How to build brand perception among your customers?

Many people aren't aware that they choose brands based on how they want to express themselves. Brands have caught on to this and tailor their personality, messaging, and visuals to align with people's self-perception.

Author
Updated on
July 27, 2023
brand perception in marketing

To capture the gaze of customers amidst this intense rivalry, brands employed various tactics. Billboards, subway signs, striking architectural designs, captivating product packaging, and compelling TV commercials all became weapons in their arsenal.

However, merely grabbing attention was not enough for these brands. They wanted their customers’ loyalty. 

How did brands build brand perception?

Since multiple similar products started appearing in the market, they had to ensure customers bought from them, and them alone.

Marketers started studying their target audiences to understand their desires and needs. They then used compelling images and carefully crafted messaging based on their research to make customers feel connected to the product. 

They made it emotional. Branding became more personal. Before diving into this we need to ask ourselves a more fundamental question.

Where does a brand exist?

Many people aren't aware that they choose brands based on how they want to express themselves. Brands have caught on to this and tailor their personality, messaging, and visuals to align with people's self-perception. When customers find a brand that resonates with their identity, their bond with it can become as strong as family.

Choosing different brands is, essentially, creating an identity for oneself. This identity can even influence our behaviour. In fact, an attack on the brand may feel like a personal attack.

People buy Nike because it helps them communicate who they are
People buy Nike because it helps them communicate who they are

A brand doesn’t exist in its marketing material, its visual identity or its advertising. Brand exists in the minds of its customers.

Branding is the sum total of all impressions that your customer gets from all interactions with you, your product and your company.

Since we have established that we are more likely to buy into a brand that is in line with our self perception, we need to define something more important. A brand is a perception designed by buyers, but ultimately shaped by you, that is, if you have a personal brand and strategy in place.

What is brand awareness?

The rule of seven is an old adage that very much applies to today’s branding. It means that the prospective buyer should hear or see the brand message at least seven times before they buy it from you.

Brand awareness encompasses customers' capacity to remember and identify a brand in various situations, associating it with specific elements such as the brand name, logo, and jingles stored in their memory. 

Brand awareness aids customers in comprehending the product or service category to which a particular brand belongs and the specific offerings associated with the brand. 

Moreover, it enables customers to recognise how the brand fulfils their needs through its range of products. Brand awareness is of critical importance since customers will not consider your brand if they are not aware of it. The future of branding is fluid and engaging — respect your customers' intelligence by not giving everything away up front. Generate some intrigue and allow them to unearth more about your brand for themselves. This is the way to foster ambassadors who revel in telling other people what they have discovered.

There are three types of brand awareness -

  • Top of mind awareness
    This is when your brand is what is recalled by consumers when they are asked to name brands in a product category.

  • Aided awareness
    This is when your brand is recalled when a consumer is shown or read a list of brands, and they express familiarity with your brand, only after they hear or see it.

  • Strategic awareness
    This is when your brand is top of mind to consumers, but also has a USP that they can recall, making it better than the other brands in your market. 


Some ways to increase brand awareness are -

Write blogs
  • Consistently create high quality blog content to demonstrate expertise.
  • Blogs can improve your brand's visibility in search engine results.
  • it increases the likelihood of other websites linking back to your blog posts. These backlinks not only drive referral traffic but also improve your brand's visibility and credibility.
Advertise as much as you can
  • Reach specific demographics through social media, display ads, search engine marketing, and video advertising.
  • Use TV, radio, print, and outdoor ads for broad brand exposure to a wide audience.
Hire a mascot to be the face of your brand
  • A mascot can attract attention and stand out in crowded environments, such as trade shows, events, or public gatherings.
  • A well-designed mascot becomes a visual representation of your brand. It creates a memorable and relatable character.
  • Mascots can engage with the audience, create memorable experiences, and build emotional connections. 
  • Having a mascot sets your brand apart from competitors.
  • Mascots can serve as brand ambassadors, representing your brand values and personality.

    Read here about the 21 most famous mascot designs of all time
Come up with a catchy slogan with recall value
Create content around your brand that customers can share
  • When you create content that is interesting, entertaining, or valuable, it has the potential to go viral. Viral content spreads rapidly through social media shares.
  • By creating shareable content, you empower your customers to become brand advocates.
  • Encouraging customers to create and share content related to your brand can further enhance brand awareness.

