What’s Brand Perception? How to Measure It (with Examples)

What’s Brand Perception_ How to Measure It (with Examples)

Why are Nike, Apple, and Google worth billions of dollars?

Part of the reason is that they have built strong “brands.”

People trust these companies, feel good about using their products, and are willing to pay more for them.

In other words, these companies have built up strong brand perceptions.

72% of B2C consumers admit to having made purchasing decisions at some point in their life solely based on a brand name.


So, What’s Brand Perception?

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Brand perception is how customers and prospects see, feel, and think about your brand. 

It’s the sum of their feelings, experiences, thoughts, and emotions. 

It’s the way they would describe your brand to someone else. 

It’s what they think of when they hear your brand name or see your logo. 

It’s their overall impression of your company, products, and services. 

In short, it’s how customers believe your brand represents, rather than what you say it represents.


Why is Brand Perception Important?

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Brand perception is a mental association that customers make between your brand and a certain set of attributes or benefits.

It’s important because it shapes customer behaviour. 

If customers perceive your brand in a positive light, they’re more likely to buy from you, regardless of price. 

Conversely, if they negatively perceive your brand, they’re less likely to buy from you, even at a discounted price.

People consider their attitude toward a brand before they make a purchase. 

They read online reviews, ask their friends, and research to get a sense of what others think about a brand. 

If the general consensus is positive, they’ll not only buy the product, but they’ll also become brand ambassadors, telling their friends and family about their great experience. 

On the other hand, if the general consensus is negative, they’ll either avoid the brand altogether or only buy from them out of necessity. 

In other words, brand perception has a direct impact on sales. 

Statistical evidence bears this out. 

According to a study by Nielsen, 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from companies they believe are sustainable.

Furthermore, another study found that 86% of consumers recommend a brand to their family and friends and even write a positive review if they’re loyal to the brand.

As you can see, avoiding bad reviews is even more important than getting good reviews.

A single bad review can have a lasting impact on brand perception and, in extension, sales. 


How to Measure Brand Perception?

What Is Brand Perception? How to Measure It and 4 Examples

You can use data to understand how consumers, stakeholders, employers, and competitors perceive your brand. 

Since brand perception is a combination of reviews, experience, reputation, social engagement, advertising, and customer service, you need to track all of these factors to get a clear picture of your brand’s perception. 

Here are some specific metrics you can use to measure brand perception:

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Conduct Brand Perception Surveys: You can use online surveys to collect data about how customers feel about your brand. See how many respondents have a positive, negative, or neutral attitude toward your brand.

See how it stacks up against your competitors.

Ask them questions that touch on emotional cogency like these examples:

  • When you think of our brand, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? 
  • How would you describe our brand in one sentence? 
  • Do you feel like our brand represents you and your values? Why or why not? 
  • What do you think our brand’s purpose is?
  • What kind of feelings does our brand evoke in you? 
  • How would you describe our brand to a friend or family member?
  • How would you describe your last experience with our brand?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how are you likely to recommend our brand to a friend or family member?

Track Online Mentions: You can use a tool like Google Alerts or Mention to track online conversations about your brand. 

You can also set up alerts for your competitors to how people are talking about them.

That will give you a good idea of how your brand is perceived in the market. 

You want to monitor social media comments, relevant hashtags, online reviews, forums (i.e., Quora and Reddit) and brand mentions. As your brand grows, so is its dataset. 

Create a system for handling negative mentions as soon as possible so it doesn’t damage your brand’s reputation.

Do a Brand Audit: A brand audit is an in-depth analysis of your brand’s current position in the market. 

You’ll want to look at everything from your logo, communication strategy, and branding elements to your website and social media presence. 

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Even more important, you want to compare it to your competitors to see how you stack up. 

There are a few different ways to do a brand audit: 

You can do it yourself by reviewing each element and noting what works and what doesn’t. 

You can also hire a branding agency to do it for you.

You can also use a brand audit tool like Reputation.com or Brandwatch. 

Collect Data from Customers, Employees, and Stakeholders: You can also collect data from your employees, customers, and stakeholders to get their insights into your brand. 

You can use surveys, interviews, focus groups, or one-on-one conversations to gather this data.

Conduct a Brand Perception Study: You can also hire a research firm to conduct a brand perception study. 

That is a more in-depth analysis of how people perceive your brand, and it can be helpful if you’re trying to make some big changes. 

A brand perception study will typically include surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

Once you have enough data, you can look for patterns and trends. 

See if consumer sentiment aligns with your brand identity 

If it does, that’s a good sign that you’re on the right track. 

If not, make necessary adjustments to your brand positioning.

Keep an Eye on Your Industry: Another good way to measure your brand’s perception is to keep an eye on your industry as a whole. 

See what trends are happening and how people talk about your industry online. 

You can also use Google Trends to analyse users’ interests and see how it’s changed over time.

Social Media Monitoring: People don’t hold back when discussing brands on social media. 

That’s why social media monitoring is such a valuable way to measure brand perception. 

You can use tools like Hootsuite Insights, Brandwatch, and NetBase to track what people say about your brand across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. 

Find out what people say about your brand, both good and bad, and respond in time. The best tool for social media monitoring will reveal incredible insights into how customers feel about your brand, such as:

  • Which social media platform is growing your brand the most (and the least)?
  • What type of content generates the most views for your brand?
  • What are the number of mentions and shoutouts you’re getting?
  • What is the net sentiment around your brand (positive, negative, or neutral)?
  • What’s your influencer reach?
  • What competitors are people talking about concerning your brand?
  • How long does an average viewer spend on your content?
  • Are there any patterns or trends in the data you’re seeing?
  • Which paid content placements are working well for your brand?
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Measure Your Brand’s Uniqueness: Uniqueness is an integral part of brand perception

How to Measure Brands: The Complete Brand Measurement Guide

It’s what makes you different from your competitors and sets you apart in the minds of consumers.

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You can measure your brand’s uniqueness through open-text feedback or by conducting surveys. 

Ask your customers and clients what it is about your brand that they like or don’t like. 

See if there are any common themes in the feedback you’re getting. 

You can also use analytics software solutions such as IBM SPSS or SAS to help you measure your brand’s uniqueness. 

This type of software can help you identify patterns and trends in customer feedback.

It can also help you see how your brand stacks up against competitors.


How to Act on Insights from Brand Perception Studies:

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Now that you know how to measure brand perception, it’s time to implement what you’ve learned.

Here are a few ways you can use the insights you’ve gathered from your studies to improve your brand:

1. Take a Fresh Look at Your Branding: If you find that your brand’s perception doesn’t align with your desired identity, it may be time to take a fresh look at your branding. 

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Give your brand a makeover to revive its image in the eyes of the consumer.

For example, if you find that people perceive your brand as being outdated, consider giving your website and logo a facelift. 

If you want to be seen as more luxury and high-end, make sure your branding reflects that.

On the other hand, if you find that people see your brand as too serious, try lightening up your brand with a friendlier colour palette or playful font choices.

Mastercard did a great job of rebranding when it updated their 1960 logo. 

They kept the core elements of their brand identity while modernising their look to appeal to a new generation of consumers.

2. Put the Right Leaders in Place: The right leaders can make a big difference in how people perceive your brand. 

Your senior leadership team must share and embrace your brand’s identity and vision. 

They should be able to articulate your brand’s message clearly and consistently to employees, customers, and partners. 

The right leaders will also inspire others to buy into your brand and live its values.

If you want to be seen as an innovative company, put leaders in place who are known for their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. 

For example, Apple’s late co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs, was known for his innovative vision and design aesthetic. 

He helped put Apple on the map as a leading technology company.

If you want to be seen as a customer-centric brand, put leaders in place who are passionate about customer service. 

For example, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is known for his customer-centric philosophy. 

