Your appearance matters in more ways than we think of each day. When we think of appearance we think of how we look. It is a big deal as we know generally our first appearance sets the stage of how people view us and develop an image of who we are. We form opinions of brands based upon who we believe they are. We are drawn to them through an attraction that is through their physical appearance, their taste, reputation, their friendliness, their generosity, sense of humor and also their values. That attraction lures us to them and them to you. As a brand whether that be a personal or corporate brand, your appearance matters in all facets. If people are not drawn to you they will not acknowledge you and if they do not acknowledge you … well you lost that opportunity to capture them.
Your Physical Appearance
Your appearance at first glance is generally physical. How do you look? How are you representing yourself to your target? What is so great about how you look that makes people stop and notice? As a person how you look on a first meeting is associated with how people perceive you. This we know. If you are in a suit that is nicely pressed, fits you well and you are comfortable wearing it by not fidgeting, you give off a certain aura. Is that a good assessment of who you are? Does that define who you are? My dear friend, Margie Clayman has written a spectacular post on the executive image, namely womens’ physical appearance through clothing choice and how it relates to being an executive. The comments are sensational and bring in some different perspectives. Does physically how we look equate to who we are?
It could but when we delve further into that is that the image that you want people to associate with you? The image that people develop is important. How will they remember you? As a enthusiastic JETS fan I do wonder when I am tweeting during the game how I am viewed. If someone stumbled upon me on a Sunday are they only seeing the sports person and developing an image of me from that or are they allowing themselves to dig a bit deeper and see the professional business side? Will they see my picture and, either like it or not, and ignore the “dumb ass” tweets during the game completely? If they did not like the photo, did I ever have a fighting chance to connect with them? Physical appearance while we want to sometimes deny it, does have its perks. If someone is physically very attractive, we are drawn to them. If a corporate brand unveils a gorgeous and interactive new website, we are drawn to it. How we look makes a difference for that initial attraction.
Your Emotional Appearance
Your emotional appearance is the words you say and the actions you take. People are attracted to you physically no doubt but that can last just a few seconds when you open your mouth. Scary to think of, I know. Our words and actions can change everything. What about when people hear of us whether it be us as a person or us a brand through friends? An image is created that is based upon the message without ever seeing the appearance of the brand. They get to know us through how someone else is representing us. They hear about what we are doing, how we are having an impact upon the community and immediately are attracted to us though our actions. That emotional appearance is not always very apparent to us but it is apparent to those that are listening. Our appearance here is stronger that the physical as we have to be trusted enough to be referred but yet also have the person referring be trusted to whom they are referring us to. Brings me back to thinking of Charlotte’s Web and how we have to look at who is our Charlotte as our Charlotte is our game changer and we are that for others.
Appearance by Appearing
Our appearance is what sparks that initial attraction and connection and if we are not there, they cannot hear about is or find us. Appearing is more than showing up. You have to give. You have to give something more than just being there. Having a presence on every social media platform that is quiet is pointless. While people were initially attracted to you, they lose the attraction quickly when you are silent. You giving is more than you appearing. How do we give?
We give back to the community locally and online through each post, interaction and showing up being ready. Being ready is being helpful. Social media is advertising as through your presence you are advertising your brand by virtue of having a presence but that presence is not enough unless you show up. Showing up is more than sending out a message that you are waiting for people to respond to. It is creating a listening station that you are being responsive to. Being responsive is not only being helpful through showing what you can do, it is showcasing those that are around you and what they can do and how they enhance your presence. Talking about you constantly gets not only redundant and old, whereas talking about others and being grateful never ever ever gets old.
Appearance and Influence
We know I am not a fan of the numbers as it relates to influence. I believe that we gain influence through each person and not the masses. This may go against the fundamentals of marketing as a whole to some but when we think about it, each customer is an individual and comes to us to solve a problem. That individuality is what affords us in a corporate brand to grow. If someone is influenced by you we know that they we have earned their trust. Trust is why they have chosen us. If you do not trust, you do not buy or continue to connect and engage. At the same time if you are able to gain their trust, you have to maintain it through appearing and your appearance. If a brand suddenly changes their corporate identity and it is not well received, as we saw with the Gap’s new then old/new logo, the image of the brand changes. Changing a profile photo that is well received garners a flood of compliments whereas one that is not is met with a flood of criticism and lost connections. Once again the physical appearance plays a role but when you are looking forward and looking to grow your brand, which encompasses seeking to improve your influence, it is all about how you appear. And how you appear is best served by the feedback that you receive from others.
So in looking at how you connect with people and a brand, what is the attraction? What is the attraction to you? What is the attraction to me?
photo credit: lrargerich