The life of the busy entrepreneur: It’s jam-packed with things to do! Once you have survived the initial craziness of launching the business, you begin to settle into a routine. You learn to focus on building relationships with clients and vendors. You normalise your life bit by bit even when the work hours are long and when employees leave without notice.
Somewhere along the way, it’s easy to get caught up in your own business routines. You could reach the point when you overlook how your customers perceive you and your Branding. This is something to be cautious of because customer perceptions change over time, and they can suffer from your lack of attention as the captain of the brand. You want to maintain the proper perspective when it comes to your brand. Have you considered your Branding Perception?
The Gap in Branding Perception
Every business owner needs a periodic reality check when it comes to customer perceptions. There may be a big gap between your idea of the current brand perception and what customers actually think. This gap isn’t something that you can afford to ignore. Here, we look at some ideas that will help you consider whether you need expert guidance on this matter:
1. How customers perceive your Branding may differ from your understanding of it.
They could have entirely different concepts in their minds than the ones you built into the branding campaign, perhaps with creative assistance from an external firm. You might need data to work with, and you get that from survey research. This isn’t cold-calling customers to have them rate your service. It’s giving them a convenient survey in a format they are likely to choose.
2. Start with how customers perceive your brand as the top dog.
Do your customers see you as available to help them? Do they think you are friendly and trustworthy or arrogant and unreliable? These are definitely important questions for local businesses. Larger companies must give more attention to how their customers view their staff across the board, especially if they have numerous stores or call centres providing sales and service.
3. Think of branding this way: Perception is reality.
Paul Jankowski pointed out on Forbes.com: “We know as a society that the loudest voice tends to create a ‘perceived reality’ when it comes to everything from social issues to brand awareness, but this perception is often extremely skewed.” If your loudest voice makes it into the social media, the damage could be extensive. You want to know what the loudest voices are saying and the people who don’t speak up but continue to give you their brand loyalty.
4. Your business must give customers a perceived value.
If you don’t deliver on that value to enough customers most of the time, the brand will not hold up over time. People who aren’t sure about the brand value will choose a competitor in the first place or will eventually take their business elsewhere.
5. Branding concepts are not based on rational consumer perceptions.
Jankowski also explains that a brand is comprised of many perceptions, which translate to an “emotional connection with consumers.” If you don’t find out what those perceptions are, you can’t be sure if the net effect of your current business operations is positive or negative.
The Future for Branding Design
The first step is identifying if a gap exists between your brand concepts and your brand perceptions.
At least once a year, we can help you perform this reality check: how do your customers truly perceive your company brand?
If you don’t know how to answer this, you want to create a plan, which doesn’t have to be costly. The plan doesn’t have to take months to implement, especially if you have experts from a marketing agency that knows branding on your side.
Re-evaluating your Branding Perception?