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HOW CONSUMER PERCEPTION

INFLUENCES BUYING
DECISIONS
When one is running a business, the way potential customers perceives should always be at the top of
his/her mind. Consumer perception is affected by everything he/she does.
What makes customers loyal to a brand?
It’s been shown that quality, customer service and pricing are the top three factors influencing brand
loyalty.
But what if one’s brand is doing great in these areas, and his/her customers just aren’t seeing it?
That’s where consumer perception comes in.
To run a successful business, one need to do more than just provide a great service — he need to prove it to
customers.
This article discusses exactly why customer perception in business is so important, which factors
influence perception, and how one can improve the perception of his business.

Why Should One Think About Consumer


Perception?
Almost half of Americans don’t trust brands as much as they did 20 years ago, and 48% said brands need a
strong identity and clear role.
With so much distrust, consumer perception of a brand is more important than ever.
No businessman want his customers to see him as dishonest, greedy, and soulless. Every company wants to
see itself with strong values, a clear direction, and a positive brand image.

What Affects Consumer Perception?


Customer perception isn’t influenced by just one factor — it’s a result of everything a brand says, does, and
puts out into the world.
Whether it’s a new packaging design, a controversial social media post, or a special holiday offer,
absolutely everything a brand does affects customer perception.
Product Pricing
If a person is comparing two bottles of wine. One costs $10, and the other costs $500. Does he have a
different perception of the two brands? Of course he have — product pricing is one of the largest factors
affecting perceptions of a brand.
In some cases, high prices convey luxury, quality, and excellent customer experience. In others, they might
seem out-of-touch, snobby, and unrealistic.
On the other side of the coin, low prices might attract customers looking for a bargain, or drive away
customers worried about quality issues.
However, In deciding to price a product, it is to be remembered that pricing has a huge influence on how
others see your brand.

Product Packaging
Product packaging has a big influence on how customers view a brand — so much so that it can be
considered a selling point in itself. Everything from color, design, text, eco-friendliness, and sturdiness
will affect consumer opinions.
Luxury products might be packaged in black and gold, while budget options will stick to basic colors like
black, white and red.
Packaging for expensive tech products will usually be sturdy and secure, to reflect the quality of the
product. Items aimed at environmentally-conscious consumers will be packaging in recycled materials,
using colors like green and brown.
Packaging could be the first contact many customers have with a brand.

Product Quality
Product quality has a massive effect on brand perception — it’s a no-brainer. The quality of products
produced by a business should match its pricing, branding, and the promises business make about its
product. That doesn’t mean that everything it sells has to be the best quality in the world –i.e it just has to
meet customer expectations.
For a luxury brand, that might mean the best quality in the industry. For a budget chain, it might be a
product that works well but doesn’t have any fancy features.

Brand Values and Ethics


Buying from a brand isn’t just about getting hold of something one needs.
It’s also an emotional experience — and one that should leave customers feeling good about themselves.
Brand values and ethics have a big role to play when it comes to consumer perception and how customers
feel after buying from it.
If a company is known for fair treatment of workers, generous charity donations, and a commitment to
reducing pollution, customers should feel pretty good about buying its products.
On the other hand, if it is known for treating workers badly, overpriced products, and damaging the
environment, public perception of your brand will suffer.
If a business wants to be successful, ethics should play a big part in its branding.

Brand History and Reputation


If a business had issues with your reputation in the past, it will take some work to improve perceptions of
your brand — but it’s not impossible.
It’s been shown that taking responsibility for what went wrong, communicating honestly, and doing
everything a company can to correct problems goes a long way towards fixing a damaged reputation.
Having a solid communications strategy in place makes sense for all brands, as no one knows when
controversy may strike — especially in the age of social media.

Online and Offline Presence


Other than seeing a product or service in stores or ads, it is essential where does consumer encounter a
brand.
Does a brand sponsors sporting events? Run active social media accounts?
Host live campaigns or events?
Every single time a customer encounters a brand online or offline, their perception towards it is influenced.
It has to make sure that its marketing strategy is coherent and whole is a smart move.
If customers see a billboard ad that presents a brand in one way, then they check its Twitter account and see
a totally different brand image, they won’t be impressed.
A coherent brand image is essential to trust and loyalty.

