“We don’t see things as they are,  we see things as we are “, Says prominent writer Anais Nin. 

Yahoo Sells To Verizon In Saddest $5 Billion Deal In Tech History

It was tragic. Yahoo was the king of the internet once upon a time, but it came down to a sad end.  What was Yahoo’s greatest mistake? 

Brand perception of Yahoo was really low. 

“One year after Marissa Mayer assumed the CEO title at Yahoo, the company’s stock price is approximately 60% higher than when she started, but the company’s brand health measurements, based on consumer feedback, have moved in the opposite direction,” a spokesperson for YouGov tells WebProNews, citing the firm’s YouGov BrandIndex. 

Consumers build brands, not companies! 

If consumers strongly believe that your product is the best, then you are definitely the best. No doubt that companies are putting out great messages, evoking great conversations, and building the customer connect, but it is the consumers who experience brands. Consumers get emotional connect with their favorite brands thereby, separating them from the rest. 

What is Brand Perception?

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another  Seth Godin, Author, and Entrepreneur.

Brand perception is the feeling of a consumer harbor towards a particular brand. This is measured based on the consumer’s reaction when he/she sees, hears, or interacts with the brand. Brand perception is a crucial measuring parameter in terms of a product’s goodwill, emotional character, and presence, all of which play a vital role in its success. 

Why is Brand Perception Important? 

Brand perception can make or break a brand. It is not just important for new and small brands, but giant brands like Facebook also have to pay their dues when they ruin their equation with the customers. 

In 2018, Facebook saw it’s brand perception makes a nosedive because of privacy issues and after being accused of propagating false stories. 

Positive brand perception can make people purchase more products from their favorite brand, rather than consider equally good or even better products from other brands. Similarly, negative brand perception can create a strong aversion to bad products,  where an individual is not willing to try a product from a brand, no matter the discounts. 

Monitor Brand Perception

 

Your sales have started to decline!!

 

And you just realized it’s due to the brand perception that is sliding. Consumers might have started to look at your product as stagnant and old fashioned.

 

This is exactly what happened with OldSpice, men’s toiletry brand. It indeed was portraying the ‘old’ look. But they were quick to monitor their declining brand perception and take immediate action. 

 

AI-driven Brand Perception Analysis

The analysis of the customer journey is no longer an easy and straight forward highway journey as it once used to be. Instead, it has a lot of twists and turns due to the emerging trends in the digital world. Gone are the days when companies could analyze a few customers and come up with a marketing strategy. With the plethora of data available on customer preference and customer behavior,  it is becoming humanly impossible to analyze the data manually. Artificial Intelligence has come up as a solution to this problem!

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help a company to better understand its brand health. In this sense, companies can measure how well their branding efforts are being received by their customers.

With the help of AI, brands can constantly stay in tune with the ever-changing consumer perceptions, and monitor their brand perception when compared to other companies in the same space – that too, without sacrificing significant time or resources.

4 Ways to Monitor Brand Perception

Brand perception is critical if a brand has to survive and push ahead. But how can a business ensure that its brand perception does not sway from its ideal position? It will have to constantly monitor and measure brand perception, so it can make amends wherever necessary and stay on track. 

Here are 4 ways in which companies can monitor brand perception: 

1. Social Media is a great place to know the truth

Social media listening is a great start to see what people are talking about your brand. Consumers of products and services are all over the internet and are using social media to express their experiences, liking or hatred towards a brand. When business or brands start tracking brand mentions it can lead to a collection of honest feedback, insights into what customers feel, opportunities to manage your brand reputation, and an understanding around how consumers interact with your brand’s products or services.

Moneygram, a money transfer company, used social media to monitor its brand perception. MoneyGram launched ‘Max’s World Adventures’ campaign, which was a fin filled character-driven campaign to attract children – they monitored their social media to notice a clear leap in their brand perception. They used social media data to dive deeper and understand brand perception.

Clearly, there is a lot that needs to be done to efficiently monitor consumer brand perception. One way to stay at the top of the game, is to employ intelligent tools like Clootrack, which is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that helps clients to track customer conversations and derive actionable data so as to improve sales and revenue.

2. Customer Survey- The real voice of the customer

The most direct and the best way to know how your customers feel about your brand is to ask them. A customer survey is used to measure customer sentiment by asking targeted questions. The survey is sent after the customers have purchased a products, or after a customer service activity or even a store visit.

To understand the feeling of a shopper – ask three simple questions:

  1. How do they feel about your brand?
  2. Would they recommend their product to others?
  3. Which brand do they prefer?

The answers to these 3 questions reveal a lot about your brand perception.

A marvelous example of a company doing customer surveys –  Apple. Though they have a huge online presence, they still spend about $1 billion a year on their retail store to collect retail store experience by means of customer surveys. 

3. Online Reviews – This generation’s  ‘word of mouth’

It could be a raving customer review or a negative online review about your product – you should know it all as this revolves around your brand.

CommCore CEO, Andy Gilman says,  “In a time when 92% people trust businesses with a great star rating on their business online, managing your online reputation is not an option anymore”.  

This statement cannot be much more true when we talk about brand perception. Online reviews have a huge impact on brand perception. While positive reviews boost your brand image, negative reviews can pull down your brand perception badly.

Companies should take extra effort to monitor their brand perception using online reviews. For example, see how Nordstrom is trying to get product reviews through a contest. It is encouraging users to provide product reviews in exchange for a chance to win $1,000 gift card.

4. Don’t just beat the competition –  learn from it

Finding out what a competitor is doing wrong is just as important as identifying what they are doing right.”

Its important to monitor your competitors to gain insights into what their customers find most interesting in your competitor brand. What is missing in your brand? Why do customers love their products more than yours?

There are different inexpensive methods of checking up on your competitors – both online and offline.

“I recommend routinely tracking what the industry analyst firms like Gartner are reporting about your industry, as well as trade associations and advocacy groups,” says Becky Sheetz-Runkle, the author of Sun Tzu for Women.

Wrapping Up

Perception is the reality!!

You may know it or not, your company already has a brand perception.  But most important is whether it is working in your favor or against you.

Do you know how your brand is perceived today? If you are aware of how your brand is perceived, you can work towards improving it or fixing it for a better tomorrow. 

Understanding the exact gap that exists between the brand’s potential and brand perception is the first step towards change.