We often talk about other people’s perception of your brand. In an ideal world, your brand would be so clearly focused that perception matched reality. In the real world, that doesn't always happen! If perception and reality are very close, your brand may be highly effective. If there are disconnects, you may need to tweak or revitalize your brand.
Effective marketing is not a “one and done” prospect; rather, it is better to view it as a multi-channel, multi-touch process that eventually moves people along the Brand Attitude Continuum - a concept that recognizes the differences among any group or target audience.
In your market, there will be people distributed all along the influence continuum. The goal in marketing to these groups is not to convert every single person to the status of “Active Supporter;” indeed, this is not a realistic objective. Instead, the overriding goal should be to generate movement along the continuum. In other words, shift a person with a “Neutral” mindset to one with a mildly positive view, or shift the person with a “Positive View” into an “Active Supporter.” It is also important to note that those who are active supporters can, with little effort, be turned into vocal brand advocates. At the opposite end, it is not always possible to turn an actively hostile individual into a supporter; sometimes the best you can do is address the individual professionally with the hope that they will be less vocal. In some cases, your brand advocates may actually take on this job for you!