The Consumer Perception Process

Perception is everything. It guides all our activities from the people we associate with to the products we buy. How a consumer perceives each of the different brands in a category determines which ones he or she uses.


The perception challenge, therefore, is the first and greatest hurdle advertisers must cross. Some marketers spend millions of dollars on national advertising, sales promotion, point-of-purchase displays, and other marketing communications only to discover that many consumers don’t remember the product or the promotion. The average adult may be exposed to thousands of ads each day but notices only a handful and remembers even fewer.


We use the term perception to refer to the personalized way we sense, interpret, and comprehend various stimuli. This definition suggests there are several key elements to the consumer perception process, as shown in Figure 2.2.