    Read here about how Thursday, the dating app blew up on LinkedIn

The level of brand awareness can impact how consumers perceive a brand. A brand that is highly recognized and familiar is more likely to be associated with positive attributes and evoke favourable perceptions.

When a hundred different brands are all working on driving better brand awareness, what will you choose? 

The psychology behind making purchase decisions

The psychology behind decision-making is a complex and multifaceted field of study. 

Daniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast vs. Thinking Slow | Inc. Magazine


Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman describes in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, that thoughts enter the mind in two ways. He terms them as -

  • System 1 Thinking - This is more primal, automatic, intuitive and faster.
  • System 2 Thinking - This is more logical, calculative, reasonable and slower.

He explains that the decision making process starts in system 1.

System 1 quickly forms impressions and feelings that influence the conscious beliefs and deliberate choices made by System 2.

There are a number of factors that influence these systems of thought - 

Social influence and building brand perception

People are influenced by social norms, conformity, peer pressure, and the desire for social acceptance. Group dynamics, social comparisons, and the opinions of others can sway decisions.

Here's how - 

  • Social proof
    When consumers see positive endorsements and engagement with a brand, it enhances brand perception through social validation and credibility.
  • Word of mouth
    Recommendations and opinions from social networks significantly impact brand perception, shaping attitudes towards the brand.
  • Influencer marketing
    Collaborating with influencers who align with the brand can positively impact brand perception by associating it with the influencer's positive image and reputation.
  • Social media and user-generated content
    User-generated content on social media, such as reviews and testimonials, influences brand perception by adding credibility and authenticity.
  • Social norms and conformity
    Brands associated with specific social groups or conforming to norms can influence brand perception as individuals align themselves with the desired group or norms.

Consumer motivation and brand perception

Consumer motivation refers to the underlying psychological processes that drive individuals to engage in certain behaviours or make specific choices as consumers.

It involves - 

  • Needs and desires



Consumer motivation stems from fundamental human needs, such as physiological, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs. Consumers seek products/services that align with their desires.

  • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
    Consumer motivation can be intrinsic (personal enjoyment, curiosity) or extrinsic (external rewards, social approval).

  • Goal-directed behaviour
    Consumers are motivated by specific goals, including utilitarian, hedonic, or symbolic goals, driving their product/brand choices.

The primary factor influencing decisions is personal preference. If you genuinely like something, it significantly affects your choice to invest your time, money, and resources in it. This highlights the considerable power consumers and individuals possess. 

Emotional Branding

Emotional branding refers to the practice of creating a strong emotional connection between a brand and its target audience. 

It involves using emotions, feelings, and values to shape the perception and relationship individuals have with a brand. Emotional branding taps into the deeper psychological and emotional aspects of consumers.

Through emotional branding, companies aim to - 

  • Evoke specific emotions such as happiness, nostalgia, joy, excitement, trust, or empathy, in order to build brand loyalty.
  • Enhance customer engagement.
  • Differentiate themselves from competitors.

Apple vs Samsung

The reason why emotional branding (like Apples) works is because it is scientifically proven that emotional experiences have a greater chance of landing in the long - term memory bank than information-laden experiences.

iD Foods - Building Brand Perception

iD was established in 2005 by PC Musthafa and his four cousins, starting from a humble 50 sq.ft. kitchen in Thippasandra, Bangalore. Presently, the company has achieved remarkable success, generating an annual revenue of Rs. 600 crores. Not only is iD profitable, but it also dominates its primary market segment of dosa batter with an impressive 70% market share.

iD Foods used emotional branding and advertising wonderfully. Whether it's making you go down memory lane, or feel fuzzy inside, this tactic has produced some pretty cool ads. 


You can see how they pull on your heart strings right? 

Combining the ‘work from home’ scenario that arose from the pandemic with the heartwarming gesture of the son, the ad creates an emotional experience which resonates with the viewer. 

This creates a positive context around the product which feeds into the viewers system 1 thinking, which is automatic and intuitive, which influences a positive emotional response in the system 2 thinking.

More ads by iD


Read more about iD Fresh Foods brand strategy - power of branding and storytelling 

How is all of this related to brand perception?

Emotional branding has the power to shape a customer's brand awareness and drive their decision to embrace your brand, ultimately fostering a positive perception in their minds.

