Many of us grew up hearing adages like ‘dress the way you want to be addressed, and ‘show me your friend, and I would tell you who you are’, and they still hold true till date. The real reason they hold true is because of PERCEPTION. Perceptions affect how people see you, what they think of you, whether they trust or believe you, and most importantly whether they would do business with you.
IMAGEN is the Spanish translation of the word IMAGE, and Image is the root word for “imagine”. Imagine how you want to be addressed, how you want to be seen, respected and remembered. Image is total, it includes; ‘Looking the Part’, ‘Sounding the Part’, & ‘Behaving the Part’, but it’s not enough to look strong on the outside, and be empty inside, that is why IMAGE is not complete without CONTENT & VALUES, values like integrity, commitment, quality service, excellence, just to mention a few, should be the pillars on which individuals and organizations should build on. Content is the reason people want to do business with you again and refer you to other people. Nobody wants to spend their money on something only to realise that it was not worth it. We all want value, but value is relative because total value = real value + perceived value, and perceived value is harder to measure as it differs with each individual.
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get” – Warren Buffet
Remember that your personal and company image can add or detract from the perceived value of your product because people don’t just buy your product (goods or services), they buy you, your company, and what you sell, in that order. The beautiful thing about perception is that it can be managed through your appearance, your behaviour and your communication skills, which means you have to be totally aware of your environment, how you dress, your body language, & how you say what you say, and ensure that it is consistent with the message you want to send.
In today’s business world when excellence is highly demanded, it is the right content and the best packaging that makes the difference, and you have absolute control over both. A lot of people think that by packaging a low quality product in fancy wraps and great graphic designs, they can win customers loyalty, but it is not true, because good product packaging with no content would only get a one-off patronage. One of the secrets to customer loyalty is to deliver what you promise, and that is a good definition of quality, and we all want quality.
So next time you want to buy something, remember that you’re not just buying a product; you’re buying your perception of that product, and in business, PERCEPTION IS REALITY.
My name is Esther Ezinne Nweje, I am an Image Consultant with Zinny Styles LTD, an image consulting firm. We specialize in helping corporate bodies and individuals present themselves with more confidence and positive impact. We also work with models to improve their carriage, poise and appearance. The thrilling part of my job is seeing people build confidence, because how you present yourself reflects the perception you have of yourself, and is an expression of your self-worth. Also, helping corporate bodies build the right corporate image, thereby increasing their bottom line. It is amazing being a part of people’s lives in this way, and it is a privilege to be able to make such a difference.