Brand perception plays a crucial role in the success of any brand. Holding the power to influence customers’ attitudes, behaviours and decisions, brand perception is an important factor in the success of any company.
Brand perception reflects how people see and feel about a brand. It is heavily impacted by individual experiences and opinions. The perception customers hold over a brand go onto impacting their buying habits, decisions, and loyalty.
In this blog, we take you through 7 actionable techniques you can apply to your digital signage to improve the perception of your brand. But first… why is brand perception important?
Why is brand perception important?
Brand perception has the ability to impact many elements of an organisation both positively and negatively.
Overall brand perception directly influences customer decisions and emotions. Being able to successfully manage and shape brand perception helps brands connect and build strong relationships with their target audience.
There are two main ways customers can perceive a brand:
Positive brand perception
This is the golden ticket. A positive brand perception essentially means your customers view your brand in a positive light. When they think of your brand, they think of positive things. These positive thoughts, feelings and emotions are forged over time through long-term brand-building, positive interactions, and your organisation’s activities resonating with customers.
Building a positive brand perception helps build brand equity, trust, loyalty, advocacy, WoM, and brand awareness.
Negative brand perception
In contrast, negative brand perception is when a brand is perceived negatively by customers. This is not where you want to be.
When negative brand perception is present, customers are more likely to experience dissatisfaction and a lack of trust and are not loyal to your organisation. Perhaps even more damaging, they are likely to project a negative WoM.
What impacts brand perception?
There are many factors which impact brand perception. Here are some of the main ones:
Note: This is a non-exhaustive list and brand perception can be altered/impacted by a huge number of factors. I.e. a coffee shop could possess a negative brand perception due to the temperature of their coffee!
Visual – A customer’s perspective of a brand can be made in just a matter of seconds. How you visually represent a brand can determine customers’ attitudes towards it. Recognisable logos, attractive colours and branding elements play important roles in customer experience, brand building, and recognition. The goal for larger companies is to get their brand recall to a point where when the customer sees the company logo (or even just an element) the customer experiences positive brand associations.
Organisations invest large amounts of resources into creating a consistent visual experience across the customer journey. An incredible example of this is one of McDonald’s latest marketing campaigns. From decades of brand-building (with a strong focus on the McDonald’s Golden Arches, McDonald’s was able to activate strong brand recall by showing eyebrows that look like the McDonald’s logo. The real logo doesn’t appear once, yet the campaign has been deemed one of the most impressive Ad campaigns this year.
Personality – Developing a unique personality for your brand can have a strong impact on brand perception. Creating and consistently promoting a brand personality helps differentiate your brand from others in the market. It also helps your brand resonate with your target audience when speaking to them through marketing copy.
Emotional- Connecting emotionally with customers enhances brand perception. When customers experience an emotional connection with a brand it is likely to become more memorable. Triggering an emotive response can be achieved through brand storytelling. This inspires customers to feel a specific way and can greatly impact decision-making. A study found that 31% of ad campaigns with emotive content performed well.
Appealing to customers’ senses is crucial when looking to improve brand perception. This is particularly important for brick-and-mortar organisations, or any business where you have the opportunity to reach customers directly.
Senses include hearing, touch, smell, taste and sight – all of which come into play during the customer experience. Organisations utilise a number of tactics to positively activate these senses during the customer experience.
Let’s look at this for a department store:
Hearing: Nice music is played across different areas of the store to relax and entertain customers. Good music puts the customer in a good mood!
Touch: Department stores will often offer interactive product demonstrations in the sales process. Whether it’s buying a new watch or tablet, the store puts the product in your hand and makes you feel comfortable with it. When you physically hold a product, you also gain a sense of ownership which further enhances purchase intentions.
Smell: Stores will place nice smelling diffusers, candles and more around the store to create a nice smelling atmosphere. A nice-smelling atmosphere increases dwell time and increases customer happiness.
Taste: Sample products for food will be offered to encourage purchases. If making a larger purchase, tea, coffee and food may be offered to delight the customer and create a positive buying experience for them.
Sight: Branding, product displays, digital signage, uniforms, and more all play a role in creating an appealing visual experience for the customer. By utilising the mentioned visual techniques the department store can create a cohesive, enjoyable, visually stimulating customer experience that improves brand perceptions – think of the Apple store.
To some, price is just the price. It’s what you pay for your loaf of bread, your shampoo, your accounting software, or your car. However, the psychological effects of pricing run deep and hold a strong impact on our brand perceptions.
When pricing is done right, it is set with a large amount of market research. The marketing team survey the market and customers to work out the exact right price, taking into account the cost of goods, product price, perceived value, and intrinsic values. With all these factors taken into account, organisations can maximise profits and meet consumer expectations.
But what does price have to do with brand perception?
Low prices are likely to devalue a brand. Consumers often see them as cheap, unreliable, and untrustworthy. In contrast, higher prices often indicate quality. However, it’s important to set your prices using the mentioned techniques above to fall in line with your target market.
Marketing to improve brand perception
Marketing (or good marketing) is arguably the best way to increase brand perception. Once you know what your customers want (after conducting market research) you can start to build a brand around these values. For example, the two things you find your customers care about most are safety and time-saving. You would then use this as your marketing positioning and hammer it home across your marketing material, copy, in-store experience and more. After a long period of time (and if done correctly), when customers think of your brand they should think of safety and time-saving. This messaging should resonate with them and they will be more likely to perceive your brand in a positive light.
Other marketing tactics such as sharing reviews will also help improve brand perceptions.
Ways to improve brand perception with digital signage
If you’ve read this far, you’ll now see the importance of creating a positive perception of your brand. There are many tools and techniques organisations can utilise to help foster and promote a positive brand perception.
