Attend any business development or marketing seminar and you’ll hear the term ‘perception is reality’. This refers to the general principle that what the customer perceives about your business, website, product, etc., is effectively what it is. No matter how you present your product as ecologically sound, your staff as friendly, your business practise as ethical; if customers perceive it differently, then the image you wish to present is an illusion. The only thing that matters is what customers perceive to be true.
This is why companies like McDonalds spend millions of pounds investing in various sports programmes, why they sponsor healthy eating initiatives, and why they advertise salads and wraps over their more popular but less healthy alternatives. McDonalds know that customers perceive them as unhealthy, so they are trying to change customer perceptions. Is it working? Ask around, what do people you know perceive about McDonalds? That will give you the reality. Read more
About Damian Rees
Damian has worked as a usability and user experience consultant for over 13 years. He has worked in senior roles within companies like the BBC and National Air Traffic Services where he has researched and designed for users in a variety of different contexts including web applications, voice recognition, and air traffic control interfaces. Follow Damian on twitter @damianrees