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Brand perception is a term used to describe the way consumers view a particular brand of products. Depending on the circumstances, the perception of a given brand and the products marketed under that brand can be anywhere along a spectrum, ranging from very positive to highly negative. There are several factors that can influence brand perception, including consumer experience with a brand, the opinions of other consumers, the type of advertising used to promote the brand, and even shifts in the economy.
One of the key elements with an impact on brand perception is the experience of the consumer who chooses to buy a product made under a certain brand. Assuming that the product works properly and meets consumer expectations, there is a good chance that the product will be purchased again in the future. At the same time, that positive experience will motivate that consumer to try other products marketed under the brand name, expecting to enjoy the same level of enjoyment and satisfaction obtained from the previous product.
Word of mouth can also play a significant role in brand perception. When consumers share positive or negative experiences regarding use of products marketed under a given brand, this will often have some impact on how others perceive not only those products but also the brands themselves. For example, if enough consumers find that the ketchup and mustard marketed under a certain brand are substandard in quality, there is a good chance that those hearing the complaints will assume that the pickle relish marketed under that same brand will also be substandard.
The advertising techniques used can also influence brand perception. Advertising that consumers find informative, interesting, and helpful will likely motivate them to try the product at least once. At the same time, advertising that is uninteresting, seems to have no real purpose, or in some way offends consumers will often help to create a negative perception of that brand and its product line, effectively motivating consumers to focus attention on the products offered by competitors.
Even the state of the economy can alter the brand perception of consumers. For example, the pricing of products marketed under a given brand may be considered satisfactory during a period of economic prosperity, but suddenly be considered too high during a recession or other type of economic downturn. Changes in economic circumstances may prompt consumers to switch to brands that are less expensive while still providing an acceptable level of satisfaction.