Perception and Personal Branding

Perception Is Reality – Let’s say that one day you were sitting outside, having a barbeque with your family, and you observed a snake on the ground. Your first reaction might be to run away screaming, and your behavior would likely cause your family to follow suit. But maybe you all ran away for nothing. Maybe the snake was nonpoisonous and harmless. However, most people connect snakes with poisonous bites on a gut level, regardless of the reality. This simple case highlights the power of perception, a quick and intuitive process based on sensations.

Companies are constantly evaluated by the way they are perceived by the competition, their customers, and in the media. 
If you worked for Enron when its financial scandal was headline news, then your brand was negatively impacted by the misconduct of your company, regardless of whether or not you were personally involved.

Individuals are judged based on perceptions as well. For example, if you come to work wearing jeans in a conservative corporate environment, people may view you as not taking your job seriously, whereas if you “dress for success,” people will likely view you positively. On the Web, it is likewise easy to control these opinions and perceptions. By customizing your website to suit the brand perception you want to create, for example, you can influence public perception.

“Brand is everything, and perceptions are 90 percent of a brand – Paul Kedrosky, analyst, CNBC Television”

Think about the power of perception: if you are unhappy with c service or product, then you blame the company, right?

Every employee selling a product or providing a service is a representative of the corporate brand, so if the employee’s brand is perceived as poor, the company will suffer the same effect. In short, in many ways, the employee is the brand.

Aesthetics plays a key role in brand perception. Here are two everyday examples:

1. Hotel bathrooms. When I go to a hotel or restaurant, tend to judge the entire place based on my perception of the bathroom. In my opinion, if the business invests in a luxurious bathroom, the entire venue will echo that commitment to quality and service.

2. Restaurant parking lots. I evaluate the quality and popularity of a restaurant based on the number of cars in its
parking lot. The more cars, the more endorsements the restaurant has.

The point is, in personal branding and in life, little things matter! Each move you make is a chance for you to enhance how
people perceive you and draw more people to your brand. Start by wearing professional clothing; having a positive attitude; and conveying a sense of trust, competence, and assurance with each person you meet and interact with.

Those with sluggish, passive, and unimaginative brands will not succeed if they try to communicate an energetic, creative, and dynamic brand to the world. Whether you are a CEO or a junior in high school, you can always evolve your brand. A prime example of brand modification is Madonna. As the years pass and she releases new albums, she re-positions her brand to fit the times, using new music technology to remain current. Madonna may have professional image management advisors to coach her, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow her successful lead 

About anasebrahem

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