He’s built Amazon into one of the most customer-focused brands in the world.

The right leaders will help shape and improve your brand’s perception in the minds of consumers.

They should be able to articulate your brand’s message clearly and consistently to employees, customers, and partners. 

The right leaders will also inspire others to buy into your brand and live its values.

3. Ask Your Customer: Customers are the best source of insights into how people perceive your brand. 

Don’t be afraid to ask them for their honest feedback.

Customers are the best source of insights into how people perceive your brand. 

Don’t be afraid to ask them for their honest feedback.

See what they think about your current branding and identity. 

Find out what they like and don’t like about your company. 

See if there are any common themes in their feedback. 

Use this feedback to help guide your decisions about how to improve your brand.

Send out surveys, hold focus groups, or even just talk to your customers one-on-one.

 Starbucks does a great job of constantly asking for customer feedback. 

They use this feedback to help improve their operations and the customer experience. 

That has helped them become one of the most successful brands in the world.

4. Ask Your Employees: Your employees are in constant contact with your customers. 

They’re on the front lines of your business. 

So, they have a unique perspective on how people perceive your brand. 

They’re responsible for making, selling, and managing your brand’s products and services. 

They’re also the ones who interact with your customers daily. 

So, they have a good sense of what people think about your brand. 

Encourage your employees to give you honest feedback about your brand. 

Make it easy for them to give you feedback by setting up a system that allows them to do so. 

For example, you could set up an anonymous feedback hotline, suggestion box, or online form. 

You could also hold regular meetings where employees can share their thoughts and ideas. 

Use this feedback to help improve your brand’s perception.

Nike does a great job of involving its employees in the decision-making process. 

They hold regular meetings where employees can share their thoughts and ideas. 

They also have an anonymous feedback hotline where employees can voice their concerns. 

5. Be Goaded by Your Content: The content you create and share is a powerful tool for shaping people’s perceptions of your brand. 

Your content should be an accurate reflection of your brand’s identity and values. 

It should be interesting, informative, and engaging. 

If you want to be seen as a thought leader in your industry, create content that is truly original and informative. 

Ensure your website, social media channels, blog, and other marketing materials are consistent with how you want to be perceived. 

If you want to be seen as an expert in your field, ensure your content reflects that. 

Use industry-specific language and share your insights and expertise regularly. 

6. Be Consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to branding. 

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Ensure your brand’s message, identity, and values are consistent across all touchpoints. 

That includes your website, social media channels, marketing materials, and even how your employees answer the phone.

People should be able to recognise your brand easily no matter where they encounter it. 

If your brand’s message differs at each touchpoint, it will confuse people and make it difficult for them to connect with your brand. 

By being consistent, you’ll create a strong and recognisable brand that people can trust and admire.

7. Keep an Eye Out for Future Opportunities: Improving your brand’s perception is an ongoing process. 

You can’t just do it once and then forget about it. 

You must constantly monitor your brand’s perception and look for ways to improve it. 

The most successful brands constantly look for ways to improve their operations and the customer experience. 

They’re constantly asking for feedback and using it to improve their products and services. 

They’re also always looking for ways to reach new customers and promote their brand.


7 Brand Perception Examples

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These examples show how brand perception can make or break a company, from PR glitches to social media wins.

1. T-Mobile: The Un-carrier

In 2013, T-Mobile was the last primary carrier to offer unlimited data plans. 

That made them the underdog in a market dominated by AT&T and Verizon. 

To improve its brand perception, T-Mobile positioned itself as the “un-carrier.” 

They started offering free international roaming, no-contract plans, and other perks that their competitors didn’t have. 

That made them more appealing to customers and helped improve their brand perception.

2. Nike: Just Do It

Nike is one of the most recognisable brands in the world. 

Their “Just Do It” slogan is one of the most famous and influential slogans of all time. 

The slogan has been used to sell everything from shoes to sports drinks. 

It’s simple, but it gets the point across. 

