What do customers think of your brand?

More Than A Logo

The Nike Empire

Think about Nike, popular worldwide for their sportswear. A company valued at $28 billion in 2017, the Nike ‘swoosh’ one of the most recognised logos, along with the ‘Just Do It’ tagline. But, Nike is more than the swoosh. The logo carries the athletic excellence, determination, honour and victory that Nike wishes to sell, and customers are hungry to buy it. It is only an image, but it is Nike’s buyers and their loyalty that has catapulted the brand to the epitome of the fitness brand it is today.

Any brand today is more than its logo. It is a mental creation of the expectations, memories and relationships that drives consumers to choose a certain product. The image that Nike represents is not created by the brand owners, but by those who buy Nike products. It grows on the foundation of what customers think about their product. The image of the brand is controlled by its consumers, by what they think and say. The customer’s perception of a brand is dependent on their emotional impression; how they feel and react to their experiences.

The Keys to the Empire

Brand owners believe that it is important to understand their brand’s perception. It helps to identify the position of the company in the highly competitive marketplace and the value for their products.

Many factors define a customer’s perception of a brand. With the rise of digital media like YouTube, Amazon and social networking, information and reviews of a brand and product are a click away.  The steps a company takes to build its brand are vital. Marketing campaigns have an immense impact on brand perceptions. The 2017 Pepsi ad campaign, featuring model Kendall Jenner, received a substantial amount of backlash from consumers for its depiction of social messages. The ad was removed.

Customer is King

Customers define the image that the brand sells. It is important for brand owners to home in to understand not only what people are saying, but who is saying it too – the demographic. Knowing the customers, their interests, values, and beliefs is crucial. A customer is more likely to buy from a company that shares the same values as their own. A successful brand gives consumers something that they can identify with and use in their lives; their product will have both meaning and use.

For example, Nike’s recent ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick has consumers polarised in response. Despite the backlash, Nike’s risk with the campaign has paid off well, solely because they know the shared values of their core customers.  Whilst both Adidas and Nike are sporting goods brands, consumers choose Nike because of the self-awareness of their vision as a brand.

A large chunk of brand perceptions is shaped a customer’s previous experience with buying a product, and recommendations from friends and colleagues. People believe other people that they interact with than the words describing the product on its official website.

The experience of buying a product, from interaction with sales staff to customer services, draws a clear mental image for consumers on what to expect further. Nike showrooms display posters and motivational taglines with famous athletes and celebrities, inspiring customers to buy their product. They experience its quality and see for themselves that they got what they expected. They share their positive views with their family and friends.

More than a face

The brand grows and is shaped by the sum of experiences of its customers. It is a partnership, with consumers at the centre, who have the power to decide whether they would keep buying. Brands need to position themselves in the consumer’s mind as something they can rely on. A position that evolves from being rational – the need for the product, to emotional – the values that they share. A brand is a system, a well-oiled machine run by buyers. The logo is just its face.

If you are looking to change the face your customers see, then contact me to discuss the options and we can start the journey together.

Thank you for reading and if you have time click through to see our work

Adam Ridgway
Chief Creative Director