How Does Consumer Perception Affect A


Business?
Boosts Customer Loyalty
When customers feel negative or neutral about a business, they won’t be loyal to it.
Sure, they might buy its products occasionally — but they won’t hesitate to switch to a competitor when
they see a better price, nicer packaging, or enticing special offer.
When a business build a strong brand image, customers enter into a relationship with it.
They’ll stay loyal to its brand even when others try to tempt them away, and they’re more likely to
recommend its products and services to others.

Increases Customer Trust


When a person’s favorite brand puts out a statement, does he believe it?
Of course he does.
What about his least favorite brand?
Probably not…
Customer trust is massive when it comes to purchase decision making.
If a brand comes across as trustworthy, consumers will believe the promises it make about its products.
If not, they’ll likely be skeptical, and might choose to buy from a brand with a better reputation instead —
particularly when making large or important purchases.
The better public perception of a business, the easier businessman will find it to influence its customers —
whether it’s to buy from him, to share his content on social media, or to recommend your brand to friends
and family.
If customer trust for a brand is lacking, creating a targeted campaign aimed at boosting trust is a smart
move.

Influences Buying Decisions


A person is trying to choose between two laptops.
One is made by a company with awesome packaging, fair prices, and strong brand values.
The other is cheaper and more powerful, but it’s sold by a brand with ugly packaging, a history of brand
scandals, and suspiciously low prices.
It’s no surprise that he is more likely to pick the first — even though the second option is actually a better
laptop at a much lower price.
Consumer perception has a huge impact on buying decisions, which means it has a huge effect on your
profits.
Improving consumer perception of a brand is the single best way to boost sales and increase your turnover.

How to Improve the Perception of a Brand?


It is to be noted that how important consumer perception is.
But how exactly can perceptions of a brand be improved?
Some careful rebranding combined with targeted online and offline marketing can turn company’s image
around pretty quickly.

Brand Identity
If a company’s brand doesn’t have a strong identity yet, this is the place there is need to start.
A brand identity is made up of all elements that business use to generate an image of itself to its
customers.
Business might want to look at:

 Logo
 Branding
 Tone of voice
 Typography
 Colors
 Shapes

Using these elements and more, it can put together a brand style guide for all employees to refer to.
This ensures that its brand identity stays consistent across all channels, and prevents any errors or
confusion.
A solid brand identity helps customers remember its own brand, makes to stand out from other companies
and clearly communicates its own values.

Web Design
With so much business taking place online nowadays, business own website is a key tool in improving
consumer perception of its brand.
The design of a website should adhere to the brand style guide that business has created, and the content
should help further support its brand image.
That might mean creating a blog that highlights its own charitable activities, having a special deals page, or
offering educational materials relevant to its customers.
The website should be easy to navigate, optimized for use on all devices, and accessible to everyone.
The website will be the first place most people go if they want to learn more about the company’s brand,
so it has to be make sure that it creates a great first impression.

Social Media Presence


Creating a strong social media presence is an excellent way to improve the day-to-day perception of a
brand.
With the ability to post regular updates, the business can keep customers in the loop about what company is
actually doing, and post updates that reflects it brand image and values.
Business might offer special social media-only competitions, post updates about use of ethical materials,
or share positive feedback from customers.
Social media is also a great place to connect with influencers, who can lend the brand credibility and trust.
The business social media team may also be responsible for customer service.
Remember that the whole world can see how a business respond to questions and complaints on social
media, so it’s a chance to shine.

Print Advertising
While the internet is a great place to build business image, so there shouldn’t be negligence towards print
media.
Distributing materials like flyers, business cards, and leaflets is an excellent way to stand out. While there
are millions of brands online, not all of them manage to get physical materials into the hands of their
customers.
It has to make sure that the business print materials follow its brand style guide, or they’ll clash with
company’s other efforts.

How to Start Improving Consumer Perception


Luckily, there are loads of creative agencies which specialize in building brand image and improving
consumer perception towards company.
If a business is interested in increasing its profits and winning more loyal customers, getting in touch with
the experts makes sense.

Name-Aayush Rawat

Source -https://snowberrymedia.com/how-consumer-perception-influences-buying-decisions/

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SEC C