Remember the last time you made a bad impression?
Everyone is human and makes mistakes. A lackluster first impression may not represent the real you, but the person on the receiving end doesn’t know it.
Brand marketing is similar to interpersonal communication. How consumers perceive your brand is instrumental. Too many wrong impressions will give customers’ a negative feeling about your brand, despite your product’s quality.
The old saying is true, “perception is everything.”
Here’s a closer look at the psychology and strategy behind brand perception.
Table of Contents
- Avoid Fatal Brand Awareness Mistakes
- Improve Brand Perception with Market Research
- Make an Impression in Search Engines
- Traditional Marketing Tips to Improve Perception
- Employer Branding and Perception
- Behind the Scenes
- Customer-Centric Strategy
- Smooth Operator
- Improve Communication
- Respond to Negativity with Positivity
- Perception Is Everything
Avoid Fatal Brand Awareness Mistakes
Where does brand perception go wrong? This is an important question to ask as you craft your brand marketing strategy.
The first stop on your strategy journey is brand awareness. Awareness campaigns are critical for driving interest among new customers. However, current customers also play a role in increasing awareness among friends and family.
One mistake in your brand awareness campaign can throw off your launch. Worse yet, it may tank your brand before it has a chance to get off its feet.
Here are common awareness marketing mistakes that hurt brand perception:
- Posting something insensitive on social media
- Including non-inclusive language in ads
- Including generally offensive language in ads
- Running commercials that test horribly with focus groups
- Partnering with the wrong social media influencers
- Insulting your target demographic
- Poor referral program roll-outs
Not “reading the room” is another problem for brand awareness campaigns. Remember Pepsi’s massive Kendall Jenner commercial fail? Multi-national corporations can bounce back from such fails, but new, upcoming brands can’t afford that type of bad press.
Despite the old adage, bad publicity isn’t always good publicity for small brands.
Improve Brand Perception with Market Research
Ideally, you want to make a fantastic first impression from the get-go. This commitment requires fierce attention to detail.
Start with a thorough market research report, and create an “ideal consumer” profile. Target consumers who are more likely to engage positively with your brand. Invest in marketing channels that will position your brand for maximum engagement.
For example, if you’re a jewelry brand or a phone case brand like Velvet Caviar, you’re more likely to drive positive engagement on Instagram than Linkedin. A boating company would also do well on an image-based network like Instagram; YouTube video ads are another option.
Make an Impression in Search Engines
PPC campaigns are vital to brand awareness campaigns since over 93% of internet experiences begin with the web’s top search engines. Make sure your PPC ads are free from unsightly grammatical errors. Stand out by emphasizing benefits and call-to-actions instead of boring specifications.
PPC platforms also let you monitor ad performance; this method is known as analytics.
Analytics data reveals your best-performing ads and posting schedules, including click-through data and sales conversions. Likewise, you also learn which ads aren’t making such a great impression.
Traditional Marketing Tips to Improve Perception
It may feel like digital marketing has all the fun, but there’s still a place for traditional marketing. In fact, it’s perfect for positive brand perception experiences.
One way to mold perception is to create company merchandise, like t-shirts, pens, stationery, hats, coffee mugs, and more promotional items.
Printing your brand name on everyday items helps consumers make positive associations with your brand. For example, branded mugs help create happy Saturday mornings, which creates a positive impression of your brand.
Employer Branding and Perception
How potential hires perceive your brand is also essential. If you’re trying to hire 5-star talent for your new company, run a targeted marketing campaign on LinkedIn. This marketing method is called employer branding.
Top talent is easily scared away by horrific employee reviews. Implement a review strategy before going on a recruitment spree. Emphasize your unique and empowering company culture in your employer branding campaigns.
Behind the Scenes
Behind every great first impression is a well-oiled machine. Everything from supply chain management to communication impacts brand perception.
Consumers aren’t concerned with what your company is doing. They’re worried about their own needs, desires, and wants. That’s why factors like timing, choices, and customer-centered marketing are so important.
Customer-centric marketing builds positive brand perception through personalized marketing methods, like personalized email campaigns and product recommendations based on past purchasing behavior. These marketing methods create the feeling of “one-on-one” service, which is instrumental to good brand perception.
Today’s startups also leverage consumer data and customer relationship management (CRM) software to maintain positive perception long-term. You’ll need these tools as you grow and scale your business.
Is your operations strategy smooth or scatterbrained?
One hiccup in the warehouse can throw an order off track, delaying shipping, or worse. That’s one mishap too many.
Shipping problems are one reason why customers ditch online services. High shipping costs are also a factor.
However, even problems with shipping costs can be mitigated with stellar customer service. Surveys show that over 80% of consumers expect consistent and timely communication about deliveries.
Ensure your company has easy and accessible modes of communication, like email, website chat agents, social media, and business phone systems. You may need to get a second business line to accommodate higher call volume during peak seasons.
Since social media is so integral to online presence, invest in a robust social media strategy. Like your PPC campaigns, you can monitor all your social media pages from analytics dashboards. Responding to mentions and answering support DMS is critical for positive brand perception in the digital age.
Respond to Negativity with Positivity
Nothing feels more unfair than an undeserved 1-star review. Nonetheless, responding with negativity is a recipe for poor brand perception.
However, poor reviews are a lesson in turning lemons into lemonade. Responding positively to bad reviews lets prospective customers know that you care. Furthermore, if you sweeten the deal with a discount, you’ll attract future customers and satisfy disgruntled patrons.
Perception Is Everything
Don’t let the wrong perception derail your business goals. Use these tips to create a brand perception strategy that attracts newbies and satisfies loyal customers.
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