What is Customer Perception?

Definition: Customer perception is an individual’s appreciation of a product or service provided or marketed to him. This term can be seen as a process that starts when the consumer or potential consumer receives information about a product and ends when he builds an opinion or judgment of it.

What Does Customer Perception Mean?

Companies try to influence consumer perception by making impressions that aim to persuade them toward consumption. The objective might be to attract new customers, retain the current ones or increase sales per customer. With a defined purpose, a firm can apply only one or a combination of different marketing techniques such as advertising, promotions, samples, social media and public relations, among others in order to have valuable inputs that helps them design techniques, messages and channels that are assumed to influence customer’s perception.

Marketing departments should try to identify previously the most relevant elements that are inducing purchasing decisions. Certainly, enhancing customer’s perception is a complex process that can change from one individual to another. Elements such as price, quality and benefits are appreciated uniquely in every consumer’s mind.

Example

Mary Olson is an entrepreneur trying to introduce traditional Bolivian handcraft in a small and rich European country. She highly appreciates this kind of artistic expression and thinks that the objects can be seen as trendy and exotic in the most eclectic homes. However, she is not sure about how Bolivia is perceived in Europe. She does not know what the proper price is to sell these products. With a small budget, Mary hired a marketing consultant that helped her significantly.

As a result of his advice, the products were marketed as Latin American art instead of Bolivian handcraft since most people seemed to know about Latin America but not about Bolivia. Mary initially offered affordable prices because potential customers did not see the objects as art but merely exotic ornaments. In the meantime, Mary designed a promotional strategy to change this perception and thus slowly increase future prices.