Hackernoon logoWhat is a customer perception analysis and how can it help your early-stage business success? by@brandauditor

What is a customer perception analysis and how can it help your early-stage business success?

Brand Auditor is an affordable market research and customer perception analysis solution. People buy from brands that they like, more precisely that are aligned with their values. Customer perception analysis in large corporations is typically done by advanced machine learning tools, based on hundreds of thousands of feedback daily. Startups and small-medium-sized companies can do it in a more budget-friendly way. Customers will not see you as an attractive option to solve their problems if they do not like the brand personality of your company.
image
Brand Auditor Hacker Noon profile picture

@brandauditorBrand Auditor

Brand Auditor is an affordable market research and customer perception analysis solution.

Brand optimization is a key business process of any company that wants to become, or remain an attractive choice for their potential customers. Customer perception analysis in large corporations is typically done by advanced machine learning tools, based on hundreds of thousands of feedback daily - which costs a lot. Startups and small-medium-sized companies can do it in a more budget-friendly way.

Ask the right questions: how do I connect my target customers with my brand?

People buy from brands that they like, more precisely that are aligned with their values. It is common sense, but very important to let it sink in. If your potential customers like your brand, and can connect with it emotionally, then you will get more leads, more prospects, and the entire sales process will become significantly smoother.

It is not possible to substitute liking with reasoning. You can have the most practical solutions, offer the best value, and have the most innovative technology — your customers will not see you as an attractive option to solve their problems if they do not like the brand personality of your company.

Perceptions of your target audience and potential customers about your brand are a significant factor in business success. People make purchase decisions not only based on logic but also on a range of emotional factors.

Your viewers will start developing emotions and opinions about your brand from the first time they see an ad, they go to your website, and especially when they start engaging with your content.

What is customer perception analysis?

Customer perception analysis is a process to discover, measure, and analyze what people think about your brand, products in general, also how the qualities of your business perform compared to direct competitors or similar brands.

The continuous analysis and regular evaluations of customer perceptions are crucial to develop and maintain customer closeness and a positive brand image. Businesses that can shape positive brand perceptions among customers influence their followers indirectly to look more exciting and relatable compared to other brands in their space.

Understanding such insights does not need to be expensive or time-consuming. Even the smallest businesses can work with brand auditors to develop practices to measure their public image efficiently.

The importance of understanding customer perceptions

The era of faceless mega-corporations is gone, as companies in all shapes and sizes have discovered the importance of brand personalities. Think about how popular CEO-s like Elon Musk or Tim Cook made their companies so friendly and likable that it became cool to be associated with their products. As a customer, it is nice to be proud of buying from companies with a good brand image and reputation. Would you feel comfortable owning a car from a company that is known to use child labor? Not likely.

The same applies to startups and small-medium-sized businesses as well. A relatable brand personality will not only help to close sales but will also make it easier for people to recommend your company. Your customers will be proud to associate themselves with your brand if your brand demonstrates values that are something to be proud of.

Customer opinions are shaped by multiple variables, including social and environmental values, prestige, and reputation. Global corporations invest significant resources to maintain an impeccable reputation, as well as to impress potential customers with meaningful value demonstration that goes beyond products or services.

Understanding these is very important to break out from the price-value competition and become a trusted, likable brand. This is exactly what a customer perception analysis is for.

Preparing your analysis

Similar to market research, conducting a customer perception analysis requires collecting feedback from potential customers and broader in-market audiences. Relying on first-hand data is highly recommended, as having control over your data collection process will deliver significantly more reliable and relevant results.

The quality and representative value of the analysis relies on the following three factors:

  • Questions you ask from your respondents
  • Number of respondents
  • Quality of responses

When planning your analysis, first decide about what would you like to receive answers about? You can ask anything from your target respondents, but to receive quality answers, prepare questions that people can answer instantly. Enabling simple responses will result in higher engagement rates, better survey completion rates - which will dramatically reduce your market research cost.

Another benefit of asking easy-to-answer questions is that respondents will be able to provide more honest answers, which will increase the quality of your research.

Few examples of good questions:

  • Do you like this company?
  • Do you think this company is better or worse compared to similar companies?
  • Would you pay for the products of this company?

These questions are easy to answer with a yes or no, do not require too much thinking. The answers to such questions will hold valuable information.

Few examples of poor questions:

  • What do you think about this company?
  • Why is this company better than similar companies?
  • Which product from this company is your favorite?

Asking open-ended questions in your market research survey is not recommended. Answers for open-ended questions will be either lengthy and complicated to analyze or will return less relevant information. Such questions make respondents abandon the survey - reducing your response rate and inflating your cost per response.

How to get quality responses from your customers

In a nutshell, quality responses reflect the actual opinion of your respondents. Good answers start with good questions. It is crucial to ask straightforward questions that one can answer precisely. Open-ended questions are not a good practice when doing market research. The best form response options are single choice, multiple-choice, or drop-down.

Should you use free-form text input boxes, make sure that your questions will not require long and elaborate answers. Lengthy responses are likely to make the information processing procedure more complicated.

The number of responses should be 1,000 at least. The size of your research can depend on your industry, but the more feedback you can collect from relevant in-market customers, the better your customer perception audit will become.

For B2C customer perception audits, aim to collect in the range of 5,000-10,000. For companies in B2B sectors or very specialized niche markets, it is difficult to obtain volumes of quality responses. In those segments, going for high-quality but very precisely targeted market research is preferred.

Similarities between brand audits and customer perception analysis

The concept of customer perception analysis is very similar to brand audits in many ways. Both procedures aim to measure the public opinion about a company, products, or services. The main difference between brand audits and customer perception analysis is the approach of data collection.

Brand audits can be done in-house, by an expert, multiple experts, or in the best case, done with market research tools. Meanwhile, customer perception analysis can be carried out only by asking in-market customers and summarizing their feedback into insightful reports.

The risk of not doing customer perception audits

Unfortunately, it is common among startups and small businesses not to engage in feedback collection. There are multiple reasons behind this, like the management team does not want to get their initial concepts busted.

First-time entrepreneurs and family businesses tend to take feedback too personally, so they avoid receiving feedback that they might not like. 

Another common reason small businesses avoiding customer brand audits and customer perception analysis is they are not ready to make changes.

At medium-sized businesses with a dedicated marketing department, it is typically the team that refuses to accept feedback that could question the value of their work. It is a counterproductive approach, as companies in this situation are likely to lose ground and become less relevant or exciting for potential customers.

Managing a business and marketing without monitoring customer perceptions is like driving at night without the headlights. There is a substantial risk of becoming irrelevant, missing out on brand and marketing communication trends, and losing the sympathy of past, present, or future customers.

Tags

Join Hacker Noon

Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.