Brand perception is how consumers feel, experience, and think about a product or service. It goes beyond what a brand claims and reflects what people truly believe the brand stands for.

Positive brand perception leads to increased loyalty and recommendations, driving brand equity.

Brand equity is the combination of people’s perceptions, experiences, and opinions that creates a brand’s reputation.

Brand reputation is the collective public perception of your brand. It includes how your customers, employees, partners, and others think and feel about your brand at every interaction. 

TATA

“Giving back to the people and communities that are its lifeblood is what makes the TATA group, and by extension its brands, distinctive in its approach to business and singular in its interactions. Align that advantage with a combative attitude and it creates a potent force.” 

TATA has strengthened its brand perception through various strategies and attributes over the years. Some of them are - 

  • They are trustworthy - The TATA brand promise of trust and dependability and looking after people is very strong. They have earned the trust and belief of customers through their quality level.

  • They are pioneers - TATA is a pioneer in various industries, introducing new concepts and ventures. The brand comprises 30 companies across 10 vertices.

  • They are socially conscious - TATA actively engages in social causes, earning respect for its ethical practices.

  • They are a patriotic symbol - TATA demonstrated patriotism and resilience during challenging times, conveying commitment to the nation.

  • They are fighters - TATA competes with global competitors and emerges as a market leader, showcasing determination.The brand is the worlds 41st most valuable brand.

Measuring brand perception

It is essential to measure your brand's perception as it is a direct indication of where you stand in the market. 

It can help identify areas of strength and weakness, uncover consumer preferences, and guide strategic decision-making.

By conducting competitive analyses brands can gain an understanding of how they are perceived as relative to others, and devise strategies to improve their standing.

Some ways of measuring brand perception are  -  

  • Reaching out to your customers - Ask the right questions. You can get them to tell you what their expectations are, and then identify the gap. Is your messaging in line with your users' perceptions?

  • Creating focus groups - Curate a group of people representative of your target audience and conduct guided discussions to gain qualitative insights.

  • Using Social listening tools - Track online conversations to understand what customers are saying about you. Does that match what you’re telling the world about yourself?

    Check out the 16 best social listening tools to monitor mentions of your brand

  • Auditing your brand - Compare yourself to your competitors and see how you match up in terms of your audience, communication strategy, and brand positioning.

Managing brand perception

Managing brand perception is vital to maintaining a positive reputation and building a strong and enduring brand that resonates with consumers and drives long term success.

A few ways to manage you brands perception are :  

Having a consistent brand identity

  • Recognition and Recall - Consistency in brand elements such as logo, colour palette, typography, and overall design across various brand touchpoints, such as packaging, website, advertising, and social media, helps customers recognize and recall the brand easily

  • Brand Extension and Expansion - A consistent brand identity facilitates brand extension and expansion into new markets or product lines.

Having good messaging

  • Clear USP - Having a distinct, succinct, and unforgettable unique selling proposition is essential for distinguishing yourself from competitors, conveying your identity and values to customers, and providing them with compelling reasons to choose your brand over others.

  • Tone of voice - The tone of voice reflects the brand's personality and character. Whether it's casual, formal, playful, or professional, the tone sets the brand's overall demeanour.

  • Singular core message -  Crafting a clear and distinct brand message is crucial to convey the essence and unique qualities of the brand to consumers, avoiding any confusion with competitors. Moreover, this message should effectively evoke consumer emotions.

    How Thursdays unique brand tone of voice made them seem more authentic

Delivering good customer experience & service

  • Word of mouth - Customers tend to share their experiences with others, whether through personal conversations, online reviews, or social media.

  • Reputation management - Customer experience and service contribute to reputation management efforts. Brands that actively listen to customer feedback, promptly address issues, and go the extra mile tend to succeed more

    Customers who had the best experiences with a brand spend 140% more money

Communicating an effective brand story

  • Creating meaning - A brand story provides meaning and context to a brand, connecting it with customers on a deeper level. It communicates the brand's purpose, values, and history, helping customers understand what the brand stands for.

  • Trust and Authenticity - A well-crafted brand story that is based on the truth, can enhance trust and authenticity. It demonstrates transparency, values, and a genuine commitment to customers. People can often tell when a brand is full of it.

  • Engaging and memorable experiences - A compelling brand story provides a framework for creating engaging and memorable customer experiences. It guides marketing campaigns, product development, and customer interactions, ensuring they align with the brand's narrative.

