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Why Personal Packaging Matters

Imagine that you’ve walked into a waiting room where two people are already seated. One is nattily attired, looking neat, upscale and fashionable. Dark suit, crisp shirt; manicured, coifed and accessorized. The other is wearing sneakers, ill-fitting jeans and a band tee-shirt.

Which one do you want to sit near?

Whether we want to admit it or not, a judgment was formed within seconds before engaging either one in conversation. Some research goes so far as to put it at a 1/10 of a second – in a blink of an eye. We are a visual society: YouTube, infographics, Instagram and Pinterest. And that’s why how you package yourself matters; making a vibrant statement visually creates a lasting impression.

None of this is new but it’s often forgotten. The need to rebel against the status quo drives the entire fashion industry. By making a statement through attire, you can readily identify yourself as a preppie, a rocker or a grunge without saying a word. Sometimes it makes sense; after all, when like-minded people relate to you quickly, there are fewer barriers to acceptance. It’s also why you wouldn’t wear a suit to a Pearl Jam concert.

The concept of well-dressed presentation has existed since the beginning of time. Considered the “silent salesperson,” foods and other consumer goods line shelves in attractive boxes and bags. Research from industry leader Hallmark puts the gift wrap industry at approximately $3.2 billion in yearly retail sales. It’s big business. Yet people show up for job interviews, meetings or in the workplace with less thought about how they are put together than the latest birthday gift they wrapped.

Flannel and denim might have their place in your wardrobe or even your workforce. But when it comes to being truly memorable, it’s the person who takes the time to make a visual impression that turns heads. Think David Beckham. Audrey Hepburn. Sinatra. And, of course, Cary Grant.