I was waiting in line at a coffee shop the other day when I saw this. The San Pellegrino cans were displayed very neatly along the other drinks. I like this product for a few reasons – it isn’t as sweet as regular sugary drinks and it’s very refreshing. But the biggest reason is the wrap on top. For one, it serves as a functional element to protect the can in storage. Two, it’s a sign that the manufacturer values quality. And the drinker feels good peeling it off because he trusts that the can is clean.

 

So back to the question, what comes to your mind when you see this picture? I immediately noticed 2 cans that didn’t have covers on top. They stand out. They stand out in a bad way, as if they are defective, although the content is the same.

 

This gave me an opportunity to rethink how our customers perceive our business in that first critical impression. Regardless of how well we do, when people’s first impressions are not positive, this negative perception will stay for some time. In fact, we will need to work twice as hard to change it to a positive perception. When something goes wrong in the beginning, this will reaffirm the belief that it is defective. It’s funny how our mind works. The sales department works hard to bring in a customer, but a thoughtless experience with a receptionist or a customer service representative can ruin the first order. Yes, we should not judge a book by its cover, but how do you read a book if the cover does not entice you to open it in the first place?

 

In the very competitive environment we operate in, we would like to stand out in a positive way, have competitive advantage, something that gives us an edge over others.

 

A simple way to do all of this is by paying special attention to building that positive first impression.