A few years ago I was having coffee with a friend who ran a successful business. He was on a high, riding the wave of success.
A few months later, his business pretty much vanished. He had made a few really bad decisions and the perception of his business changed from being a trusted supplier to a business you would want to avoid.
There are countless examples of businesses, big and small that have gone from being a leader in the market to the bottom of the pile because of a shift in perception.
How does this happen? How can a popular brand go from being at the top to almost forgotten?
The most common reason is that the business is not adapting to the changes in the market, it is not adjusting its perception to be worthy of a leader.
The first step to creating an attractive perception of your business is to have clarity on how you want to be perceived in your market. What is it exactly you want to portray? What do you want to be known for?
Only once you have answered these questions, will you be able to influence your perception in the right way.
"You can't control the circumstances, but you can control your perception."
In the '80s and '90s the British fashion label Burberry went from one of the most popular luxury fashion brands to one of the least desirable ones.
Their perception in the market changed really quickly when football hooligans started wearing the tartan pattern that made Burberry so famous.
Burberry couldn't really change the circumstances, but they could change their perception in the market. They worked hard to save the label and to take control of the perception people formed about them by overhauling their brand positioning.
They made their coats more sexy, got into swimwear and engaged A-list celebrities like Kate Moss to reposition the brand and make it appealing to the right market again.
Burberry is still around thirty years later!
Of course these strategies don't work if you don't already have an awesome product or service. You are reading this article, so I'm sure you do!