Reality check: You can have the best product out there, but if your target customers don’t perceive you to be the best, it’s not your store they’re flocking to. Brand perception is the sum total of every action you make with your brand. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re in tip-top shape. Gerry Foster talks about how crucial brand perception is in letting your company flourish. Don’t let it be the one thing that falls by the wayside. Make sure you’re making the right moves for the sake of brand perception.
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Episode 29, Reality Check! There are different schools of thought or opinions about this, but I’ve always believed that branding has three primary objectives, to be different, don’t blend in to get known, create awareness, to earn trust from your customers. After that’s all said and done, make some money, increase revenues and generate a nice tidy profit. That’s why we are all in business. When we talk about branding objectives, you are primarily dealing with the concept of what, not how. How is it usually attached to what are called tactics? The concept of what can be very specific, while the concept of how can be often somewhat nebulous, abstract and quite daunting for many small business owners because everybody’s trying to figure out how to achieve their objectives and reach their goals.
One thing not to uncertainty though is that the consumer, the customer, must always have unshakeable, unrivaled and undeniable confidence that they have made the right decision in choosing you to do business with, preferring your brand over other options. One of the main reasons why branding is so important is because there are too many doggone websites. There are too many social networks. It’s a giant, crowded, saturated, noisy internet marketplace spread around the world. Somehow in the midst of all that commodity, all of us as business owners must shape how consumers perceive us. While consumer perception influences buying decisions, the sad reality is that many owners don’t trust brands as much as they used to in the past. The old expression, “In brands we trust,” is no longer as relevant as it used to be. From Tide detergent to Trader Joe’s to Michelin tires, we have all these brands that we’ve always to believe in, but then at some point, something may have happened where we start to not trust them. Some of us don’t trust Tide. Who doesn’t trust Tide? My mom always did.
Brand Perception: If you want to improve the perception of your brand, make the strongest emotional connections you can with your targeted customer.
With much distrust out there, consumer perception of your brand is more important than ever, which means you must know your inside reality from the outside perception. Meaning the way you view yourself, all the amazing things you offer, the problems you solve, your skills and expertise, the superior result you deliver, your level of customer service, your secret sauce, delivery system and intellectual property, your commitment to always satisfying your customers and so forth. All of that may not match the outside perception of how existing customers or potential customers view your so-called inside reality, which means that you may see yourself as a filet mignon and a glass of fine wine, but potential customers may see you like a bag of chips and a chocolate shake.
How your brand is perceived is not decided by one thing. It’s everything your brand says, does and puts out into the world. From your level of quality to your online presence and reputation to how you package yourself or present your brand, that list too goes on and on. If you want to improve the perception of your brand and positively influence decisions people make about purchasing your brand or doing with you make the strongest emotional connections you can with your targeted customer, deliver and then over-deliver on every touchpoint you have with them because that creates loyalty to your products, your services, your organization or even yourself. In the end, it translates into more sales, more profits and more money in your bank account.
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