[Campus Commentary]The power of perceptionMany people say they can’t trust any product imported from China, while others believe Japanese-made products are reliable and of high quality. This is because Japan has succeeded in creating a positive image for its products. However, many people don’t think that way about Chinese products, mainly because they have a bad image of China.
But there are Chinese products that are actually of very good quality. For example, tea, China dolls and Chinese noir movies, among others, are some of the best in the world. The problem is their bad image from a long time ago. Unfortunately, that bias can last a long time.
These days, image holds great power. Let me tell you about the importance of creating an image. Many companies try to change their corporate image by advertising. In other words, if a company wants big success, it usually turns to “image marketing.” Think why people like luxury goods. There are many reasons. One particular reason is that people want to use a product that has a good image. They believe a product with a good image can also give its user a good image.
I think the same idea should be applied to students as well. Students need to build up a good image if they want to be hired by the company they want to work for. This does not just mean a good appearance. A good image includes appearance, personality and actions. These must be harmonized to improve one’s personal image.
Personally, I think Coca-Cola tastes almost the same as Pepsi-Cola. In a blind taste test on the street, participants favored Pepsi, which surprised the testers. People say they usually prefer Coke over Pepsi. That’s the power of image.
As we hear these days, the 21st century is the age of PIB, “Personal Identity Branding.” All things, including your attitude, thoughts, habits, speech, fashion and expressions, make up your personal image.
This means that your personal image tells others about your personality. Improve your image and it will be a great asset to you; it will increase your competitiveness.
How can you improve your image? To successfully play a role, an actor should match his character with his appearance and way of speaking. Creating a successful image is the same. A good appearance makes a favorable impression.
Many people may judge you according to their first impression. For that reason you need to treat people with respect from the first meeting. Make yourself look better by improving your figure, dressing well and having a nice smile.
Henry Ford, who was king of the U.S. automobile industry, once said, “If you want to succeed, behave like a successful man.” He said it is important to have self-confidence to improve your image. Imagine your ideal and then examine yourself. There will probably be a difference. To overcome it, develop your merits. The self-confidence gained from doing that has a positive affect on your career and your colleagues and adds persuasive power to your speech.
Finally, a consistent record of reliability helps improve your image. Remember, your image is not built overnight.
Designing a personal image is one of the strategies for improving one’s life.
*The writer is the former editor of the Dankook University Herald news magazine.
by Lim Hyun-ju