Perception in business is reality

by Ashvini on May 9, 2011 · 6 comments

in Entrepreneurship

Perception in business is the reality and not the other way round.

I wrote in diversification vs diworsification about many examples of companies trying to get into each other’s market. Many times the owners of business think of changing reality and thus changing the perception. However the truth is not always the winner(sad but true). It is not the reality but the mind’s perception of reality that defines if your product or service will work in the market place.

Let me talk about perception and reality in business context. When you think of Google , what is the first few things that come to your mind? Search Engine Giant, contextual advertisment, adsense, adwords. Does social media comes to your mind? No.

When you think about social media, facebook and twitter lead the race to the top. Can you ever imagine Facebook being called as search engine giant. “Never”. Imagine that tomorrow, Facebook comes out with a serach engine more powerful than Google , would you call it a Search Engine company? No!

IBM has never been called anything other than a mainframe and computer company. Though they have moved into service business successfully, the perception about business , IBM is into, never changes.

Apple has successfully sold many iPads and iPhones but in mind of the consumer, it is first a computer company and then anything else.

Microsoft though has sold many XBOX’s, people still hate(or love) it for its operating system.

The point is that , perceptions are so much ingrained in human minds that they are often impossible to remove. They shape the reality. If the perception of your business is that you are in certain segment, then with the same brand no matter how much you try, you will not be successful in changing the consumer’s perception. Even though they like your new product they would fondly recall your  company with old products only.

Why is this important to an entrepreneur or any business ? It is very important to know what perception you are trying to create in mind of consumer. Your company will forever be associated with that brand image or product. It has both positive and negative aspects.Success in your business depends largely on your business branding and public’s perception.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Veronica Cervera October 28, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Perception or ‘share of mind’ in business terms is priceless. Companies like Disney, Coca-cola, Gilette, Apple etc – these companies were able to achieve this. Once share of mind is achieved, competitors will have an extremely difficult time stealing or even making a small dent to it. There are a lot of ways to do this. One thing’s for sure, this feat takes time.


Aswani May 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

So well written and very striking. Yes buddy, its all about the perception and the moment you have it created in others, you are finished with half of your tasks. Now, it all about living upto the expectations and reaping the benefits.

You have quoted some great examples in support of your theory and I really appreciate it. Great write up. Keep blogging..!


Anonymous May 9, 2011 at 10:50 am

Hi Aswani,

Glad that you liked it. Perceptions are very important and once set
they never go away. Companies make big mistake when they try to change
the perception in mind of customers only to fail


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