Customer perception can impact a business in ways that are hard to measure. That’s why business owners need to understand how their target customer base perceives their brand. Small business owners in particular need to be aware of the effect a brand has on consumers. A company’s brand has to do with the association of thoughts and feelings customers have when they think of a company and its products or services. A brand is tied to the customers’ perception. Numerous factors can impact a customer’s experience. Anything from advertising, social media, customer service, reviews and critiques, and public relations can all impact perception. Reactions to a business brand depend on how a product or service makes customers feel. It also depends on a product or service capturing customers’ attention, providing an explanation or solution, and if it keeps them coming back. Customer perception focuses on what motivates your audience to engage with your company and take action. Let’s take a look at how businesses can make a bigger impact on customer perceptions.
Marketing aids the wider public image of a business. A good marketing strategy allows a business to influence how customers and non-customers perceive a company. Traditional advertising can have a huge influence on public attitudes towards a brand. A Super Bowl ad, for example, can quickly present a brand as a big player and will seem more trustworthy very quickly. Consistently generating high-quality, highly-sharable content can establish a brand as a leader in a specific market. Along with ads, promotion for a business that includes presentations or a custom PowerPoint design to sell the business to the public is also a great way to boost brand perception. Incorporating high-quality presentations with catchy fonts, graphs, and infographics into a marketing strategy will help a company expand its exposure. Scrolling displays, public presentations, and exhibitions will push a brand to the forefront of the public view and bolster perceptions.
Voice of the Customer
One of the best ways to impact customer perception is to find out exactly what it is. Sometimes overlooked, this part of the process, gives customers a voice to express their opinions. Voice of the customer (VoC) is a market research process, that gives businesses a comprehensive understanding of customer’s wants and needs from a brand. VoC collects data from a wide variety of sources, including customer surveys, and combines the feedback into a powerful overview of the customer. It can help businesses identify customer intentions, desires, and hesitations. Voice of the customer allows for data-driven decision making across the entire business operation. From customer service to the quality of inventory, Voc allows for an analysis of a wide range of business aspects. Giving customers a voice is a tried and tested method that all brands can use to gather input about customer perceptions.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is one of the hardest aspects to measure but it is an incredibly important factor in how customers perceive a brand. In a literal sense, word of mouth is simply what customers are saying about a brand. Today, however, it extends to online word of mouth with customer reviews, social media posts, and micro-blogs. Before social media, customer satisfaction surveys were really the only way of telling what people were saying about their experience. But social media and online reviews have provided an opportunity for brand owners to catch issues and misinformation on a much larger scale. To harness the power of this perception creating information, entrepreneurs should take the time to respond to negative reviews and fix them! When this happens, it can form a positive impression and build trust in a brand. The content that people see online will be a big influence on their perceived notions of a brand.
Understanding how customers perceive a brand and its impact on business can be a complicated and lifelong task. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, sometimes something will happen that instantly changes how your brand is regarded. That being said, however, understanding perceptions and finding ways to make a positive impact on them will go a long way towards doing better business.