Top 10 Ways to Improve Brand Perception
As consumers are increasingly relying on online reviews to determine a product or service’s quality, brands that manage to build positive relationships with reviewers stand a greater chance of gaining market share.
Most brands want to get people talking about them. It’s what happens after that first conversation—the brand perception—that counts.
Once the initial conversation occurs, you want your brand to stand out so that others will continue to talk about you. So, how do you go about doing that? By thinking about your brand like a customer—a customer that cares about the things you do.
Here are ten tips to help you improve brand perception—and make you a fan for life.
If you want to attract more customers and grow your business, you must improve your brand perception. Here’s how.
1 – Brand perception is subjective, so try not to judge.
In a study conducted by the University of Cambridge, researchers found that people tend to have a firm opinion about brands they dislike versus those they like. They also found that people were more likely to disagree with negative evaluations than positive ones.
So if you’re trying to determine your brand’s perception among your customers, you’ll want to avoid judging your brand too harshly. After all, how often have you bought something from Amazon and then thought, “Oh, I didn’t realise it was such a terrible product?”
We all have certain brand perceptions based on our own experiences, preferences, and knowledge. In other words, we may have preconceived notions about how others will perceive a particular brand.
Sometimes people judge brands based on their values or morals. Sometimes, it comes down to what the person likes or dislikes. If you judge a brand based on something personal, likely, the brand doesn’t meet your expectations.
2 – Have a positive mindset – it’s contagious.
To improve brand perception, you must first have a positive mindset. Your attitude affects your results.
Whether it’s your attitude towards your boss, a relationship with a friend, or even how you feel about a product or service, a positive mindset can either encourage you to move forward or deter you from moving forward.
It’s important to understand that how you feel about something is not something you’re born with but rather something you can change.
Go the extra mile to improve brand perception.
In the era of social media, it’s easy to forget the importance of building a personal brand and relationships. After all, what good is a business if no one knows who you are?
Building your brand requires a certain amount of effort, but it’s worth it if you want to grow your business.
Remember, the best thing to do when marketing yourself is to market yourself by being helpful, friendly, and genuine.
3 – People perceive brands as people, so create a persona.
In the world of brand building, there are two schools of thought.
One is that consumers care only about what a brand represents. They don’t care if it’s a person. The other is that consumers care about whether a brand is trustworthy or not.
In my opinion, there’s a bit of truth in both of these ideas. Consumers care about the brand’s image, but the fact is they care about whether that image represents a real person, an organisation, a cause, or some other thing. For a brand to succeed, it must be perceived as genuine.
Focus on your company’s strengths.
How do you know if your company is perceived positively or negatively? The answer is in your numbers.
A recent survey conducted by The Boston Consulting Group found that companies with positive brand perceptions outperform those with negative perceptions three to one.
By making a simple change to your company’s brand positioning, you can shift how consumers perceive your company.
Companies are often guilty of overlooking their company strengths to emphasise their weaknesses. This kind of thinking is a classic sign of ego. It’s often a red flag for a dysfunctional corporate culture.
A company can often improve its brand perception by taking stock of what it already does well. Here’s a typical case where a company got itself into trouble because it thought it needed to address something negative—like bad ratings on Google—when, in fact, it was doing just fine.
4 – Make it about people, not products.
We’ve said it once, and we’ll repeat it: your brand is what people say it is.
If you’re going to spend millions of dollars and hundreds of hours designing your logo and making your website, your branding should be just as important. After all, what does your company stand for? What do your customers and clients think about you?
Consumers who associate a company or brand with a product tend to care more about the quality than consumers who associate the company or brand with a lifestyle.
So, what’s the difference between a brand and a lifestyle? While some brands sell products, others focus on lifestyles.
Lifestyle brands are built around people’s experiences from engaging with the brand rather than just about the products themselves. The brand must focus more on people’s relationships with it.
Don’t be afraid to tell people how you can help them.
This is a pervasive and successful strategy used by many brands and retailers. Why? Because this is a fast and easy way to generate traffic, leads, and sales.
The key here is making sure that your customers can see the value in buying from you, and if you’re able to offer something that solves a problem they have, all the better. When it comes to the customer experience, there’s no reason to be shy about using the word ‘we’. The more authentic your brand feels the more customers feel compelled to trust you.
5 – Create an identifiable visual identity.
One of the most common mistakes first-time business owners make is not thinking about the design and development of their logo or website.
Most new businesses have a logo consisting of a picture and a slogan, and some even have a colour scheme or font unique to them. While those are all critical components to developing a memorable logo or website, they’re only a tiny part of the overall branding effort.
A strong, memorable visual identity is something every business needs. Whether your company is brand new or has been around for decades, you should be investing in an image consistent with your vision and your company’s core values.
Make your logo more memorable.
Most of us know that logos are often the first thing people see when encountering a company’s name or brand. But what do you think about when you see a company’s logo?
- Do you feel a sense of trust, familiarity, or recognition?
- When you think about the last time you saw a specific logo, what do you remember about it?
- How did that make you feel?
Now, think about how you could use these insights to improve a company’s brand perception and drive more traffic to its website.
Give your product a personality.
Many people assume that products that are more fun, attractive, or useful are generally better. But when people don’t know you well, they tend to have a higher perception of the value of your product.
So, in addition to having a more attractive and functional product, try to add some personality to it.
Personality can take many forms — think of a book that’s just a boring read or a movie with a cheesy, over-the-top soundtrack.
Think about what your product does. Is it funny, serious, or something in between? Think about the kinds of personalities your product would naturally attract. If you’re writing a blog post that focuses on your product’s personality, give your audience a chance to share theirs.
6 – Communicate your brand message and purpose.
Many people assume that brand perception is something we only pay attention to once we’re ready to make a purchase. That’s not true, however.
Brand perception is just as crucial in the lead up to purchasing as it is when you’re shopping. It’s a critical part of how we process information and make decisions. It’s how we perceive and evaluate a company and its products or services.
This second principle is also known as positioning. It’s the process of explaining why consumers should care about a company.
- What are they going to get out of it?
- What’s their emotional connection to it?
- What makes it stand apart from others in its category?
Think of positioning as your brand’s story—an explanation of what your brand does and why it does it that gets people to see the value in your brand.
Communicate frequently and transparently.
It’s not a secret that brands are constantly seeking ways to better connect with consumers on social media. One of the best ways to do this is through transparency.
According to the most recent State of Customer Service Report from RadiumOne, a digital marketing company, “73% of Americans report that they would switch brands if they were dissatisfied with customer service.”
Brands need to make sure that their consumers see that they’re listening and responding to them.
7 – Create emotional connections.
People are much more likely to remember what they connect emotionally too. Think about the brands you love—whether it’s a store, a movie, a band, etc. These are all things that have an emotional connection to you.
We tend to remember our favourite brands and experiences more than any others because the feelings that we associate with them have been ingrained into our brains. As a result, you want to make sure you’re using emotional appeals when marketing your business or product.
Go where your audience is.
If you’re not sure where your target market is, the best place to start is where they are already. According to research conducted by Adestra, 92% of consumers agree that “they are more likely to trust advertisements that appear where they are spending their time and money.”
This doesn’t mean you should only advertise on social media sites. Still, it does mean that if you’re trying to sell an online subscription service to a specific audience, you should be targeting those same audiences when you’re advertising.
Brand perception is vital to success and should never be underestimated. If you don’t go where your audience is, you won’t be able to reach them in the first place.
The problem is that far too many companies aren’t making any effort to connect with their audience. As a result, they’re not reaching out to the people who might be interested in what they’re offering. Instead, they’re hoping to attract people who wander into their store. It’s simply not going to happen.
