Unique Customer Perception (UCP)


By

Soumen Chatterjee
Lecturer
Department of Management Studies
NSHM Academy
Durgapur
E-mail:
chasomb@yahoo.co.in
 


Marketing is a domain which is dynamic i.e. involves change, an important phenomenon not to be overlooked. We have come across a term "Unique Selling Proposition"(USP)  which companies feel as a constant factor . Every organisation is an open system of management which means change is inevitable and is associated with environmental factors. Companies need to focus  not only on USP of their products but also on the "Unique Customer Perception"(UCP) of  the final end users.

The prop of marketing is based on the need identification and the USP's are prepared based on the identified needs . If the needs are wrongly identified then even the USP's which are unique to the product would not serve the purpose. USP identifies a product/service from its competitors while UCP is the perception or picture a customer develops from all types of promotional inputs from the company about their product or service. It is often seen that some brands do extremely well compared to other brands having the same resources. The reason for the brands not to do well is probably the communications which does not reflect the customers perception. So it is not the USP but UCP that plays an important role .This has lead to the concept - "Customer Perception is the Rule and not Customer Satisfaction". Remember that a customer always buys a product or service with a lot of expectations which he has derived from the promotional inputs of the company or other sources including word-of- mouth . So a customer would be satisfied when Performance is equal to Expectation (Fig.1) while would not be satisfied when Performance does not match with Expectations (Fig.2). Now this expectation is what has been derived from perception. Perception is not good or bad, right or wrong, it is just the way someone judges an experience based on their value system of what they believe should happen. Since people are unique, each of their perceptions are unique .On the other hand each situation is a "point of contact" with an employee that will tell the customer a "truth" about the company's idea of customer service. Each situation will create expections of what the next experience will probably be like.



Companies spend considerable amount on advertisement and in this world of competitive advantage advertisement has to be repetative in nature. Brand hammering results in brand recall which is a costly affair. So companies need to understand the Unique Customer Perception to facilitate Advertising and Sales Promotional (ASP) efforts towards a better bargain. The cost incurred on advertisement is huge i.e. if we refer to the 5 M's of advertising, Money is a budgetary constrain for an ideal advertising canpaign. Thus UCP has to be rightly analysed for better results by the company to match performance and expectation.
 


Soumen Chatterjee
Lecturer
Department of Management Studies
NSHM Academy
Durgapur
E-mail:
chasomb@yahoo.co.in
 

Source: E-mail December 20, 2005

   

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