here's looking at you: analyzing your public perception and future state goals

How are you perceived? Surely, some introspective deep dive has taken you spiraling into a vortex of self -doubt, -consciousness, -deprecation. No? Lucky you. Actually, thinking about these things from time to time only spurs growth, so those devoid of self-questioning might not have a lot of answers either. Now, hopefully you’re able to think realistically about yourself (your brand) without catapulting yourself into a envelope of despair, since that’s what we’re doing next. Saddle up!

That’s a wrap, folks! Next week, we’re shifting gears and focusing on (dundundun) your competition – the positioning of your brand within your industry. BRB!

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the pulse (or the flatline)

What are they thinking right now? Do they even think about you? It’s time to take inventory. It’s possible that you have more than one identity floating around in the public. It’s possible people know that you exist but are unable to put that existence with a definable identity in their brains. This is a problem. There are an infinite number of scenarios for your brand’s current perception, but it’s important to identify what your Special, Special Snowflake Situation is out of the millions of scenarios so you can make a plan to shift, amplify, or make a complete U-turn.

So, when beginning to consider your perception, endeavor to as objectively as possible evaluate what people are thinking currently (about you, obv). When you have that general idea, it’s time to go back in time. Enter: your brand history. Keep reading.

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the history

With many of our branding clients, it’s not simply a brand (pun always intentional) new brand, but a lot the time it is the evolution of a brand (or brands) over time. Now they need clarification and direction and integration and elevation. All this to say – basically every brand has a history that affects its current perception.

So, magnifying and examining this history is vital to taking your brand’s temperature prior to diving into a complete facelift. It’s basically like going to the doctor – they’re going to check your pulse the day of the visit, but perhaps even more important than that information, is the information you give them on your patient history. Your health, much of the time, is a direct result of the historical health. Your brand is little different.

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the future

If you’re thinking about your brand, you’re probably trying to improve it. Ergo, (dingdingding!) you’re thinking about the future. So, you’ve taken inventory of where you are right now – what the general health of your brand is – and you know what you’ve either got to work with or what you’ve got to overcome. So, let’s start making some reasonable goals and projections for where you want to be this time next year, 2 years out, and 5 years way off down the road (actually, it’ll probably feel like tomorrow).

Figure it out. With our clients, we spend time exploring different scenarios and we tailor their content and publicity strategy toward accomplishing the goals we set in this phase. As public relations strategists first, we are continually concerned about perception, even superseding sales. It’s the long game in the long run, but you’ll never waste time spent managing brand perception. Well, as long as you do it right.

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the rise to glory

You’ve got your goals. They’re SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (because of course they are). You’re set up for the success because you generated your goals based on your current state – not some mythical, finger in the wind notion of where you think you might exist in time and space. This is good. A win for the team! Next up – how are we going to make all these good things happen for you?

Newsflash: there’s a lot of work that’s between you and your 5 year goal. Take the head beating out of the situation by creating an actionable strategy for mapping out your tactics. Revisit the results of your audience identification exercises. Call us. Figure out if this is a Joe Job or a Pro Job. Whatever the case may be, get out there and take it for yourself!

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