Demonstrate your authenticity.
Authenticity is one of the essential principles in business. You can’t fake authenticity—and it’s a lot easier to fake it than it is to create it.
Authentic content comes from the heart. People don’t like being fooled. You have to show your true colours. And when you are authentic, the positive perception you create becomes the foundation of trust and credibility.
We’ve all seen those TV commercials where a company uses celebrity endorsers to establish credibility. But do celebrities really sell anything? It isn’t very likely.
They’re paid to look good and give the impression of being honest. They have no control over what their spokesperson says or does; their only role is to show the audience that they are good product representatives.
Treat people like they’re your brand partners.
“How can we be friends?” is a simple question to answer but a complex concept to grasp.
Many businesses struggle with understanding the concept of being social, and that’s because social media isn’t a technology; it’s a strategy.
Brands must treat their customers as brands—to understand their needs and the challenges that need to be overcome—then create a platform that provides value. By understanding your audience, you’ll be able to engage them and connect with them. It’s a relationship built over time.
8 – Make customers feel valued.
There are two ways to do this: Offer the customer something of value in exchange for their loyalty, or offer them something of value in exchange for their feedback.
This is one of the ways Facebook can keep its users coming back day after day: In exchange for using the site, they can post on their page and interact with their friends. On the flip side, companies like Zappos and Starbucks give away gift cards as a reward for leaving reviews and ratings.
When brands like Patagonia do customer appreciation day events, the goal is to create the same emotional reaction that someone being appreciated has when they feel valued, recognised and respected.
In other words, to increase the value of customers, brands must show customers that they care. In my opinion, the best way to do that is by sending a personalised thank you message within 24 hours after the sale.
Make it easy to connect with your company.
According to research, nearly 70 per cent of consumers expect companies to respond to their complaints. Of course, there are many ways to communicate with customers, but one of the best ways is through social media.
As a result, companies need to build their brands online and offline, creating an easy way for consumers to interact and give feedback.
Know what your customers are saying online.
Knowing what your customers are saying online about your brand can help you improve your brand perception.
As consumers are increasingly turning to the web to shop, they are using online reviews to find new brands and products and help them decide where to spend their money.
While Google’s algorithm can only take you so far, online reviews can paint a reasonably accurate picture of a business’s brand reputation.
9 – Make sure your service and culture are on-brand.
Slack adopted a corporate culture that reflected its core values of openness, candour, transparency and focus as part of its strategy. Slack hired employees who shared these values and encouraged everyone to share ideas and concerns openly.
This helped create an environment in which employees felt comfortable sharing any opinions, whether they agreed with those in the leadership team or not.
Employees also found themselves empowered to challenge and suggest changes when they felt something was amiss within the company, regardless of rank.
10 – Tell stories that help people connect to your brand.
People have always told stories to get through the day, whether to each other or themselves. But in recent years, storytelling has become more widespread, and it’s proven to be a vital tool for brands.
Brands can tell stories that evoke emotions, give insight into their values and goals, and educate consumers about the things they care about. It makes the consumer feel like they’ve done a better job understanding and empathising with the brand.
Connect your brand to your audience’s experiences, interests, and problems.
Today’s consumer is always looking for ways to cut down on spending, which means your business needs to become part of their daily routines. This means making your company and products synonymous with convenience and ease rather than complexity and confusion.
You need to connect your brand to your audience’s experiences, interests, and problems and then offer a solution to those challenges. The easiest way to get started is to use keywords that reflect your core product or service.
In conclusion, brand perception is essential to creating a successful business. A good brand stands for something in the mind of the consumer. It’s a promise to do something better, faster, cheaper, and easier.
To build a strong brand, you must pay attention to your brand perception. A strong brand can go a long way in helping your business succeed. But to improve brand perception, you need to know what your brand is and how to fix it.
Are you looking to improve brand perception? Get in touch with us for a free consultation.