  • An emotional connect - Building a narrative around how a brand's product or service improves the consumers life will create an emotional connect between the two.

    Old Spice, The Man your Man Could Smell Like

Beneficial partnerships & sponsorships

  • Increased visibility - Associating with prominent entities, which have national / international recognition opens doors to featuring branding on multiple platforms that will have a lot of eyes on them.
  • Increased reach through sports sponsorships - Associating with the popular sport of a region allows brands to capture the attention of a large audience.The popularity of the sport can be used to enhance brand awareness.

    Why sports marketing has worked so well for BYJU’s & new age digital brands

Leveraging celebrity endorsements

  • Influencing Consumer Behaviour -  Celebrity endorsements can influence consumer behaviour by shaping their attitudes and purchase decisions. When a celebrity promotes a brand, it can positively impact consumer perceptions, leading to increased brand awareness and a higher likelihood of consumers choosing that brand.
    A study found that celebrity endorsements can increase a company’s sales by an average of 4%.
  • Strengthen perception and identity - By associating with celebrities who have a good public image, whose identities align with their own identities, brands can leverage the emotions that the general public have of the celebrity, to strengthen their perception. 
    How MRF set an example of influencer marketing.

The role of social media in brand perception

Social media has become a crucial tool for brands worldwide to capture consumer attention and engagement. It plays a vital role in various aspects of brand management, including branding, customer acquisition, and customer retention.

The main benefits of social media in branding are - 

  • Word of mouth - Social media amplifies the impact of word of mouth, allowing opinions and information to spread exponentially. However, negative sentiments can also have a significant detrimental effect on a product or brand.
  • Marketing efforts are inexpensive - Marketing efforts on social media are cost-effective, providing opportunities for small businesses to engage with customers regularly, fostering brand loyalty.
  • Highly measurable and targetable - Social media platforms offer highly precise targeting options, such as age, gender, geolocation, and interests. This level of measurement and targeting enables brands to create more impactful strategies by leveraging the data obtained.
  • Maintain customer relationships - Social media serves as a powerful tool for maintaining customer relationships, allowing brands to effectively engage and manage interactions with existing customers

Conclusion

Building a strong brand perception is a multifaceted process that requires careful consideration of various factors. By implementing the strategies mentioned in this blog, brands can take a step towards creating a positive brand perception that leads to increased loyalty, recommendations, and ultimately, brand equity.

If you're looking to enhance your brand perception and create a strong and enduring brand, we at Everything Design are here to help. As experts in branding, we can provide tailored solutions to elevate your brand and drive long-term success. Get in touch with us today and let's start building a powerful brand together!

References

https://designeverything.xyz/digital-marketing-strategy-thursday/ 

https://designeverything.xyz/id-fresh-food-brand-strategy-case-study/ 

https://www.scribd.com/document/72229231/Consumer-Perception-Tata-as-a-Brand# 

https://hbr.org/2014/08/the-value-of-customer-experience-quantified 

https://www.wixanswers.com/post/customer-service-statistics 

https://thebrandhopper.com/2023/02/23/the-man-your-man-could-smell-like-case-study-on-old-spice-branding-campaign/   

https://medium.com/nicely-said/11-of-the-best-brand-story-examples-af098e4ea911 

https://www.adgully.com/why-sports-marketing-has-worked-so-well-for-byju-s-new-age-digital-brands-87330.html 

https://www.theclueless.company/example-of-influencer-marketing/#aioseo-what-can-we-learn-from-this 

https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=40853 

https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/56586 

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/celebrity-endorsements 

https://advertising.amazon.com/library/guides/brand-awareness 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/marketing-branding/branding/building-brand-awareness-through-display-advertising/articleshow/49162691.cms?from=mdr 

https://99designs.com/blog/design-history-movements/history-of-branding/#:~:text=1950s%20%E2%80%93%201960s%3A%20The%20birth%20of%20modern%20branding,-%E2%80%94&text=The%20post%2DWorld%20War%20II,product%20manufacturing%20and%20consumer%20culture 

https://medium.com/@Brady.Evan.Walker/what-is-neuromarketing-your-emotional-brain-on-apple-vs-samsung-fd41161556fc 

https://brand24.com/blog/brand-awareness/ 

https://neilpatel.com/blog/how-to-improve-brand-perception/ 

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/brand-awareness 

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