Consumer perception is what your customer or potential customers think about your organization, products, or services. So, if you make an excellent product to cater to your customer base as much needed, it should sell, right? No, it’s not necessary for what you think about our product is the same as what other people think. Perceptions are fickle; it not only depends on someone’s experience with your product, but it is cumulative experiences over some time. The ads that they see, the product’s packaging, the one time a salesperson misbehaved, or the CEO’s comment on Twitter that created a buzz.
Whenever I hear about Lululemon, it creates an image of a pretentious person. Why is the brand persona like that in my mind? Probably because I remember the founder’s comment about Lululemon clothes are for skinny people, and I feel that those leggings will not look flattering on me because they don’t make clothes for people like me.
For brands, it is both crucial and challenging to manage perceptions. Sometimes perceptions are not from the company’s side, but it is due to consumers’ principles, beliefs, and culture. Like some people are reluctant to try cheaper brands thinking that it is low quality, or it will not perform as desired. It becomes a challenge for companies like Dollar Shave Club to persuade people that they are as good as Gillette even if they have very low prices. Companies can do to invite people to use their products in these situations, like offering a discount on the first purchase or trial sample. This may change a person’s perception if the product has the quality and performs exceptionally and might even influence them to buy the product.
Managing perceptions are complicated, but when done correctly, it helps the brand to sustain adverse economic situations.