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Balancing Brand Perception


Our brains are constantly scanning our environment and attempting to make sense of what they see and come into contact with. To do that, the brain compares the new experience to past experiences and makes a judgment call about the new experience. It labels that new experience based on how it compares to the old experience.

Let’s say you go into a retail space and see outdated colors or styles, peeling wallpaper, and nicks in the counter top. Your brain then compares these current images with images it has stored under headings like “successful brands,” “professional,” “competent,” and so on. This current experience doesn’t fit under any of those. The brain says to itself, “This brand falls under ‘cheap,’ ‘rundown,’ ‘small time,’ and other negative words and phrases.

Now, as a leader you may be thinking, “I don’t want to invest on cosmetic appearances. I would rather spend the revenue on training and equipment.”

Investing in training and equipment is not bad, but if it’s not balanced with a visually appealing identity, the market usually will dismiss it. Because people equate value with visual appearance, which then leads to further investigation about your service or product.

Many brands fail from an unbalanced approach. The best way to get feedback on how your brand is perceived is to have and outside source survey your existing customers, customers who haven’t dealt with you in a while, and potential customers who fit the profile of your target market.

This can be scary but it’s better to get the information and make the changes needed rather than wonder why you’re not as successful as you should be.


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