What do you Think of Me? Asking How Your Brand is Doing

Time for a rebrand? How do you know? One of the most crucial ways of answering that question is turning to your customer base in order to hear what they think of your brand and your product. If you’re in Orange County and branding is on your mind, when’s the last time you listened to what the public has to say?

Perception is big.

At the end of the day, the public’s perception of your brand is your brand. That’s why doing everything possible to know what that brand perception is can be a real benefit if you’re considering what to change and what to keep during a rebrand. Here are some notes to consider:

Perception of Quality — are you more known for being the low-cost leader, or for leading the way with a superior product?

Perception of Value — Do people see themselves as getting what they paid for? Are they comfortable with paying a little more to get what your product gives?

Perception of Accessibility — Is your product a staple that’s designed for everybody, or is it seen a luxury product for the few?

Think, too, of popular associations with your brand: how do people connect emotionally with your product, and what makes your brand unique? Many of the big-brand products like Hershey and Coca-Cola cash in on the emotional register: the feeling the products bring up in the present, and past.

Finally, think also of the market you operate in. If you are a shampoo company, what do most people generally expect when they are out shopping for shampoo? If you are familiar with this, you’ll be able to craft your message around how your product fulfills — or subverts — the standard expectations.

Getting the Info

It’s likely that if you’ve been operating for a while, you have a pretty good idea of what your customers think about you. Still, collecting information in a variety of ways is the cornerstone of self-awareness, and should be part of defining your brand perception.

Surveys — There are a variety of platforms out there for gaining insight in a formal way — often for free, including Surveymonkey and Google Forms. Endlessly customizable forms can be designed to target specific aspects of the public’s perception of your brand.

Talk! — One of the oldest ways of getting info is still one of the most useful. If your business is such that you are in direct contact with your customers, there’s no more direct way of getting information than simply asking what it is that they like and don’t like about your product or brand. Do you have your customers’ phone numbers? Why not give them a call every once in a while? You’ll be learning invaluable information, and what’s more, you’ll be showing that you care.

Time for a change?

Has the time come to pull the plug on that tried and true brand identity — the same old logo that has defined you brand from the very beginning, and which all of your customers know and (you assume) love? It can be a tough choice, but in the end, every brand that grows eventually outgrows their image.

Think of a local bank that has had the same logo from the beginning. Changing to a new logo could actually offend their existing customer base, which is big in local pride. At the same time, if the bank plans to expand into new markets, then a logo with a more updated, universal message may be necessary to gain traction in those more competitive, less emotionally attached markets.

With all the technological innovations making dialogue more easily accessible, it’s never been easier to start a conversation with the people who matter most: your customers. If you’re in Orange County, branding will be much easier with a little objective knowledge on your side.

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