Political consultant Lee Atwater once said, “Perception is reality.” Many of today’s brands have realized just how true that statement is. The divide between what your brand is and what consumers believe your brand to be can often be wide. This is why brand perception is critical to success in a crowded marketplace.
What is Your Brand to Consumers?
Your brand is a collection of varying perceptions that all form an emotional connection to and response from consumers. In the “old days,” brands had full control of consumer perceptions, but the tables have turned, and consumers now hold the power. They can easily alter, undo, change and enhance brand perceptions from their point of view. If not managed properly, brand perception can completely fall apart.
So how can decision makers today increase consumer brand recall, recognition, awareness, favorability and the intent to purchase? First, by making sure that each promotional piece, touch point, and every usage of their name, logo and message supports their organization and goals by reinforcing their brand in the way they intended.
Second, by understanding the impact of print media, particularly newspaper advertising, on brand perception. As a top-of-funnel medium, print advertising is a very efficient way of establishing a brand’s value. While many brands continue to focus on digital channels alone to help with lift, more are becoming aware of print’s powerful role in establishing, or re-establishing, their identity in the marketplace.
How to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Print Media Campaigns
Knowing print can help with brand perception is only half the battle, the other half is ensuring each print campaign is effective and offers a healthy ROI. Print’s ability to increase consumer brand recall, recognition, awareness, favorability and the intent to purchase can be helped along by a few key factors:
Color print ads not only grab attention, they tend to help the reader focus on your message, which leads to higher recall and recognition. Color also sets a mood and helps your audience to “feel” a certain way about your brand. Having said this, it’s important that you streamline the print ad’s color scheme with your brand’s logo to quickly gain brand recognition.
Yes, size really does matter in print. Recall and recognition increases with ad size. Multipage units in magazines generate the highest recall. And, though color matters, a full-page B&W ad has the potential to generate high recall scores in newspapers.
Placement Matters More
When it comes to ad placement and recall scores, right-handed placements performed better in broadsheet newspapers than tablets. Front-third positions perform better than back-third, with the exception of full-page ad units on the back page. Magazine ads perform better in cover positions and adjacent to the table of contents.
Focus on Creating Experiences for Your Target Audience
Today’s consumers don’t want products and services so much as they want to be moved by an experience. So forego concentrating on rebranding your logo and taglines and think more about your customer’s journey. Focus on their experience rather than your identity.
Gone are the days when brands could be set in stone – today’s brands are liquid and organic and must adapt from time to time in order to stay relevant and seen as favorable in the consumer’s eye. Today’s brands need to monitor their identity, track trends, and constantly experiment with new tactics, messaging, and disaster response policies.
By adding print to your media mix, you are adapting your marketing efforts and leveraging a new (or rather traditional) and effective tactic that will put your brand in a positive light.
Brand perception is owned by the consumers, not by the brands. Regardless of what your messaging has been in the past, whatever people are thinking and saying about your brand now, that is your brand.
Decision makers that wish to increase consumer brand recall, recognition, awareness, favorability and the intent to purchase must ensure each piece of marketing and touch point supports their organizational goals, aligns with the customer journey, offers true engagement, and builds trust.
By using print media, particularly newspaper advertising, brands can effectively shape consumer perception in the coming years and beyond.
Need some help with your print marketing campaigns? Reach out to us. We love helping SMBs leverage print to increase their conversions and ROI.