There are tens of millions of small businesses and corporations in the United States today. A deluge of brands, all with their own marketing campaigns, makes it more overwhelming than ever for potential customers to choose the right products or services for their needs. No matter how many advertisements or social media posts your target customers see, their willingness to select your company depends on how well they conceptualize, understand, and trust your brand, its offerings, and employees.
It probably seems obvious that your organization’s image and perception is critical. Too often, however, companies fail to understand the distinct impact that weak brand perception can have on their bottom line. As a result, they may under-invest in developing and managing their brand, even as the consumer decision journey has changed so profoundly.
Having strong market awareness and a positive image is vital, but it’s equally important for the market to have an accurate view of your company and the unique way it can deliver value. It’s not unusual for a company to be battling an image that is inaccurate for whatever reason. For example,
These scenarios can be extremely frustrating for the company CEO who knows the truth. The CEO may say “if only our target market knew what our best customers already know,” or “our competition is telling stories about us based on who the company was 10 years ago.”
So, what is the exact impact of customers and prospects having the right view of your company? Simply put, a positive brand perception means customers are more likely to choose your business over a competitor. Another study by McKinsey found that B2B companies with brands that are perceived as strong generate a higher EBITDA margin than others.
This direct impact on growth and profitability should be reason enough for CEOs to worry about how customers perceive their company’s brand. By improving brand perception, you can:
So what steps can you take to improve how the market perceives your company? You don’t need deep pockets to make big changes to your brand, but you do need to take an insight-driven and structured approach to solving the problem. To begin, you’ll need to focus on your business’s position in the market to accelerate your growth and profitability. There are five key focus areas for improving brand perception to drive higher growth:
By carefully examining the above elements, you will begin to define why you matter to customers, so you can secure a position of differentiation in your marketplace.