Creating Brand Loyalty
Creating Brand Loyalty: Consumer Perception
It’s not enough to have people know your brand exists. They have to like your brand so that when it comes time for them to decide on a product, they pick yours. This is called creating brand loyalty. For consumers who have already tried your product, their experience – good or bad – will determine how they perceive your brand. For those who have never experienced your products for themselves, they may rely on the experiences, and subsequent product reviews, of others.
Clearly then, perception starts with awareness. If someone has never heard of your company, they will not even consider it when it is time to make a purchase. Perception goes beyond knowledge, however, and reaches the emotions. How does a consumer feel about your brand? What values do they associate with it? Does the thought of your brand create a positive feeling for the consumer, a negative one, or perhaps none at all?
It is important to know what perception people hold of your company. Of course, you want to know the positive perceptions, so that you have something to build on. Negative perceptions need to be known as well, though, because the only way to alter the perception of your company is to understand why people feel the way that they do.
This is a little tougher to track than brand awareness. Awareness can be seen through a bunch of figures. Perception requires communication. Read online reviews of your products. What are people saying about them? Search for your brand on social media sites like Twitter® and Facebook®. What are people saying about your company as a whole?
While social media and reviews may not tell the whole story, they give you a pretty good idea of what people are thinking and feeling. Be sure that your responses honor the feelings of the consumer, whether they speak positively or negatively about your brand. Creating brand loyalty with your customers can be as easy as letting them know that a brand cares and is willing to change. Sometimes this is all it takes to alter public perception.