancing certain feelings, the result of the perceptions that the brand generates in each individual throughout the multiple points where they come into contact.

In this way, it is possible to categorically state that perceptions are critical in building a brand. And in today’s digital world, where customers have all the power to alter the perceptions of others, brands are obliged to pay significant attention to this reality.

The perception of a brand becomes the real image that people have of it. This mental conception is constructed from different perspectives:


  • Quality:
    To what extent the product/service meets the needs of customers.

  • Value:
    The value linked to the associations people make, the expectations they have of the brand and the way they are satisfied.

  • Identity: Relating
    to the set of characteristic elements that make up the nature of the brand, including those of its products.

  • Senses:
    The rest of the means by which the mechanisms of perception of this identity are expanded (smell, taste, touch, hearing)

  • Personality:
    All those traits that make up the brand’s way of being and that determine how it acts.

  • Culture:
    Linked to a strong sense of the Society’s purpose, capable of reflecting its essence and permeating it throughout the Organization, as well as externally.
  • Reputation: Understood as the consolidated prestige that the brand achieves as a result of its actions.

4 STEPS TO
CHECK
BRAND PERCEPTION

1. Analyze reality

To change a perception of a brand, you first need to understand what people think about it. Active listening will allow us to detect what they say about it, whether they recommend it or criticize it… It will reflect a true reality check.

2. Understand the customer

The opinions detected above can only be interpreted based on a broad understanding of the customer and their context. Perceptions vary greatly based on possible cultural, geographic, or demographic segments.

3. Identify touchpoints

Each of the touchpoints with the brand can take a certain role in the relationship with customers. Brand perception starts from within the Company. It continues outwards, detailing all the channels through which the brand reaches the customer and prioritizing those that allow a dialogue between both parties.

4. Minimize the reality gap

It is essential to align promises with realities, the result of projections, experiences, sensations, emotions and one’s own or shared experiences. You have to make sure to measure the effect caused by each of the brand’s actions, minimizing the gap between expectations and realities.

Analyzing perceptions is not an easy task. In most cases, data is obtained from what customers say but, as some neuromarketing studies reveal, many times they do not say what they really think but what they think they should think. Often a certain attitude and behavior are not always linked in people’s minds. The challenge is to decipher their realities and see how they align with the brand’s promise and purpose.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

President of Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock


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