“Perception becomes reality” – is one of the marketing’s cardinal principles. Taken to its extreme, it could mean working away at improving our perception, i.e. “our brand,” at the expense of everything else. In this race to improve perception, it is easy to forget that…
… companies renowned for good customer service start by providing great customer service.
… we get better at leadership by caring more about people, processes, and results than the next person.
… a person’s network is directly proportional to a person’s net worth – valued either by money or by character – sometimes both.
… and so on.
Perception undoubtedly matters. But, building a brand on perception is akin to vaporware. A select few manage to use the fuel from vaporware to build great products. Most don’t.
The most reliable way to build brands – organizational and personal – is by actually doing/building good things that create value and/or impact people in positive ways. Once you work on improving reality, it is critical to manage perception.
But, beware leading with it.