How To Change Brand Perception

In business, perception is everything. What consumers perceive a company’s brand to be is way more important that what that company actually is. And because people (.ie., consumers) change, their perceptions change, too, making it paramount that companies keep their fingers on the pulse of the market at all times and make adjustments when there’s a disconnect between what the public thinks those companies represent and/or provide and what they actually do. Here’s how companies can successfully change their brand perception:

By Monitoring and Listening

Brand reputation

To understand what consumers really believe about their products and services, companies don’t always have to actually ask for opinions. Instead, they can remotely monitor the ways in which their customers and employees, as well as general consumers, mention their brand. Known as social media monitoring, this type of research allows companies the opportunity to keep abreast of consumer behavior without the unintentional biases that can arise with explicit questioning. Indeed, social media monitoring, particularly when combined with active listening, can help companies compare their own perceptions of their brand against the perceptions of the public at large and take charge when that gap grows too wide.

By Reviewing the Competition

Of course, it’s helpful for companies to assess their competition. A quick review of the players surrounding them can give companies a feel for brand strategies that work and those that don’t.

By Researching the Market

Businesses can do a lot of the initial research themselves, but at some point, most should hire a market research company (such as Communications for Research) to help them delve deeper into why consumers think and feel and act the way they do about their brands. Professional market researchers — in this situation, those especially skilled in brand repositioning — support companies as they collect and evaluate data, assigning insight to observation and providing concrete suggestions upon which companies can act to change their brand perception.

By Encouraging Team Buy-In

The next step is to get everyone on board. Companies must review the results of any market research project, along with their own observations, and set a time to explain their reasoning behind any brand change to their team. A rebranding is successful only if a company can convince its employees that it’s needed and can get them to support the change. Their buy-in not only gives a company more people to help spread the message, it displays confidence in the rebranding effort, hopefully convincing the public to do the same.

By Taking Action

At some point, however, companies need to stop talking about change and just act. As they say, “go big or go home!” Companies must devise a game plan and then implement it in a big way. A rebranding doesn’t subtly disengage a company from previous errors but rather proudly proclaims a new way of doing things, instilling confidence that it listens and responds to consumer and employee feedback.

By Always Repeating the Process

Finally, smart (i.e., successful) businesses don’t become complacent; they continuously listen and learn, changing when their perceptions of themselves cease to agree with those of the people they serve.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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