After more than 35 years of brand building, it still surprises us how the concept of perception can paralyze companies who have never been asked these 3 questions:
- How do you think you are perceived?
- How are you actually perceived?
- How do you want to be perceived?
It’s a vital starting point when reviewing brand strength and competitive values. Most companies spend inordinate amounts of money to build brand, with cleverly designed advertising, punchy social media campaigns and robust digital campaigns, all developed with a creative eye but with no real information to guide the process.
The only reality is the intersection between these questions, and the only way to manage perception is to do the checks and balances necessary to keep the brand honest.
There are two schools of thought in building brand: top down and bottom up.
When a brand does not have authentic answers and fresh research on brand positioning and perception, we recommend a bottom-up approach. This requires deep digging and true reality checks at every point the brand meets the eyes and ears of its audience.
It means acknowledging the realities of the brand’s stance in its market today and then doing what is necessary to refine, redefine or redirect purpose and positioning of the brand to reach the ultimate goal: “the brand being perceived the way the brand wants to be perceived.”
It’s all within reach, but it takes an honest and earnest desire to build a brand on its authentic values and to build relationships with the brand’s target audience that will connect, support and resonate the brand’s truest value, benefit and promise.
Brand perception – it can build or break a brand…and it is vital to understand and critical to manage.