Research on first impressions confirms two very fundamental facts: first impressions happen rapidly and subconsciously.
The old adage is true: you never get a chance to make a first impression. Because once that impression is made, our tendency towards confirmation bias means we are looking for evidence to support that impression and ignoring evidence that contradicts it. In other words, first impressions are hard to overcome.
If the first impression is a positive one, that can work for us and our organizations. If the first impression is a negative one, then we start the relationship with a negative balance in our brand deposits account, so to speak.
In thinking about first impressions, I pondered the many ways organizations had made poor first impressions on me, and as a thought experiment, I set a timer for five minutes and tried to list as many ways as I could remember. Read more