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Brand perception: what is it and why does it matter?

Customers will form opinions about your brand long before interacting with it, which is why brand perception matters so much.

Anyone who has made a Netflix recommendation or had one made to them probably already has an understanding of the concept of brand perception.

“Oh yes, I saw that show has dropped, I’ll watch it!” you might have heard yourself say. Or “Nah, I don’t know if I’d like that.”

Without having seen the show, you already have formed an opinion about whether you’d like it and whether you’re going to invest the time watching it.

Your perception might be based on the feature picture, the title, or the trailer. You might have already had someone recommend it or read a scathing review.

This is how brand perception works.

Whether they realise it or not, customers and potential customers have already formed a perception about your brand, which will feed into their decision whether or not to purchase from you.

It’s a perception that is created from many brand interactions and can be long-lasting.

What is brand perception?

Brand perception is a top-level term that describes how consumers feel about your brand.

It sounds simple, but there are actually many elements that come together to form a person’s feeling about your brand.

Every ad they see; every experience they have in your store; every social media tile they see; every personal recommendation or online review – they all contribute to brand perception.

Businesses need to understand that brand perception isn’t what you say about your business and what you offer; it’s what customers believe you are and what you offer – and the two are sometimes quite different.

Brand perception shouldn’t be confused with brand awareness, which refers to how quickly and easily a person knows who you are and what you offer, just by looking at your brand.

Brand perception is also not the same as brand positioning. Brand positioning is the strategic process of placing and positioning your company in the mind of your customer and potential customer.

Sometimes businesses confuse brand perception with brand experience, and here’s where it does get a bit murkier.

Brand experience describes interactions with your brand, and while experiences do contribute to brand perception, it is only one of a multitude of elements that form brand perception.

Now you know that brand perception is formed from many different interactions, you can see why it’s something that needs to be front of mind in absolutely all of your marketing activity.

Why is brand perception important?

Brand perception is formed when a person first comes into contact with your brand and is built brick by brick with every experience they have from that moment on.

This means that companies need to consider brand perception at every stage of the buying cycle.

What does a potential customer feel the first time they see your logo? What emotions are prompted when they see your social media tiles? Your ads? What feelings about your brand are activated during the lead generation process, and what are they thinking about your brand when they visit your website, consider your offering and finally, decide to purchase?

It’s not just a case of simply making people to think highly of your brand – improving your brand perception can lead to increased sales and returning customers.

You don’t need us to tell you that a poor brand perception will deter people from purchasing from your business.

How to improve your brand perception

You might be thinking, “well how on earth do I know how people are feeling about my brand, and how can I possibly measure such a thing?”

Well, there are a few tricks that can provide a pretty good measure of your brand perception, including:

  1. Setting up a Google alert that will keep track of when your brand is mentioned online.
  2. Engaging in social listening, which is when you search your brand or hashtag to see what people are saying about your brand.
  3. Reading online reviews.

Once you have a more detailed picture of your brand perception, try comparing it to how your competitors are tracking, by doing the exact same thing with their brand.

It’s not enough to simply know how strong or weak your brand perception is – you need to know where you are falling down so you can fix it.

For example, are you hearing people are frustrated with their customer service experience? Or perhaps they found that radio ad to be offensive or annoying, or they saw your logo but didn’t understand what your business offered.

Whatever the issue, discovering and correcting the roadblocks in your brand perception can really set you on the road to bolstering it.

How’s your brand perception?

Brand perception is formed at every level and every stage of your marketing, so it’s important to get it right, straight off the bat.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, with the skills and experience to create marketing strategies that improve brand perception, leading to tangible bottom line results.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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