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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beyond the first impression.

Consumers see the behavior of brands from the initial filter of their first impression. In fact, everything a brand does from this point on, will be unconsciously evaluated positively or negatively, depending on the initial perception. Therefore, what consumers expect the brand does, this will do.

Daily we tend to assume the role of critical evaluators. We use them to immediately make judgments about a person’s career, appearance, and even feelings. Based on that initial perception we decided if we like him/her or not. Without having the intention to do so, we perform evaluations which allow us to get an idea of ​​who the person is. Such judgments are part of our evolutionary strategy and allow us to anticipate the risk scenarios (avoiding them) or liking them (empathy).
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We walk through life making first impressions of everything around us, without having a conscious intention to do so. However, this evaluation could change dramatically when you really get to know the person. Recall for a moment some of the first impressions of people you have met (a new co-worker, the new boss, the client to whom we were introduced, the psychologist who made us an interview, the college professor, etc.) only to find that, most likely, most of these trials had to be modified.

This dynamic of evaluators is projected to almost all areas in life, including our role as consumers. Reason why we also make a priori judgments of the brands that surround us, and as the first impression a person causes on us, brands can be wrongly evaluated by biased interpretations of a perception based only on the "first impression".
The reason we tend to be consistent with our interpretation based on the initial considerations we make to meet certain person or brand is explained by something the American psychologist Edward Thorndike called the Halo Effect. This is a "cognitive bias whereby the perception of a particular trait is influenced by the perception of previous features in a sequence of interpretations." Thus, if our first impression is good, the subsequent evaluation of actions of that person or brand will be influenced positively.

Source: Getty Images

This is how physically attractive people tend to generate positive perceptions without the necessity of knowing that person in advance. Therefore, attractive models in the campaigns of brand communication can help create a good first impression.

It should be noted that the tendency to extend that first perception can also be negative. If the initial impression is unfavorable this trend will continue in subsequent evaluations. This predisposition is known in psychology as the Horn Effect.

In conclusion, regardless of what the effect has caused in the perception of consumers, it will determine the filter the consumer will use to evaluate the brand in the future. Hence, for the eyes of the consumers, the brand will become what they believe, depending on their initial perception.

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