Perception is Reality

My dad picked up a saying after his many years of working in marketing, “Perception is reality.” I’ve been marinating on this adage all week. Just the other night, my 14 year old and I were standing in line at the pharmacy. An older woman fell into line behind us and said, “You…you two, brother and sister?” I don’t have to tell you how that made my day. My son knew immediately he’d never hear the end of that. Was it what I was wearing? My lack of makeup? My smile? Was it who I was standing next to, that put me in a “younger” category? Was it our environment…CVS? (doubt it!) What perception was I portraying that lead this woman to believe I was young enough to be my 14 year old son’s, sister?

It got me to thinking about branding. Branding is important. It can help to give your company or blog a certain perception, which can lead to a certain reality. What is your company/blog wearing? Does it look the part you want it to…the kind of look that will attract a certain customer?

What makeup is it wearing…the extra accessories and details? Do you want your business or blog to attract a Revlon or a MAC customer? Is the idea to keep the feel simple and approachable, easy to navigate or detailed and have that trail that helps your customer get lost in the twists and turns of your look.

Is it your smile? Your attitude, content, personality or the persona you are trying to portray? Is it a smile that is put on for your “brand” or is it an authentic smile that signifies who the “wizard behind the curtain” is?

What about your association? Are you connecting with like minded people? People who are in a similar industry or niche? Or do you hang with people you want to be like…so you begin to assimilate to their culture?

Where do you hang out? In the pharmacy, like me? lol! Seriously, are you networking in arenas with similar businesses, or in your local marketplace? Or are you striving to hit an international market? Do you travel to learn the nuances of other places and people? Or do you see life purely from behind the computer screen?

These are the questions I’ve been asking myself…thought I’d share them with you and see what you think.  And, to be completely transparent and honest…This time last year, I was with my, then 13 year old son, in a thrift store in Baltimore city. I pulled out my wallet to pay and the elderly cashier said, “Do you want to use your senior citizen’s discount?” Must have been a bad hair day.