To begin with, Perception management is a term originated by the US military.
Another term used for perception management is impression management subtly defined as an attempt to control the perceptions or impressions of others. Targets are likely to use impression management tactics when interacting with perceivers who have power over them. Several impression management tactics include behavioral matching between the target of perception and the perceiver.
As we know, brands always evoke emotions. From these emotions, form perceptions. Hence in corporate branding, perceptions become an integral part of brand management. Overall, perception management therefore becomes a science to deal with.
Perception management cannot be managed individually without it being a part of the overall brand management process.
Now the question is- where do we find such perceptions happening and possibly capture them?
Social Media is a possible platform wherein different perceptions can be captured.
In the corporate world, perceptions are important and mapping them is equally important as it adds to the overall dynamics existing in the corporate world. To showcase this to the external as well internal audience, the same has to be capsulated via the branding route. Brand perceptions are much more often created by the product or service experience itself than from brand communications or any such campaigns. Brand campaigns are much more effective in building brand awareness than it is in creating or changing brand perceptions. It doesn’t mean that branding cannot be used to help change perceptions, but it can’t do it unless the perception management in the entire gamut of branding is captured.
During a Corporate brand creation or rejuvenation exercise, this can be captured consistently by exploring opinions and perceptions across the organization so that the finer nuances can be added up to create a holistic brand.
“Perceived quality” is a consumer’s view of the quality of a product or service offered. That equates perceived quality with consumer belief in the product or service. Irrespective of what critics or markets say, when it comes to intangible benefits, quality isn’t a standalone parameter. Its what the consumer perceive and create an imagery of it which thereby converts to positive sales. The following are 3 possible routes to ensure perception management in incorporated in the whole branding exercise:
Planned branding- A planned, early branding is a way to ensure that the required perception management elements are captured holistically.
Consistent branding – Periodic branding is another way to keep the brand presence and its perception in check with the latest trend & factors in the market. Frequency of branding is an important parameter here as well.
Brand Rejuvenation – Sometimes a brand overhaul is required. Different trends in an industry, economy, or business can affect a brand’s ability to survive. Adaptability offers possibilities. Tweaking a few signature elements may breathe new life into an otherwise archaic brand and help you stay relevant, competitive, and thrive.
If you’re in business, then no matter how much ever you spend on visibility, one would have to plan for the perception management exercise. For the exercise, perceptions have to be mapped efficiently capturing internal culture, employee reviews, investor feedback, sales outcome, product/services offered, future growth prospects, competitive and pricing strategy as well.
This brand created or rejuvenated will create a perception on its own. Hence moving towards perception management is a step-by-step process wherein external as well internal perceptions tend to create an opinion and definitely affect the sales & eventually the market performance.
No wonder, corporate branding inclusive of perception management is an important sales tool which provides not just short term but long term advantages and building bonded relationships not only with external stakeholders but also internal stakeholders creating rather an unparalled brand equity.
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