In this section, we dive into 6 ways digital signage can be used to improve brand perception.
Digital signage is a hugely visual tool used by organisations to communicate key messages to employees and customers via screens. Across retail, workplace, and consumer settings screens are being used to positively impact customer experiences and therefore brand perception.
1. Content made for individual customers
We get a buzz when we see our name pop up anywhere. It makes us feel special, valued, and might even make us feel like a movie star. You may think Starbucks writing your name on the cup is purely so they know whose drink belongs to who’s. Yes, this is true, but there’s more to the equation. When the barrister calls your name and hands you your drink with your name on it, it lets you know that this drink is for YOU. Not the other 10 people in line, this latte was crafted for YOU. This puts the customer at the centre of the coffee-buying experience making them feel valued and special; in addition to increasing their perception of the Starbucks brand.
As technology advances, screens become smarter. They can do more. They can react to the environment around them, changing content based on smart, automated triggers. This extends into personalised content. Now, organisations are able to pair their digital signage with triggers that recognise users. For example, when a customer scans their loyalty card, content can appear on the screen welcoming that exact customer and perhaps even giving them a discount or helpful recommendation. Other triggers such as licence plate readers, facial recognition, and touch can all be used to create an immersive, personalised customer journey.
Personalisation is a great way to better engage customers and improve brand perception. Digital signage offers features that can alter content based on location, audience and demographics. Tailoring content to suit the interests of the target audience or specific customer creates a personalised experience that is relevant to the customer. This will increase interest and engagement amongst the audience.
2. Showcase customer reviews
95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. Reviews build trust amongst current and potential customers, building up a perception amongst those who have not yet done business with you. If reviews are positive, they are likely to have a positive initial perception, if they are negative, potential customers are likely to have a negative initial perception.
If your organisation has a healthy sum of positive reviews, you’ll want to shout these from the rooftops. Exposing as many potential customers to these positive reviews is a great way to get them on-side, build trust, and mitigate any fears and hesitations they have about doing business with you.
Digital signage provides organisations with a platform to display reviews on screens and make them accessible in offline locations. Users can create content focusing on reviews and share them in high-footfall locations or next to products they are trying to sell. Screens can also be used to share UGC (User-Generated Content). Promoting UCG helps boost customer engagement and provides an authentic, trustworthy evaluation of a brand or product.
By sharing positive reviews and UGC across screens, customers are able to build a positive perception of your brand.
3. Enhance brand identity
Brand perception is heavily influenced by a brand’s identity. Brand identity involves how a brand looks, feels and communicates with customers. It is determined by a range of factors including its brand name, logo, tone of voice, messaging and colours. A clear brand identity increases recognisability and helps it resonate with its audience.
Having a clear, consistent brand identity increases brand recognition. It helps customers pick you out of the crowd and resonate with your messaging.
Digital signage provides a platform to promote brand identity clearly and consistently. Fostering a clear identity with a specific colour pallet or a striking logo increases brand recognition. Ensuring your content matches your brand’s tone of voice and messaging helps create a cohesive brand experience. Digital signage screens can be extremely eye-catching, making them a great way to push your brand throughout your organisation and increase brand perception.
4. Share brand achievements
Sharing brand achievements is a valuable way to improve brand perception. In doing so, brands can build their credibility whilst enhancing their reputation. Fostering a positive reputation differentiates your brand from other competitors and helps generate positive word-of-mouth.
Sharing brand achievements can build an emotional connection with customers, as though they are part of the growth and development of the brand. This ultimately increases their brand loyalty. Simultaneously, you can strengthen the trust of consumers whilst shaping a positive perception of the brand in their minds.
Digital signage provides a platform where brands can share recent successes and company results. This enhances brand identity as it reflects what is important to a brand. Whether your company has reduced its CO2 emissions by 50% in the previous year or has recently made partnerships with other brands, spread the word! This will reflect a progressive, forward-thinking brand. Sharing achievements on important topics reflects what your brand values. For instance, sharing eco-friendly achievements conveys how your brand values the environment. This will attract an audience who are like-minded and will improve their perception of your brand.
5. Show customer feedback in action
Showcasing customer feedback and how it is acted on reflects a progressive and mindful brand that listens. This creates a positive brand perception as customers can see their feedback is listened to and implemented. This enforces that the customer is at the centre of the brand.
Acting on given feedback shows the customer listens to and respects their customers. There are many organisations out there with a complaint-filled customer base who are constantly asking for changes that never come. It might be a poor app design or terrible delivery. These organisations quickly grow a negative brand perception and customers jump ship.
After gaining feedback through surveys online, interactive screens, or by interviewing customers, your organisation should proudly show how the feedback has been implemented to improve the organisation. Sharing this feedback on screens helps engage customers and make them feel valued increasing their commitment to your brand.
We all love a company that actually listens.
6. Tell a story
Storytelling creates an emotive experience that is authentic for customers whilst educating them on a brand’s values and missions. 88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. Building emotional connections with an audience creates a deeper understanding of a brand and delivers a memorable experience that captivates audiences, making a brand stand out. This increases brand recognition and can lead to more favourable brand perception.
Storytelling involves narratives, plotlines and characters. Incorporating these elements when promoting products or brand messages, increases recall as people are more likely to remember stories, rather than straightforward facts or messages. Storytelling can help a brand to promote its values and messages, increasing a brand’s authenticity.
The best stories are forged from customer qualitative research, drawing from real-life customer stories that fall in line with market messaging and resonate with the wider customer base.
These stories can be shared as videos across your digital signage network to reach customers at scale and improve brand perceptions.
And there we have it! 6 ways digital signage can be used to improve brand perception. If you’re interested in how digital signage can supercharge your organisation, speak to the superchargers below: