What is brand perception, and what is its role?
It is an unwritten rule that people prefer to purchase from brands they like and trust. Therefore, the importance of brand perception today cannot be overstated. So many factors and influences influence a person’s preference for brands. The consequences of which can last long enough, for years in fact.
Brand perception can be understood as the thoughts and feelings of consumers towards certain companies. When practically applied, it influences your choices at a grocery store, clothing boutique, or sneaker brand. The mindset of a person towards the company will last long enough. Therefore, companies put efforts into creating positive perceptions in their consumers’ minds.
Brand perception plays a significant role in the consumers you attract, the prices you set, and the partnerships you build with other brands over the years. Take, for example, Adidas. It started as a sneaker brand that promised quality and comfort and was amongst the first few names in the sneaker market. Cut to 2022, when people go out to purchase a good sneaker, Adidas is one of the first names they resonate with.
Why is brand perception important?
They say that the first impression is the best, and rightly so. But unfortunately, human beings have a tough time giving second chances. Similarly, for brands, the long—lasting impact of brand perception makes it all the more important. It is the foundation on which future customer relationships are built.
Brand perception impacts everything in your company. If you want more customer loyalty, retain customers, boost sales, get higher engagement, or promote your brand, brand perception can do everything. It is also influential in creating suitable marketing campaigns and channels for your target audience.
Over time, as consumers grow and enjoy their experiences with your brand, you can get an edge in the market in the following ways:
- More market leadership and favorability than your potential competitors and other brands
- Greater profits and revenue as people purchase from you
- More purchasing possibilities due to better brand recall and associated positive sentiments
How to analyze brand perception?
If you wish to find out what your consumer think and speak about you, you can use the following methods to understand your brand perception:
1. Use the power of social listening
Social listening tools and other research methods can aid you in undiscovered truths about your brand. The current perception of your brand will pave the way for future perceptions and everything that your brand stands for.
Your company’s data will be the base of your findings and methodologies. With an advanced social listening platform, the data can be segmented and categorized in the following ways:
- Based on the query type
- The type of author
- The type of customer
2. Analyzing and benchmarking with your competitors
After researching your brand perception within the company, turning to competitor analysis can also help you understand more perceptions. By comparing your company with your competitors, you can better understand your company’s place in the industry. In addition, competitor benchmarking can assist you in approving your company’s strategies in the event of a competitor entering the same market.
3. Gain a competitive advantage
There is a big window of competitive advantage that you can get by initiating social listening into your business. It gives you more time to re—evaluate and change the your brand’s image in the industry. Social media has the most critical role in changing or shifting brand perception in today's digital age.
Companies leave no stone unturned in their social media content. This is because consumers are more likely to consume social media than television or other PR efforts. However, once you establish an image on social media, it comes with the responsibility of maintaining it.
How can social media analyze brand perception?
Digital marketers use social media extensively to understand people’s perceptions and track the impact of social media. Social media works as a two—edged sword for brands shaping businesses. If people have positive things to say about your brand, you can shift your focus to the elements they love. If negative things are discussed, you can shift gears and quickly curb any further reputational damage to your brand.
You can use social media to become a part of your consumers' conversations. Here are some ways you can derive the best out of social media:
1. Measure brand awareness
Brand awareness refers to your brand’s popularity among your target audience. The better the brand awareness, the more potential consumers for your products and services. But, how do you measure brand awareness?
Earlier, brand awareness was measured through surveys, consumer research, and focus groups. Marketers would have a list of questions that defined the audience’s preferences, purchasing ability, and loyalty to the brand.
Since brand awareness has high ROI potential, social media is the best way to measure it. You can easily monitor your voice in the market and, more specifically, in your niche. Search volumes and keywords can be used to determine that part of the audience that thinks about your brand but doesn’t necessarily talk about it with others.
Measuring brand awareness helps understand your brand's reach towards its target audience and if there is more untapped audience. Eventually, it helps generate brand awareness and buzz if there isn’t enough already.
2. Track customers’ sentiments in real—time
The what and how about your business is what creates their brand perception. It is not only about what is being said but also how it's being said and what are the driving sentiments behind the ‘how.’
Tools powered by artificial intelligence can monitor brand mentions and keywords while uncovering their meaning. In addition, these tools can work in real—time across multiple platforms and channels. You can use the results further to furnish your PR efforts for brand perception and awareness.
3. Approach potential influencers and content creators
The influencer and content creator market is booming! There is nothing better for brand perception than having your biggest fans create content on your behalf. User—generated content can be looked at as free marketing and is a clear sign that your brand is headed in the right direction.
However, having organic content created by your most supportive advocates on social media is what will drive your promotional campaigns in the future. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook are the most prominent content creation markets.
Additionally, you can provide your content creators and influencers with the right tools and training so that their content ideas keep overflowing. Having practical sessions on how to grow on TikTok or increase engagement on Instagram will push them to put on their thinking caps. But, they must be rightly compensated for their marketing strategies.
4. Set competitive benchmarks
Social media can help you put your finger on the pulse of your competition. You can quickly regain control using the right strategy when you notice that your competitor is stealing the limelight away from you.
Market reach, brand preference, and voice are some benchmarks that you can set with your competitors. It will inspire you to work harder to gauge these benchmarks and make you the best choice among all your competitors.
5. Track your brand’s relevance and desirability
You may have a surplus of products and services that you can offer to your consumers. But is it something that they prefer? This is where brand preference and desirability metrics come into the picture.
You may be building multiple things for your consumers, but they will not succeed if your consumers don't resonate with them. Consumer intelligence tools can track and bring something to your notice that no longer impact the market. As consumer tastes and preferences keep evolving rapidly, it is essential to tap on the right opportunity at the right time.
The Bottom Line of Brand Perception
Knowing what people think about your brand is a catalyst to a successful business. Once you can measure your brand perception, you can use it to make strategic decisions for your brand and ensure its growth in the industry.