I shop, therefore I am. My perceptions and responses to brands contribute to the overall success of any product I choose to buy. My satisfaction of these products translates to my willingness to share them with others, while my dissatisfaction quickly warns others not to waste their time and money. Perception is reality. In today’s marketplace, that reality can be brutal to anyone trying to make a name for themselves or their products and services.
It is not enough to have a good idea you share with others. You must be willing to test your idea with your intended audience. To do so, you must define your target audience, give them a chance to offer feedback, and truly listen to what they say about how you (the marketer) present your offering. Creating an acceptable image is not a slam dunk, based on product quality. Presentation matters and determines whether or not you’ll be well received in the community at large.
Understand Target Demo Views
Knowing your target audience is vitally important. However, generalizing large groups of people, based on stereotypes and other biased criteria, has the tendency to minimize your overall effectiveness when branding yourself and your product. Brand management attests to the value of performing market research studies, effectively determining the actual responses of real people and how they feel about your brand.
Positive perceptions often translate into sales, which in turn have the ability to translate into repeat business, as well as referrals for a product or service that proves reliable and trustworthy. Once a positive perception is established, it’s very difficult to deter satisfied customers away. Mistakes do happen, and satisfied customers who maintain overall positive perceptions, are likely to forgive numerous minor infractions. Break that bond of trust, however, and you risk losing your reputation, positive brand image and more sales than you’d ever believe possible.
Marketing Perception is Reality
Taking this theory to the next level, let’s consider the impact of first impressions. Whether it’s a product, book or movie title, t.v. commercial, Facebook ad or song on iTunes, consumers immediately respond to the image, sound and attitude of what’s presented. Their first impression determines if they will even be willing to try the product, let alone give it a chance when they do. Perception is reality. If consumers aren’t completely taken with the genuineness of the presentation, you better hope they’re willing to get personal with your item. Of course, if consumers take one look at your product or service and turn away, you may want to conduct further research to improve the image of your brand as soon as possible.