This week I have really been thinking about branding, customer perceptions, and how that factors into my business. As a consumer we all form own opinions of brands, which in turn shapes our loyalty to them and ultimately affects our buying behaviour.
This perception we have can be influences by several factors such as marketing strategies, the customer experience, and just your overall personal preference. Something in their brand my identify with you personally which attracts you to them in the first place, or maybe their marketing strategies really did a great job of targeting you. After the initial draw-in, your overall customer experience will determine if you return and will either strengthen or weaken your loyalty.
Many times how a customer perceives your brand doesn’t even have to do with anything you’ve done. Sometimes it is more about what you didn’t do. This thought sparked something in me, and I realized that if you don’t take the time to find out how exactly your audience sees you, how will you know if you are pursuing the right strategy? We cannot simply assume that a potential customer has the same perception of your brand as you do. They do not see the “behind-the-scenes” action, and if your purpose isn’t clear to them, they may form an entirely different vision of what your brand represents.
So therefore it is important to take a step back and really find out how your audience sees you. A great way to think about this differently is, “What job are they hiring you to do? What problem do they believe you will solve for them?” The answers to these questions will illuminate exactly how they see you! Their beliefs about what it is you can do for them and the results you will be able to help them achieve really determines their perception of your brand.
3 Key Questions To Answer
1. What is it that you provide for them?
This is such an illuminating answer to have since it not only tells you if your audience understands the true nature and purpose of your business, but also whether you have targeted the right audience to begin with. If their responses and perception of what it is you provide for them is completely off, you need to re-evaluate your communication strategies and find out how to better get your message across to the right audience. Here you also need to determine if you truly are providing value to your potential clients. Are they receiving that special “value-added” benefit from you, or have you failed to provide that. This is a great way to re-align your customer service and content creation strategies.
2. What do you represent?
This is where you should aim to represent their ultimate resource of choice. if you have become their go-to place for resources, help, and continued services then you have truly succeeded. In order to establish your brand needs to be clearly communicated to them – what do you represent, what are your values and beliefs, and what have you set out to achieve? Another way to look at this answer is for example, if you are providing your clients with social media management resources, you may represent the following things: marketing, content sourcing, and even a more personal goals such as freedom! By having you there to help them manage their social media, this gives them the freedom to spend their time on other aspects of their business that they enjoy. Once you understand what you represent, you can be sure to capitalize on providing your clients with exactly that!
3. What are they seeking you out for?
This final question can really pin down exactly what the pain points of your audience are, and what they are struggling with the most. Is it to find inspiration? Is is only for minimum support, or do they require a ton of help and engagement? Here you will be able to identify what you should be providing more of and how you can leverage your resources to create the best result for your customer. This can also help you clarify what role you are fulfilling to your audience and how that plays into your overall brand perception. Together these identifications can help you to recognize your strengths in position or allow you to re-organize and focus on a new path.
So How Do You Find Out How Your Audience Perceives You?
Ask them! This week I want you to take the challenge of reaching out to your audience by asking them simple yet critical identifying questions, starting with the three we’ve discussed in this Spark Idea. Some modes of asking include:
- Social media questions
- Short surveys
- Feedback emails
- Comments on posts and articles
I trust that this has also sparked your thinking towards perception and that you will let it challenge and guide you towards improving your business!
Now I’d love to hear from YOU!
- Were you sparked by this idea? What are some other benefits to understanding audience perception?
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As always, desire to inspire!
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