You, Me And Brand Perception: The Truth

Our best defense in creating the brand perception we're striving for is to be diligent and consistent with our brand.

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Let’s face it — what you see isn’t always what you get. Case in point, the recent internet sensation: “the dress.” You may have had to be in the desert – without any electricity, to have missed the picture of the dress, that to some appeared blue/black and to some appeared gold/white.

branding perception
This is “the dress” what color do you see it as? blue/black or gold/white?

Personally, I thought it was a hoax until I showed the (to me) obviously blue/black dress picture to Mike and asked him what color he thought it was. When he answered “gold/white,” I was stunned. Well, truly, I thought he had seen the stir on the internet and was playing along with what had to be some sort of twisted hoax. But after a while, it became obvious, he really did see the dress as white/gold…and so did a lot of other people. People I like and trust. And here’s where the lesson begins.

We all experience the world differently. As we learned with “the dress,” sometimes we see different colors. And a lot of the time though, it comes down to the way we “feel” experiences. What may feel to me one way, might feel entirely differently to someone else, based on how we each perceive that experience and depending on our own past experiences. Each and every one of us experience an entirely unique world. It doesn’t matter if we are standing next to a friend or partner that we usually see eye-to-eye with, the way we experience our worlds is entirely our own.

Crafting Your Brand Perception

brand-perceptionThis is an important lesson, particularly when you’re trying to craft a brand position. Brand perception is in the hands of the beholder. That makes creating a brand difficult, to be sure. But our best defense in creating the brand perception we’re striving for is to be diligent and consistent with our brand. (Oh, and using high quality photos taken in good lighting helps a lot too.)

Don’t get discouraged if not everyone immediately understands or “gets” your brand. But also pay attention to the feedback you’re getting about your brand position. If you’re trying create a brand about a blue/black dress and a lot of the people you talk with keep interpreting your marketing as selling a gold/white dress, it’s time to change-up your message and material. If on the other hand, you’re selling a blue/black dress and that’s what people see — be consistent about how you position that dress so that it reinforces the story you’re telling and doesn’t confuse your audience. The more that you can keep your audience seeing the same things from your company, over and over again, the stronger your brand will be.


Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She was recently named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

Possessing expertise in both front- and back-office operations, Tisha conceptualizes, develops, and implements initiatives to foster brand effectiveness like no other. With over 15 years of experience in branding and marketing, Tisha has successfully led large financial institutions and health care companies down the path of renaming their business.

Where Tisha really shines is in the work that isn’t done. Sometimes a name change for a business isn’t in their best interest and after meeting with Tisha, they are able to find the true value and equity that has always been in their brand. Tisha has a special knack of being able to communicate the value so that the CEO/Business owner can see its luster and then with a little polishing, make it shine company wide.

Tisha is best known for developing long lasting branding campaigns that speak to the heart of the business, the brand, and the community. True brand, no matter how big or small, has longevity. Creating branding campaigns that have longevity, that have a laser-like focus, is where Tisha thrives.

Tisha received her M.B.A. from the University of Oregon, from where she also earned a B.A. in Political Science. She enjoyed a distinguished academic career punctuated by enthusiastic and successful participation in competitive speaking events, and holds numerous awards for her skill in public speaking. Tisha is widely recognized for her ability to capture an audience’s attention with her straightforward and engaging speaking style.

When not working, she enjoys golfing, baking, reading, and hiking with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs, Chloe and Jackson. She’s also an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a very proud supporter of the Oregon Ducks. Tisha lives in Eagle Point, Oregon.

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