Reasons why Perception Management is important

23 March 2016 by Neha Jain No comments

 

The key to conversation at work is flexibility and understanding how what you say might be perceived by others

Is managing perception really that important? Yes !! Because perception is often more important than reality. And in fact, your reality will not be a happy one if you’re not managing perception. There are many examples of how perception is more important than reality.

For Eg. A stock might be beaten up horribly because of the way people view the company, whether that view of the company is accurate or not. The opposite is true as well. Consider what happened in real estate recently. Home prices went much higher than they should have been because the perception of the home’s value was much higher than reality. This was a major contributing factor to a real estate bubble, which as all bubbles do, did burst before everyone’s eyes.

Perception is defined as the “process by which individuals select, organize, and interpret the input from their senses to give meaning and order to the world around them.

Organizations use perception management in daily internal and external interactions. Even prior to major product / strategy introductions and following events of crisis. In terms of advertising and brand image, without a perception to manage, no other form of communication happens. It all comes down to a simple strategy of reviews and public opinion. Even before a product gets launched in the market, its perception ground work starts. Company markets and promotes the product to boost its sales. As a result, the end market gets excited and actually looks forward to the product launch.

Thus even before the product hits the market it is already successful irrespective of how good or genuine the product actually might be. And after product spends few days in the market, nobody actually bothers to cross verify the marketing strategy or product quality. Because companies do not give people the opportunity to cross verify. They are ready with new launch plan within a couple of weeks.

Companies often use brand management in an attempt to change a potential customer’s perception of the product’s value. Through positive association, a brand manager can strengthen the company’s marketing and gain brand value. This is an important step in perception management because it aims at producing the most effective results. Brand management deals with competitors, promotions, costs, and satisfaction in order to earn trust from consumers and show positive feedback.

Perception management is a type of strategy that is aimed at guiding the motives, emotions, and conclusions of another party by means of using different approaches to alter that party’s perception of past events and the projections of future events. This particular type of strategy has been used in military operations in attempts to gain advantages over enemies and has also found use in the business world among competitors. The goal is to alter the perception of the opposing party in a way that provides the manager with an advantage that can be used successfully to score a victory or otherwise defeat that opposing party.

There is some difference of opinion regarding whether perception management must remain firmly rooted in the use of verifiable information that is presented in a manner that is likely to trigger the desired outcome, or if the strategy allows for the selective use of certain facts while ignoring others or even leaving room for the inclusion of data that is questionable. For those that focus on the use of verifiable data only, the task is to assess all the available information, then determine the best way to present those facts in a way that is likely to cause recipients to react in a certain manner.

At other times, the process of perception management includes the selective use of available data. Many times certain facts are presented completely and concisely while others are either presented only partly or are mostly left out altogether. Doing so makes it easier to create a particular perception that can be sold to consumers, the citizens of a given country, or to a rival of some sort, assuming the opposing party is not privy to and does not discover the omissions.

Opponents to perception management prefer that all relevant data be presented without prejudice in terms of assigning priority or value to any portion of the data, allowing the parties involved to engage in the prioritization as they see fit. With this tool being effective in terms of business competition, reaching consumers, and even in the political arena, perception management is likely to remain a viable strategy in many walks of life.

Neha Jain

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