Last week we discussed how to define your brand. Once you've honed in on what you want your brand to be, it's time to communicate it to the world and steer brand perception. Afterall, the public perception defines your brand, so we need to influence how the public perceives you!
Public perception is influenced by many factors. Every interaction they have with your business impacts their perception of your business. It all boils down to experiences shared.
When clients interact with your product or service, they experience your brand with multiple senses simultaneously, maximizing your impact on your clients. If you are delivering a physical product, you are impacting:
sight—is your product and packaging pleasing to the eye?
sound—what sounds are associated with the product? the product packaging?
smell—everything has a scent... even freshly printed brochures smell of ink.
taste—may or may not apply.
touch/feeling—cold or warm, hard or soft, rough or smooth, happy or sad?
If you're delivering a service, the same senses may or may not apply. A massage will rely heavily on the sense of touch, while selling a mortgage loan will rely more on the emotional sense of touch (feeling elated at the prospect of owning a new home).
You can impact these senses whether you have a bricks and mortar store or only an online presence. Consider the following touchpoints:
social media pages
All of these touchpoints form public perception of your brand. Some you have more control over than others, but you can influence and guide all of these perceptions through your communications. When we've been in business for some time, it can be difficult to "see" what a first-time client will see. You may be stepping over that same rip in the entry carpet every single day, but don't even notice it anymore because it's "always" been there. But those are the things that stand out to a new prospect or client. Those are the things that begin to form perceptions about your brand. It's important to stop looking over these imperfections that aren't communicating the intended message and correct them.
Consider getting an outside perspective about your brand and perform a brand audit. This can be someone you trust or someone you hire professionally. (Rethink Marketing can help you with this.) The first step in steering brand perception is knowing where you currently stand. Then focus on the areas that need redirection.