Customer Perception Definition

Customer perception is a “Process during which an individual acquires knowledge about the environment and interprets the information according to his/her needs, requirements and attitudes.” – as defined by F.G. Crane and T.K. Klarke (1994), G.D. Harrell, G.L. Frazier (1998) 

According to the Business Dictionary, consumer perception or customer perception is a “Marketing concept that encompasses a customer’s impression, awareness, or consciousness about a company or its offerings.”

Customer perception is a process where a customer collects information about a product and interprets the information to make a meaningful image about a particular product. When a customer sees advertisements, promotions, customer reviews, social media feedback, etc. relating to a product, they develop an impression about the product.

The entire process of customer perception starts when a consumer sees or gets information about a particular product. This process continues until the consumer starts to build an opinion about the product. Everything that a company does will affect customer perception. The way the products are positioned in a retail store, the colors, and shapes in your logo, the advertisements that you create, the discounts that you offer, everything impacts the customer perception.

Customer Perception Advantages

Customer perception is a crucial component of the relationship between a brand and its customers. Customer perception brings along a lot of advantages:

1. Increases customer loyalty:

When customers have a positive perception of your brand, they will be loyal to your brand and will bring more customers. A good price point, better packaging, a special offer can lure them. So, building a strong relationship with a strong brand image is important.

2. Influences buying decision:

If you’re selling cars, and the customer has to choose between you and your competitor, positive customer perception will be advantageous. Your price point is higher, looks are good, you have a strong brand value. The competitor’s car is cheaper, but more powerful and packed with accessories, but the looks are ordinary, the brand has a history of scandals. What will nail his decision over performance and quality? Even though the competitor’s car is a better one, he will zero in for yours.

This is what happened to Volkswagen after the Dieselgate scandal in 2015. Though a top car brand, its sales figures fell, and the brand is still struggling to come out of it.

3. Development of New Products/Expansion:

Understanding customer perception towards a product will help marketers to launch new products or to expand the business. Based on positive customer perception, a brand can introduce new offerings with similar features. 

Customer Perception Example

For example, the Avon logo uses two colors – black and pink. While black is used to depict serious business, pink is the company’s trademark color- speaks of femininity. This color predominantly attracts women, while men feel alienated by pink color. The customer perception is built based on the colors used in the logo.

But if a product is trying to attract both men and women, using just pink might not be a good idea.