The Complex Interplay of Branding and Perception

Kishi Creative
5 min readAug 10, 2023


The art of branding is extremely important in the ever-changing world of business, where there is fierce competition and short attention spans. Branding is the glue that binds a company’s values, personality, and promises. It goes beyond just a logo or tagline. However, the true power of branding lies in the perception it creates among it’s audience.

Understanding Perception in Branding

When it comes the branding, perception is very important, it is the lens through which consumers view and interpret a brand. Every interaction, from a close encounter with a logo to an unforgettable customer service experience, causes an emotional and cognitive reaction. Over the years, I’ve come to understand that the perception of a brand is shaped not only by the explicit messages it communicates but also by the subtle cues it exudes.

First Impressions Matter

The old expression “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” couldn’t be more accurate in the world of branding. A consumer’s entire perception of a brand is frequently shaped by their first interaction with it. A well-designed logo, color scheme, and typography can convey professionalism and authenticity in an instant. On the other hand, a visually inconsistent design could raise suspicion and doubt.

Consider the well-known Apple logo, a symbol of simplicity that has come to represent creativity and superior design. This natural association wasn’t an accident; rather, it was the result of careful design and the unwavering message it conveys throughout each touchpoint.

Consistency is Key

The heartbeat of effective branding is consistency. It strengthens the audience’s perception of the brand by reinforcing its identity and fostering familiarity. A consistent and clear brand narrative should be created across all touchpoints, including social media posts and packaging. Even slight variations can weaken the perception and damage the credibility of the brand.

Consider a brand like Coca-Cola. Its polar bear mascots, classic red color, and unique hand-drawn font haven’t changed much over the years. This consistency fosters an emotional connection by bringing up memories and sensations connected to the brand. The brand’s tone, messaging, and even the values it stands for should all be consistent, not just the visuals.

Storytelling: A Catalyst of Perception

Humans are hardwired to relate to stories. Brands are better positioned to shape perception if they can create a compelling narrative about their history, principles, and mission. By evoking feelings and establishing connections, storytelling humanizes a brand. Sharing behind-the-scenes photos, client success tales, or the obstacles overcame on the way to success gives the brand’s image more depth.

Collaborating with numerous brands has revealed how compelling narratives resonate with their audiences. One remarkable illustration of effective storytelling comes from TOMS Shoes. Founded by Blake Mycoskie, TOMS adopted a “One for One” model, where for every pair of shoes sold, a pair was donated to a child in need, this was a major factor for me choosing to buy multiple pairs. The brand was elevated beyond shoes to become a symbol of conscious consumerism thanks to this story of social responsibility and giving that struck a powerful chord with consumers. In addition to attracting customers, TOMS created a sense of community and purpose around its brand by weaving a story of positive impact.

Working with different brands has demonstrated how stories can be used to influence perception. Storytelling has the ability to forge an emotional connection through the founder’s personal journey, a commitment to sustainability, or a mission to make a difference.

Perception Adapts

Perception is not static; it evolves over time. A brand’s strategy must be adjusted as market trends and consumer preferences change while remaining true to its core identity. A keen awareness of the audience and constant attention are needed to maintain this delicate balance. The complexity of branding has made it clear how crucial it is to regularly evaluate how your brand is perceived and adjust your strategy.

The development of Starbucks serves as an excellent example of skillful adaptation to changing perceptions. Starbucks was initially praised for popularizing specialty coffee and café culture, but as it quickly grew, there were worries about a lack of variety and commercialization. The brand made a strategic change in response. Starbucks was able to revive its reputation as a community-focused, quality-driven coffee retailer by highlighting the distinctiveness of each store’s design, encouraging ethical sourcing methods, and fostering a more individualized customer experience.

The Starbucks case study emphasizes the importance of identifying consumer concerns and using them to spur constructive change. Brands can successfully reframe their perception in the public’s eyes by embracing differentiation and exhibiting a dedication to ethical business practices.


From my perception, there is a two-way street in the relationship between branding and perception. The brand shapes perception, and perception in turn gives the brand life. It’s a mutually beneficial journey. When creativity and strategy come together in this complex relationship, every choice — from the choice of font to how one uses social media — becomes a mark on the canvas of perception.

The culmination of these efforts is not merely the creation of a brand, but the crafting of a lasting impression. An impression that resonates deep within the hearts and minds of the audience. It’s the ability to evoke emotions, spark recognition, and foster loyalty. This enduring connection is what distinguishes a brand that endures the changing tides of the market from one that merely floats along.

Adaptability is essential in the dynamic world of branding. An effective brand must modify its strategy to align with the changing perceptions of its audience, just as a talented choreographer would alter the steps to match the beat of the music. This calls for alertness, keeping an eye on current events, and a readiness to accept change while holding fast to the core values of the brand. Branding and perception are dynamic, non-formulaic fields. On this blank canvas, innovation, empathy, and strategy come together to create a compelling story. It combines the skill of storytelling with the accuracy of design. It is a harmonious blend of constancy and flexibility.

To sum up, bear in mind that perception is a continuous process as you start your own branding journey. It is not merely an outcome. It’s an evolving process of developing a captivating story and cultivating an impression that lasts long after the encounter. Because your brand has the potential to be a masterpiece in the minds and hearts of your audience, approach it with the same zeal and enthusiasm that artists apply to their masterpieces.



Kishi Creative

We're a branding an communications agency. We believe that the key to building a strong brand is expression. Here, we share ideas on how brands can self express