Revamped Packaging Creates New Perceptions


July 18, 2011

When is the last time you’ve thought about packaging and the way you package yourself?  Not only your look, but how you present messages?  It’s important to examine how you do this on a regular basis because we can all use a little improvement here and there.  Why?  Because so much of life is based on the perceptions of others.

Want a new job?

Want to sell your product?

Want to have someone take you seriously and get on board with your idea?

It all takes the right packaging.  If you or your message have “stale” packaging, you may not get that job, that sale, or get your idea moving.  Need an example?  Here’s one:

Picture someone in your organization who is not taken very seriously.  I can think of several in my career.  One that pops to mind is a very smart woman who dressed like she was still in 1980.  While that was a fun decade, wearing shoulder pads, tight pants and BIG 80’s hair now is noticeable in a distracting way.   She even still rocked the 80’s blue eyeshadow.  Now, I am sure she has some great ideas.  However, people in the workplace could not seem to get past her look.  They did not take her seriously.  Why?  Because her look was so outdated, they made the incorrect perception that her ideas must be outdated too.

Here’s another example.  Have you ever worked with someone that came across more like a used car salesman when trying to sell his message or idea?  No matter how good the idea is, most people cannot get past the way the person is pushing their message.  If you’re that “salesman”, then consider changing up your pitch.

My point is that even if you have fresh ideas, are you doing things to sabotage your messaging because the packaging is getting in the way?  If so, then NOW is the time to address it.

Regardless of what type of work you do, it does not necessarily take a lot of money to make a few simple changes to improve your chances of being taken seriously.  So, do you need re-packaging?  Does your message?  For some great tips on repackaging your message, check out HR Buoy’s post ‘How Packaging Can Change Your Message’.

Think it’s too late to update your look to better “sell” your ideas?  Well, after 40 years, Heinz ketchup changed their packaging.  If it’s not too late for ketchup, it’s not too late for you! If you haven’t updated your wardrobe, go out this weekend and buy a few simple, classic pieces of clothes (black dressy slacks, crisp white button-down shirt, new black dress shoes, a few key accessories).  Add in a piece or two of color.  Stick to some that will mix and match.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but may help you change how you’re being perceived at work, in an interview setting, or when selling your product.  Worn your hair the same way for 10 years?  Time for a change.

What are some other ways we can revamp our packaging? Do you think it’s important?  Share with me in the comments or share stories of examples you’ve seen in the workplace where someone was held back because of the way they packaged themselves or their messages.

One Comment

  • Unfortunately, it seems the people who are “stuck” in a look are there for the long haul and they don’t realise that they are being held back. Typically, these people are very resistant to change and find security in constants. “risk averse” is another apt adjective for these types.

    Here’s a guide as far as when to change make up treatments: if your favourite eyeliner or eye shadow or lipstick shade is becoming increasingly difficult to find, it means that you probably need to update your look. Also- throw away that old mascara- it’s only meant to be used for about six months MAX. Old mascara could BLIND you with the bacteria amassed over time.

    One should rely upon their beauty professionals (hair stylists, make up sales people) to keep evolving their look. If your look doesn’t evolve- it’s time to fire your hair dresser or make up person.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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