Try telling fans of Lady Gaga and the TV show Madmen that wardrobe branding is overrated. Think the Beatles with crew cuts or Queen Elizabeth with a new tattoo. Trust me, visual packaging matters!
Humans are hardwired to make critical judgments of one another from first impressions gathered within just two or three seconds. No, I don’t believe in evaluating people based on superficial data. But it happens, as a fact of life. To succeed in the business world you need to acknowledge it, whether you like it or not.
As soon as you glance at a website’s home page you make critical assumptions about the business behind it. You step into a restaurant and decide in the blink of an eye whether to eat there or not – although ambience and décor has nothing to do with how food is prepared or tastes. That’s because externals do indeed say volumes about the restaurant’s attention to detail, professional pride, and standards of excellence – qualities that deeply influence potential customers.
Meanwhile research confirms that people who look professional tend to be more productive and build beneficial business relationships faster. That fringe benefit should not be underestimated. An external upgrade can trigger an immediate rise in your feelings of self worth, which then spills over to positively influence every aspect of your life and your performance. If you’ve ever gotten a great haircut or found the perfect flattering jacket you know the feeling. You instantly become more attractive to yourself and to others. Now just imagine how much personal magnetism and self esteem you gain if you dress up a notch every day! As quick and easy as it sounds it can trigger a totally charismatic transformation. That’s what I call suddenly simple!
Don’t let a lack of professional polish dim your image and brand, and never allow yourself to become a career casualty just because you dressed too casually. When you project a memorable, distinguished visual brand it sets you apart in positive, potent ways and makes you a role model for others, which is a natural leadership quality. There are powerful unwritten dress codes in every industry and organization. But when you sync your wardrobe brand with the organization’s image your outward look opens lots of doors to predictable promotions. Plus when you look your best you feel great, and that’s priceless!
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.
Blog, Ezine & Website: www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS