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How to change your brand perception

4 min read
Brand perception is possibly the hardest thing for your organisation to change because you don’t own it - customers do. To begin changing perception, you need to be able to step back and see your brand through your target audience’s eyes, understand their wants and needs, and be willing to take a radical departure from the status quo.

Disruption is now an expected part of the corporate landscape – according to Accenture research, 93% of executives expect their industries to be disrupted in the next three years, although only 20% say they’re ready for it.

Changing brand perception takes vision and courage. It requires investment too, not only in people, tech, products and processes, but in the brand itself; those companies that increase brand investment win more customers and sales.

So how can you change your brand perception?

1. Take a fresh look at your brand

Many brands have been historically successful because they brought a quality product or service to market at the right time and have continued to deliver it. However, customer attitudes, wants and needs change, and a brand must keep pace to succeed.

One of the best examples of this (if not the best example) is that of Apple. In the late 90s, Apple we very close to going bankrupt. Now, they’re one of the most valuable brands and companies in the world and the first company to hit $1 trillion in market value. What can their success be attributed to? Designing and producing reliable and elegant products and holding fast to their brand identity in every aspect of the business – the product, packaging, design, customer experience and much more.

2. Use the right platform to understand your customers

Underpin all your communications with a data framework that taps into both your operational and experience data. The right text analytics software will be able to analyze even open text comments and group them by topic to give you a comprehensive view of which brand perception associations are strongest. You will also be able to track the impact a change in brand perception has on other key performance indicators such as employee experience, revenue and profit.

3. Put the right leaders in place

You’ll need a senior leadership team that shares and embraces the vision for brand perception change. This may involve more focus on marketing and commercial departments, developing talent, and hiring new people with expertise in retail and digital. Make sure leaders can see the real-time difference they are making, using data dashboards.

4. Ask the audience

You can’t tell your customers what their perception of your brand is – they need to tell you. Send out and process customer feedback surveys, but also prime your employees to have genuine conversations with customers and really listen to what they say before reporting back.

5. Ask your employees

Your employees are the ones who make, sell, market and manage your brand’s products and services: who better to help gather and communicate brand perception? It’s also important to include and consider everyone’s opinions when you are changing perceptions, whatever department they work in. Employee experience surveys can help gather everyone’s thoughts.

6. Let content lead

Once you have identified the target audience for your brand, you need to send them the right content. Digital is the most wide-reaching way to do this, so make sure your website and social media channels are relaunched to reflect the new brand messaging and reach as many people as possible. With digital reach, you’ll be able to ask for and gather regular customer feedback as well as listen in to what social media is saying, to inform and keep developing your brand.

7. Keep an eye out for future opportunities

The world is changing rapidly and disruption is expected in business; be prepared to diversify from what has traditionally been your brand’s core. Up-and-coming areas for your brand may not be what you initially had in mind for it, but always look for opportunities within them.

Want to learn more about how to take control of and improve your brand perception? Dig deeper with our guides:

eBook: How to Manage Your Brand in Times of Change