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Shifting Brand Perceptions

It goes without saying that the perception of your brand by your target audience is critical to the success of your business.

The reality is that a single interaction with your brand is all it takes to shape how your customer perceives you. This perception can change from negative to positive (and vice versa) as a result.

In fact, it’s not just about making sure the perception is positive – it’s about understanding the associations that consumers (or other businesses) have with your brand.  Are these perceptions valid and in-line with your marketing goals and strategies?

If not, it might be time to think about how you can shift this brand perception!

Let’s look at an experienced brand like McDonald’s as an example.

An apparent shift to healthier eating both at home and when dining-out presented a problem for McDonalds as their present demographic was shrinking – fewer burgers were being sold. The perception of their brand revolved only around Big Mac’s, fries and supersized drinks, although they offered some healthy choices on their menus.

To protect the future growth of their brand, they not only needed to consider adding more healthy choices to their menus, but also to shift the negative perception of the brand in this growing healthy-living market.

Ultimately they turned a problem into an opportunity by expanding their menu with healthier choices such as veggie burgers and apple slices as snacks, and building a new positioning with the new tagline “I’m Lovin’ It” – much more flexible to adapt to different dietary needs and lifestyle changes. This message was changed across all their marketing efforts and helped to tip the needle back in their favour.

McDonalds is obviously a very large global brand with deep pockets – So how do you tackle this type of challenge if you are working with a more modest budget?

Digital is a great place to start – However before you dive into a specific tactic you need to first have a strategy.

Starting With A Strategy

This can sometimes be the most challenging part for even the most experienced brands and that is why we work with you by starting with some fundamental questions:

  • What is the current perception of your brand?
  • Who is your current target audience?
  • Who is your ideal target audience?
  • What is your main brand message?

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of getting a solid strategy in place, but don’t worry. We’re here to help and we’ve helped clients with all different forms of this same challenge. From B2B companies who have grown through acquisition and struggle to identify the best way to present themselves online as a new brand, to B2C brands who have an ongoing challenge to increase the breadth of their target audience by shifting their current perceptions.

– Branding Related Blogs –

One of our clients approached us to help them solve a problem exactly like this.

Sunsweet’s Challenge

Sunsweet’s current target audience was an older demographic. The perception of the brand was that it was only suitable for digestive health and that it was what your grandparents ate. The reality was that prunes are great for any age and anyone wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. They provide many benefits on top of just digestive health.

But how to get that message across to a new audience?

Our solution was to build an Influencer Marketing campaign that chose influencers of a younger demographic, in the healthy living space and with particular interest in food. We built a solid strategy for the campaign that matched the overall brand message, complete with key performance indicators (KPIs) allowing us to report back on its success.

In the end, we increased Sunsweet’s brand awareness to a new demographic, engaged with the younger audience and encouraged new ways to include prunes in their daily life and educated them on the health benefits of prunes beyond the digestive health.

The success of this campaign helped to launch future influencer campaigns (already in motion) alongside their other marketing efforts and continue to shift perceptions of their brand.

Learn more about how Influencer Marketing can help shift brand perceptions.

Help Make the Shift

Perceptions of brands, even big brands, can be shifted by using what are often basic digital tactics. It’s crucial to start with a strategy, make sure the message you are sending is consistent across all channels, from social media to your website to your ads, to your downloadable content and have KPI’s set up in order to measure success.


WSI can work with you to help figure out a strategy that will help you build the brand sentiment you are looking for and that resonates with your audience.

This includes:

  • Building KPIs that you can track and report on
  • Using innovative digital marketing technologies
  • Partnering with leading organizations, such as Google, Facebook, and Hubspot.
Do you need help with your Brand's Identity?