When you launched a brand, you wanted it to be perceived positively and you wanted people to associate that brand with all of the things that you designed it to represent. However, after your brand is in the marktplace you may discover that it isn’t perceived that way. As one expert reminds us, “Brand perception is owned by consumers, not brands. Regardless of your message, whatever people are thinking and saying about your brand, that is your brand.” (brandwatch.com) You need to first evaluate your brand from the outside, then dig deeper. If you find that your vision for the brand is totally different from the public perception of the brand, you need to figure out why. Here are 5 critical points of focus for your brand perception research:
Social media is a great starting point for your brand perception research. We all know that people are a lot more likely to air their honest opinions about something online than they are in person. Search the hashtag for your product on Twitter, for instance, and see what people are saying. Maybe they are complaining about it, or maybe they are praising it. Either way, spend some time combing through the results and find out if there are any common themes.
Anonymous surveys are a good way to collect data on your brand’s perception. If people have nothing to lose by submitting honest answers, they will be truthful about their experience with your brand. A survey can be made accessible in a store or online, but you might have to add an incentive in order to get people to fill it out. Offer a free gift to a random survey respondent, and you will get way more responses.
Use whatever sales data you have access to and match it up against the competition. Are you selling more products than competitors in your industry? If so, what makes your brand better? If not, why are consumers choosing other brands? The answers to these questions may not be readily apparent, but the data should give you a starting point.
Does your brand offer a variety of products to consumers? You may actually find from your surveys and social media research that people love you brand, but they wish it had more to offer. That’s the kind of information you need to put into action. The competition might not be as good, but they may have a more positive brand perception because they offer a greater variety.
When we talk about durability being a critical point in brand perception research, we are really talking about two things. First: is your brand durable? Did it peak in the early stages and then quickly fall out of popular favor after the novelty wore off? If so, you don’t have a durable brand and you need to make changes that create a lasting impact. Second: are your products durable? Consumers may complain that your brand’s products just don’t last. This causes your brand to be perceived as cheap and ineffective. Product durability is directly related to brand durability.
Corroborate your findings
When you get down to the important business of your own brand perception research, analyze these five critical points all together. Any of these points taken in isolation will only provide you with limited data, but taken together they will give you key insight into the public’s perception of your brand.
Want to see how Package Design helps the role of the consumer: