Everyone has a rep to protect. It can be the only thing making you money or not making you money. A brand is like a person. You make assumptions about it based on your perception and its reputation. These are the most powerful ways people are influenced when choosing any product or service. Take Southwest Airlines for instance. They positioned themselves as the friendly, easy going, no-fee airline in the United States. Their primary audience is the guy that drives the Honda or Toyota, not behind the wheel of the BMW or the Benz. He wants to save a couple bucks, enjoy a casual trip and not have to pay for peanuts or drinks. Going up against industry giants required that Southwest branded itself as different from the competition. And its reputation preceded it. This strategy has carried, if not thrust it through the collapse of the economy in 2008. Southwest appealed to that guy who maybe didn’t have his Benz anymore. The world has changed in the last several years and marketing has changed, too. You have to have a good brand to get you through the smooth air and the turbulence. So how does one know if their brand perception is good or bad? Here are some tips that you can use to get insight into your brand perception.
- Look into online forums for business reviews
- Create a focus group of your audience
- Review current marketing items
- Make sure your message, feel and look are consistent
- Have a two-way conversation with your audience