Perception is Reality: The Importance of Curb Appeal
By Bita Givechi, Topeka Landscape Personal
If you were anything like me, you didn’t understand why people were telling you this. Did it really matter? Did it somehow make me a better person if my clothes were starched well enough to stand on their own, if my face was condiment-free 100 percent of the time, or if my hair was well-groomed? I believe the answer to that question is simple: no.
While these things won’t make you a better person, that attention to detail allows you to manage the perceptions other people have of you. Whether we like it or not, people judge others based on his or her appearance. Even those of us who claim to not care what other people think of us, wear clothes, choose hair styles, and buy products that fit the persona we want to project.
Perception based on appearance isn’t exclusive to people—it applies to businesses too. Customers are forming their perceptions and making buying decisions based on the appearance of your business. When someone is looking for the latest and greatest advertising campaign, he or she looks for an agency or freelancer that he or she perceives to be creative. When a couple is looking for furniture to adorn the inside of their home, they look for stores that they perceive to align with their style. Your storefront is one of your most valuable marketing assets, and curb appeal is an integral part of the customer experience. According to a 2011 Omnibus survey of 1,000 consumers by Morpace, a market research and consulting firm: 95% said that external appearance influences their decision of where to shop, 67% decided not to visit a store based solely on the appearance from the street, and more than 50% avoided a store that looked "dirty" from the outside.