Do appearances hold a lot of sway in business?
We’re all taught from a young age that appearances shouldn’t matter. Hence why sayings like ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ are such a staple part of everyday language, and for the most part they hold a lot of truth. We’re certainly often guilty of underestimating or discounting people based on false ideas about how they look above who they are. But, to say that first impressions don’t hold some value would be an understatement.
After all, the way someone dresses, holds themselves and generally appears to the world can tell us a great deal off the bat about their values, background, passions, and beyond. Of course, all of that is open for misinterpretation where nuanced people are concerned, fuelling our desire to steer clear of jumping to conclusions that often turn out to be false. When it comes to the world of business, however, consumers and companies alike are increasingly finding that leaning more heavily on solely appearance-based first impressions can simplify otherwise convoluted shopping experiences and overwhelmingly competitive industries.
Unfortunately, while most of us know by now how to make the most of our appearances in person, we can often be at more of a loss where those all-important business appearances are concerned. Luckily, there isn’t such an extreme leap between the two as you might think, as we’re going to find out by considering the following ways that you can turn your business into a heartthrob rather than an unappealing prospect.
Step 1: Get them looking your way
When you’re in a club surrounded by masses of other people, it’s all too easy to fade into the crowd unless you take steps to be seen by either reaching for the high heels, getting on your best party dress, or just going all-out with your hair and makeup. Well, in many ways, the business world is like the busiest club you can imagine, and there’s no way consumers are going to look at you over your competitors unless you also take steps to glam up a little bit. Of course, putting a nice dress on isn’t an option here, meaning that getting the right levels of attention most often means making your brand accessible with marketing that ensures you’re reaching the right people, and doing so in a way that keeps their attention where you need it to be.
From stylish takes on traditional marketing methods like business cards to engaging content uploaded on as many social platforms as possible, all of this is the equivalent of dressing your business up to tower high above the crowd. And, while placing a lot of your effort into appearances are unlikely to get all of the people looking at you all of the time, making it dressy enough means that you should find even small amounts of interested consumers can validate your efforts with repeat custom, social media shares/recommendations, and that ultimately crucial benefit – word of mouth.
Step 2: Don’t be afraid to dazzle
Even if people looked your way in a club, you’d need to pull out your best dance moves to encourage them to come over and start a conversation with you over everyone else who’s caught their eye. Equally, in business, you need to pull out all of the stops to dazzle those leads into converting with your brand over any others. Luckily, once you’ve done the hard work of attracting those leads, this needn’t be difficult, especially not if you utilise benefits such as personalised discounts. As well as ensuring that consumers feel validated for paying attention to what you’re doing, these provide an undeniable incentive to purchase with glitzy, tailored offers that will more often than not seal the deal. Further to this, incentives like free gifts, product scarcity, and trust-building reliable communications can all act like a carrot dangling in the direction of conversion. Whether taken individually or together, each of these techniques then increases your chances of sealing the deal with dazzling appearances that are impossible to resist.
Step 3: Invest in pampering
There are so many investments to be made in business that it’s all too easy to overlook appearance-based priorities, whether those concern your business premises themselves or more consumer-first focuses like your packaging. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how much you spend elsewhere if you don’t eventually dedicate some funding to these priorities, meaning that you should never apologise for, or doubt the need to, invest in a little pampering for your company.
Specifically, paying for designers who can take care of everything from how your website looks through to your brand logo and beyond can make a huge difference for all-important first impressions and the sales those create. Outsourced design offerings like these are especially valuable as they tend to be more affordable, and available on an ongoing basis that’s akin to getting your nails done so regularly that they don’t start to peel away and reveal what’s underneath. Further steps including regular professional building maintenance of your commercial premises can also make a huge difference to how consumers perceive your brand appearance overall. Equally, something as simple as a colour scheme applied across your Instagram feed can have a huge wow factor for appealing to larger audiences with a professional finish. All you need to do is think about what looks good right now, what could do with a little attention, and what requires ongoing TLC to keep it pristine, perfect, and powerful.
Step 4: Keep up with the trends
While going against popular fashions can be an effective statement when it comes to your wardrobe, brands who are competing in increasingly overrun environments typically need to keep up with the trends to look like even slightly appealing prospects. Certainly, going too far against the grain, or even running the risk of falling behind the next best thing, is guaranteed to drive consumers into the arms of your competitors. Hence why to look as good as possible when getting the message out there, your company needs to be in style.
By this, we don’t mean that you need to buy into the same colour schemes and trends as the people you’re up against, but rather that you need to find edgy ways to make those styles work for you, whatever they happen to be. For instance, right now, businesses are standing above the crowd with focuses like sustainability, authenticity, and more trust-driven operations. At a basic level, integrating these trends into your company ethics and approaches will, in itself, provide you with an appearance-based edge. It also doesn’t hurt to incorporate these focuses directly into more immediate visual appearances, including logos that incorporate green focuses, social media uploads that reveal a strong, interconnected team, and even just consumer reviews posted in plain view on your website to better prove that you can be trusted. In some ways, identifying these focuses and how to implement them is going to come down to understanding your audience, what they’re looking for, and what they best interact with. In a broader sense, looking good to even leads that don’t yet know you means watching what your competitors are doing, any industry-specific trends, and making sure to stay one step ahead to keep yourself above the crowd and looking great in the process.
Step 5: Back it up with results
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when it comes to undeniably crucial business appearances is that you need to back all of this up with results that consumers can trust. After all, even a pretty face isn’t going to get far if conversation doesn’t also flow. Equally, you could create the business equivalent of Justin Bieber and still struggle to get consumers onside if your offerings don’t live up to the picture you’ve painted.
With this in mind, you must spend time focusing on a decent product that will ultimately validate, and retain, the attention that you’re looking for here. With regards to offers and other attempts to dazzle, you also need to make sure that you’re providing true value, rather than just clickbait emails that require consumers to jump through hoops to see even small discounts to fruition. Perhaps most importantly of all, companies who have fought hard to prove that they’re on-trend with eco-focuses and other concerns need to practice what they preach to avoid hypocrisy and potentially backfiring reputational damage as a result of false advertising. In other words, everything you do to make your company look better needs to come from a place of truth, with performance always aligning with looks to create complete company experiences that consumers are more likely to return for time and again.
In business, judging a book by its cover is less a negative trait and more a sensible way to determine the companies worth considering in an otherwise impossible market. Entrepreneurs who fail to realise that fact will inevitably suffer, highlighting the need to get out the war paint, research the right look, and finally utilise these pointers to get your business looking good enough to get sales rolling.