When the wealthy man Chance works for dies, all servants are sent packing, and Chance is left to survive on the streets on his own. At one point, Chance is struck by the limo of a wealthy business man, at which point Chance’s simple life changes.
When asked his name, Chance replies, “Chance, the Gardener,” which others perceive as “Chauncey Gardner.” Every time Chance is asked a question, he answers with simple gardening tips or lines from a TV show, which are interpreted by others as highly insightful thoughts of a wise, cultured man.
Soon, “Chauncey” is on TV talk shows and advising the wealthy and political elite. His thoughts are viewed as intellectual genius, a simplified summation of complex issues of the day. While Chance never attempted to be anything but a gardener, the perception of him was “Chauncey,” insightful genius.
What does ANY of this have to do with marketing and small business? Like it or not, one can spend great effort on branding and marketing their business, but in the end, consumer perception IS who you are – True or not.
Do you know the perception of your business? Ask around, or have your friends, family members and business associates ask for you. Make sure the perception of your business is in line with your reality.
Further, are you helping or hurting your perception? Think of ALL the things which help consumers form their perception – Storefront, website, pricing, phone message, leaving your “Open” sign on overnight, interaction with your employees… All these items play a role.
As much as owners attempt to direct the perception of their business, the possibility exists for it to grow organically, forming and spreading like a rumor in high school. Stay on top of, and in touch with, the perception of your business, or reality may hit you one day like the limo did to Chance.
Read. Learn. Laugh.
Random thoughts, comments & opinions.