In the last #MarketingMinds chat, professionals gathered to discuss the topic of the week: Using PR to influence brand perception. To stop you feeling left out if you missed it, here are the key themes from the chat.

Q1: What do we mean by “brand perception?”

@ThinkSEM, @AdotIdotspace and @Animatedgiff are all in alignment when it comes to the definition of brand perception, explaining that brand perception is how a business is viewed and thought of by others. @IdeaMajesty emphasises that brand perception is reality- what our audience perceives is what they believe to be real.

Q2: What factors influence brand perception?

@ThinkSEM believes that there are a range of factors that influence brand perception, for example content which is created by the brand. If a brand often posts thought leading content, the audience may view the brand as a credible leader in its field. @mcsaatchimena feels that customer experience is number one in crafting brand perception. This can be demonstrated by how influential word of mouth can really be; reinforcing the need for social listening tools much as Meltwater’s media intelligence platform.

Meanwhile, @KDADouglas states that the consistency of our brand message, online representation and first hand experiences with a company, are all contributing factors to building brand perception. The more uniform our brand is at every touch point, the easier it is for the audience to form an idea, so make sure it’s a positive one! @AdotIdotspace comments on product/ service value and quality as key factors that influences brand perception. For example, consumers form brand perception of German made products based on ideas around high quality German engineering.

Q3: What are your top tips for crafting the perfect brand message/ image?

@eksay’s top tip is to keep our brand message and positioning short, meaningful and relevant. We should say what we mean and mean what we say if we are to encourage brand loyalty. @Animatedgiff explains that the perfect brand message is all about consistency and fulfilling the promise. Furthermore, by including our USP our audience can easily identity the differences between our brand and our competitors- this too will help them to differentiate their brand perception amongst similar brands on the market.

Q4: How do you know if your brand message is resonating well with the audience?

@ThinkSEM goes by sales, conversions and word of mouth to see if their audience has accepted their brand message. Social listening tools can help us with this task greatly. Meltwater’s media intelligence platform allows users to filter conversation by sentiment and then zoom in on key themes around comments. Waitrose for example, is often associated with charities and their CSR efforts. This tells us that their brand message of being an environmentally and socially responsible brand has filtered into their audience’s brand perception.

Q5: Why is monitoring public perception of our brand important?

@ThinkSEM advises that we avoid working in a vacuum; we must look outside of our company to see how our brand is received. We agree, hence Meltwater’s tagline: Outside Insight. By looking outside we’re also able to identify what is/ isn’t working through spotting shifts in brand perception. @AdotIdotspace agrees, stating that analysing the sentiment of comments from our audience and the press can help us spot negative comments that are simmering before they boil over out of control, causing us to enter crisis mode.

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