Customer Perception Definition
Customer perception is a “Process during which an individual acquires knowledge about the environment and interprets the information according to his/her needs, requirements and attitudes.” – as defined by F.G. Crane and T.K. Klarke (1994), G.D. Harrell, G.L. Frazier (1998)
According to the Business Dictionary, consumer perception or customer perception is a “Marketing concept that encompasses a customer’s impression, awareness, or consciousness about a company or its offerings.”
Customer perception is a process where a customer collects information about a product and interprets the information to make a meaningful image of a particular product. When a customer sees advertisements, promotions, customer reviews, social media feedback, etc. relating to a product, they develop an impression of the product.
The entire process of customer perception starts when a consumer sees or gets information about a particular product. This process continues until the consumer starts to build an opinion about the product. Everything that a company does will affect customer perception. The way the products are positioned in a retail store, the colors, and shapes in your logo, the advertisements that you create, the discounts that you offer, everything impacts the customer perception.
What are the Advantages of Customer Perception?
Customer perception is a crucial component of the relationship between a brand and its customers. Customer perception brings along a lot of advantages:
1. Increases Customer Loyalty:
When customers have a positive perception of your brand, they will be loyal to your brand and will bring more customers. A good price point, better packaging, and a special offer can lure them. So, building a strong relationship with a strong brand image is important.
2. Influences Buying Decision:
If you’re selling cars, and the customer has to choose between you and your competitor, positive customer perception will be advantageous. Your price point is higher, your looks are good, and you have a strong brand value. The competitor’s car is cheaper, but more powerful and packed with accessories, but the looks are ordinary, and the brand has a history of scandals. What will nail his decision over performance and quality? Even though the competitor’s car is a better one, he will zero in on yours.
This is what happened to Volkswagen after the Dieselgate scandal in 2015. Though a top car brand, its sales figures fell, and the brand is still struggling to come out of it.
3. Development of New Products/Expansion:
Understanding customer perception towards a product will help marketers to launch new products or to expand the business. Based on positive customer perception, a brand can introduce new offerings with similar features.
Customer Perception Example
For example, the Avon logo uses two colors – black and pink. While black is used to depict serious business, pink is the company’s trademark color- speaks of femininity. This color predominantly attracts women, while men feel alienated by pink color. The customer perception is built based on the colors used in the logo.
But if a product is trying to attract both men and women, using just pink might not be a good idea.