“Branding is all about perception”

As with in the case of beauty, perception also ultimately lies in the eye of the beholder. It differs from person to person. What you perceive as a quality or value for money might differ from somebody else’s perception; so do the results of the positioning of your brand. Branding is all about perception. To your client, perception is more important than reality. For them, their perception is the truth, regardless of whether you believe your brand’s actions align with their perception or not. Therefore, in order to gain a positive reputation and be perceived well by your clients, your brand needs to be well positioned.

Brand positioning is not an action in itself, but rather a direct result of what you do. You cannot in reality change how clients reason or perceive things. The only way you can affect your brand’s positioning is through your actions.  It is the benefit that you want your client to perceive when they think of your business. A strong brand position means that the brand has an exclusive, credible and sustainable position in the mind of clients.

Be first
Scientists have discovered that a person is capable of receiving limited sensation. After a point your brain goes blank. In the over communicated world we all face today our minds reject information that is unnecessary, accepts new information and filters out everything else. The easiest way to obtain brand loyalty is for your business to get into your potential client’s mind first, and you will have to be careful not to give clients any reason to switch to another brand. You want them to perceive you as the number one and nothing less.

Be consistent
Do not communicate unless you are able to be consistent in your approach and to position for the long-term. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Simplify your message – less is more. Concentrate on the perceptions of your target audience and not the reality of the service or product. Whether you create a new perception, reinforce the current or challenge an old perception, to be successful today, you have to be in touch with the reality of what is already in your potential client’s mind.  Remember perception is the reality of the client.

Know your client
The basis for good brand positioning is knowing your client. You have to take the benefits and unique selling points of your business that you know so well and make them valuable and meaningful to the people who matter – your clients.  You need to fully occupy and control your chosen niche. Ideally, your brand should reach a point where clients attach some kind of fundamental value or benefit to your brand that they would not get elsewhere.

Stand out
Competition is rife in the business world. Because there are so many choices easily available nowadays, your brand needs to stand out from the crowd. To do that, you need to build a strong and credible position.  You have to ensure that you are differentiated from other similar brands in the market. Equally as important is deciding what you do best. What are your unique selling points? Why is your business better than others? What is superior or valuable about your brand? Pairing this with your ideal client is key to positioning your brand. If you know who they are and what they want, then you should know why they come to you to meet their needs, instead of approaching your competitors.

Your brand will definitely end up positioned somewhere on the ladder in your client’s mind, whether you pay particular attention to positioning or not. It might just not fall into a favourable position without you giving it some careful consideration and actively working on your brand positioning strategy. The art is in creating a brand that is perceived by your clients and staff as different.  Do not wait to take the necessary steps to change the perception and position of your brand.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.

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