Nike’s brand perception is all about being active and achieving your goals. 

Their slogan encourages people to get up and “just do it.”

3. McDonald’s: I’m Lovin’ It

In 2003, McDonald’s launched their “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign. 

The campaign was a major success and helped improve McDonald’s brand perception. 

The slogan is simple but speaks directly to people’s emotional connection with McDonald’s food. 

It also conveyed that McDonald’s is a fun and friendly place to eat.

4. Apple: Think Different

In 1997, Apple was in trouble. 

They struggled to compete with Microsoft and were on the verge of bankruptcy. 

To turn things around, they launched their “Think Different” campaign. 

The campaign was a big success and helped turn Apple’s fortunes around. 

It positioned Apple as a company that is innovative and different from its competitors. 

It also conveyed the message that Apple products were easy to use and user-friendly.

5. Red Bull: Gives You Wings

Red Bull is one of the most popular energy drinks on the market. 

Their slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings,” is one of the most effective and memorable slogans of all time. 

The slogan conveys the message that Red Bull will give you the energy you need to achieve your goals. 

It’s simple, but it’s very effective.

6. Starbucks: The Best Part of Waking Up

Starbucks is the largest coffee chain in the world. 

They’re known for their delicious coffee and friendly baristas. 

Their slogan, “The best part of waking up is Starbucks in your cup,” is one of the most famous coffee slogans, and for a good reason. 

When you’re tired and need a pick-me-up, Starbucks is always there for you.

7. KFC: It’s Finger-Lickin’ Good

KFC is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the world. 

They’re known for their delicious chicken and secret recipe. 

Their slogan, “It’s finger-lickin’ sound,” is as memorable as it is effective. 

It’s simple, but it speaks to the delicious taste of KFC chicken. 

When you’re craving some chicken, KFC got your taste buds covered.


Tips to Improve Your Brand Perception

Break through barriers with a brand value proposition | Canto

Use these tips to improve your brand perception:

1. Craft Your Message

Decide what you want your brand to be known for. 

Are you the low-cost leader? The premium option? The most innovative?

Once you decide on your brand’s message, the next thing you want to do is craft your marketing and advertising around it. 

Ensure your website, social media, and other marketing materials reflect your brand’s message.

2. Engage in Quality Customer Service

Customer service spans the entire customer journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase. 

Make sure you’re providing quality customer service at every stage. 

That includes things like responding to customer inquiries quickly, addressing concerns promptly, and offering an excellent return policy. 

Excellent customer service will help improve your brand perception.

3. Modernize Your Brand

If your brand looks outdated, it’s time for a refresh. 

Update your website, logo, colour scheme, and other marketing materials. 

Make sure your brand is modern and relevant. 

Take a fresh look at your tagline, slogan, and other messaging. 

You’re allowed to spy on your competitors! See what they’re doing that’s working well, and try to improve upon it.

4. Focus on Your Online Presence

Your online presence is more important than ever in today’s digital world. 

Make sure your website is up-to-date and user-friendly. 

Engage in social media marketing and ensure you’re active on all the major platforms. 

Monitor your online reputation and address any negative reviews or comments promptly.

5. Get Involved in Your Community

Giving back to your community is a great way to improve your brand perception

There are many ways to get involved, such as volunteering, sponsoring a local event, or donating to a worthy cause. 

Not only will this make your brand look good, but it will also make you feel good.

6. Stay Up-to-Date on Industry Trends

To stay ahead of the competition, you must be up-to-date on industry trends. 

Use social media, Google Alerts, and other tools to stay on top of your industry’s latest news and trends. 

Get involved in industry conversations and share your insights and expertise.

7. Unify Your Message

It’s important to have a unified message across all your marketing channels. 

Don’t send mixed messages or confuse your audience. 

Ensure your website, social media, email marketing, and other marketing efforts are all saying the same thing. 

You also want to use the same logo, colour scheme, and other branding elements across all channels.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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