Successful and reputed brands are the ones that grasp advertising and marketing at each level of the organizational hierarchy and are driven by a top-level managerial team that values entirely the intensity of making and managing ethical perceptions.
Perception management is also understood as a Propaganda Technique that cautiously reshapes/revamps/reconstructs the perception of the target market/niche/audiences to fulfil the desired motive or get favorable outcomes.
That is why; it is considered a fundamental part of present-day Information Warfare.
The term ‘Perception Management’ was started inside the US Military as a significant aspect of their Psyops Program. In this, selective information is given (or denied) to the target group/community/society/audience to impact their feelings, thought processes and behavioural reasoning, to channelize a change in their conduct best-suited to the sponsors.
As per some of the industry experts, such use of perception management is based upon Disinformation and Deception. US Branch of Defense says- “Perception Management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations.”
However, in today’s time, perception management has also become an integral part of Business Management Procedures, and there, it is more inclined towards persuasion instead of deception and manipulations.
In this post, we will dive deep into the ways contemporary businesses use perception management, and how important it is for them. So, let us get underway-
Table of Contents
According to the Department of Defense (DOD), the US, ‘perception management’ refers to the actions taken to convey or deny information and resort to ways to influence foreign people’s emotions and motives.
It also works majorly in changing the intelligent system and the world leaders so that they behave in a way, more or less deemed favourable to the originator.
‘Perception’ refers to the process of acquisition, organization, and interpretation of the ‘senses’ and ‘feelings’ of and by human beings to give meaning to the world.
Perception management is a learned skill to ensure that the message that you want to communicate reaches the individual(s) and is understood by them the same way you want them to. It means what people interpret when they hear anything about or of you from other people, or what we think of people, situations, or anything based on how they affect our stimuli or what we feel for and about that particular entity.
When it comes to creating the right perceptions for optimizing the presence, reach, connections, and conversions of a brand, perception management plays a critical role. Let us understand this more lucidly-
What is Brand Perception Management?
Managing perceptions of a brand is making aware of the things that drive the brand owners. It should also be used in managing the purpose and mission of the brand. All in all, it is related to creating favourable perceptions for the brand in the target-niche to get welcoming outcomes.
Using perception management skills is vital for establishing how others perceive you. It is used primarily for managing the reputation throughout the organization, audiences, stakeholders, and the masses.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln-
“Public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.”
Perception management empowers a brand or leader to get favourable public sentiments.
Government agencies and corporate businesses have adopted perception management as one of their essential goals, objectives, and ways to reach out to people. Perception management is an artistic and scientific way where you make use of creative ways to influence people. You must ensure the buyers perceive your brand.
Critical Tips for effective Perception Management by Businesses
1. Building Reality
You solely decide what people should perceive as ‘real’ and what they should not. In other words, you build a new ‘real’ away from reality.
Do you know that some well-known multinational companies hire paid reviewers to review their products? Well, what brilliant perception management. They know that more than 70% of the buyers rely on reviews.
Fast food brands always make use of artificial resources to make their products look more attractive. Have you ever had a packet of chips that looks full, but when you open it, you find out that the quantity is much less than what it seems or what you expected? Well.
2. Please do not create a reality which is too far from the actual truth
Well, imagine selling a packet of chips that looks full, but when opened, it has nothing in it. You will probably lose more than 50% of the customers.
When people find out that the packet contains a handful of chips, they will complain, but once they taste good, they will return to buy more. However, if they do not find the chips, there is no prospect of eating these!
Hence, plan your perception management carefully. Do not go to the end of fooling people.
3. The first impression is the last
If you are opening your start-up or starting your business, it is better to focus on what is real.
Once you convince your target audience about quality and quantity, you can implement perception management strategies to gain more buyers and invest less.
Is perception management important for a successful career?
Yes, it is. You are the one who decides your destiny.
The pace at which the world has been changing requires you to be the best of the best. Almost all the companies focus less on the educational qualifications of the employees and more on how much they contribute or how fast they complete an assignment.
So, while being interviewed, convince your employers about your abilities instead of presenting documents that have the numerous certificates that you have earned from your schools and colleges. Manipulate your employers with effective perception management strategies.
You also need to maintain a cordial relation with your colleagues. Let us be honest enough to accept that the world thrives on validation and not on quality work unless you have reached that position where no one can rule over you.
Know how you are perceived for Effective Perception Management!
- Spend some alone time to know more about yourself and what you want.
- Ask for informal feedback from your colleagues and employers to have a rough idea about what people think of you. Look at your image through their eyes.
It can often be related to Charles Horton Cooley’s ‘Looking Glass Self’ that says-
“I am not what I think I am, I am not what you think I am, I am what I think you think I am.”
Simply put, my identity is not based on what I perceive myself to be or what you understand me to be but on my perceptions of what you see me be. I create an identity based on your actions and how I react to those.
- You can take the help of Psychometrics.
- Communicate your motives and intentions to your colleagues. Observe how they react to your ideas.
- It would help if you evaluated how you have progressed so far. Maintaining daily journals where you note down the feedbacks and improvements can help.
- It would help if you were not impatient every time there is a negative review.
List of Do’s and Don’ts in Perception Management
- Spend quality alone time for self-evaluation.
- Know how you are affected by stress and how others perceive you to be affected by stress.
- Learn to interpret both verbal and non-verbal symbols of communication. Observe their movements, how fast or how slow they speak, and how energetic they are.
- Know how you affect others.
- Ask for feedback from your colleagues.
- Learn to exercise charismatic authority. Inspire and influence people. Frame a good conversation in your head and use positive quotes so that people are awed. Politicians and political parties often express charismatic authority. Religious figures express charismatic authority. Be the one that people look up to and approach for help.
- Expect much more than you give.
- Emotionally react to feedbacks.
- Act defensive.
- Be aggressive.
- Pester and irritate people for feedbacks.
Perception Management is the practice that you adopt to create your impression or the way you decide how other people should interpret your behaviour and how they are impacted by it.
It is also the practice of reading, observing, and carefully interpreting other people’s actions. Once you have mastered the art of perception management, success will be there at your doorstep.
Using perception management constructively will help you get the respect of your friends, bosses, employees, peers, or even the masses or your target audiences. You can use it to improve the way you are perceived by others to build a reliable brand around you.
Do you think today’s businesses can survive without using perception management strategies?
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