In its simplest form, your brand is your company’s reputation: the way it is perceived by people; specifically, by your target audience.

Yet perception is anything but simple.

Our mind is intricate, perception is subjective, and how we think about things is in a permanent state of flux – influenced by innumerable factors. So how can your company improve the way it is perceived by your target audience?

There are two ways. The first is obvious: deliver better products or services and customer experience, but not just better, totally focused on a customer need. The second is less tangible: understand better how your customers think, feel, act and how to influence their behaviour. For years, CMDi has been learning, testing, honing and proving how to achieve this for every one of our clients across the built environment.

To understand the mind of your customers, you have to start with an understanding of neuropsychology. This science reveals how we all make decisions based on two different processes.

Type 1 processes are quick, unconscious, and intuitive. They are effortless, but also prone to making mistakes. Type 2 processes are slow, conscious, and controlled. They take considerable effort, but generally lead to more successful behaviours. Unfortunately, most of our decisions are made using type 1 processes, where we use ‘guesstimates’ or ‘common sense’ (known as heuristics) as a shortcut way of thinking to choose our behaviour.

The common mistake made by so many brand, marketing, and research agencies is to focus on type 2 processes when analysing and influencing consumer behaviour. When assessing brand strength, for example, sample customers are often presented with a list of brand benefits and asked to rate each one individually and rationally, and then evaluate the brand’s overall performance. Naturally, such explicit and subjective reports have for many years been popular and persuasive research tools for measuring customers’ perception of a brand and their behaviour towards it.

Unfortunately, you cannot rely simply on asking people what they do and why they do it. Because people are often unable or unwilling to provide accurate data about their behaviour. That is why progressive brand specialists are turning increasingly towards implicit research techniques when it comes to applied market research. These techniques enable them to obtain answers to questions which are difficult – and often impossible – to ask directly. Using these techniques also provides invaluable insights into their customers’ thoughts, feelings, and motivations.

At CMDi, it is precisely this type of implicit research that we undertake for our clients, delving deep through the layers of consumer perception to uncover what they actually think about the various components of a company‘s brand in order to achieve a far more accurate measurement of its overall performance. And, crucially, understand what needs to change and why in order to achieve the desired outcomes.

This is the approach CMDi has taken when building the success of brands such as the Federation of Master Builders, CIOB, BMF, FENSA, BFRC energy ratings, GGFi installer insurance and many others, where we analyse the performance of every component against customer perceptions as well as competitor activity, then offer a turnkey solution for cost-effectively transforming the effectiveness of that brand with measurable results.

Find out about CMDi’s Brand Builder service here >

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