PERCEPTION IS REALITY
Brand Perception. Ask yourself a question. Honestly, how is your brand perceived right now?
The question isn’t, how would you like to be perceived, or what do you claim to be to investors, or even what No1, best-in-breed babble is on the front page of your website. We mean, put idealistic delusion and past glories aside, and be straight. What do people really think of you? What impression do your customers, your workforce, your suppliers have?
Because that opinion right there, that’s your brand. Before you can change it, develop it, grow it, you first have to face up to the reality of it. And in our experience, organisations can find that difficult.
Brand development should be seen as a positive, inclusive experience. For it to have any value you want, dirt, filth, itchy rashes, warts and all. But acknowledging things aren’t as you thought or hoped isn’t easy. The fear of change runs deep, and usually from the top down.
So often we see businesses presenting a contrived sugar-coated version of reality because the senior management is unwilling to accept there is anything wrong.
THE STORY GOES LIKE THIS:
Challenging the status quo is seen as a challenge to authority and a slight on executive performance. And that’s too much to deal with. So management goes along with the ‘go along to get along’ delusion and becomes entrenched.
When sales take a hit, the blame stops at Marketing. Marketing is then reduced to a sticky plaster, covering the cracks with glitter and sparkles, and driving sales with endless discounts, offers, promotions and incentives that plunder innovation and marketing budgets just to achieve quarterly figures. And by that point, if the brand wasn’t in trouble before, it is now.
The thing great brands know, is that brand perception and brand value are in fact an operational issue. They’re something it pays to stay on top of and face up to. So get brave, dig deep and be honest about your perception real quick.
Once you know the truth you can roadmap change and focus in the right areas. But if you ignore it and start believing your own hype, you could be facing disastrous consequences.