You have probably heard several adages about the fundamentals that define a successful business. “Image is everything.” or “Location, location, location.” The face of consumer markets is changing, technology has disrupted traditional brick and mortar and businesses need to keep pace. Today, you may be hearing the same thing using different vocabulary. It’s all about the “Optics” or how things might appear to the beholder.
Business metrics have changed over time. Where sales, orders and shipments used to be the key driver of value, this changed over the last 15 years to reflect growth and the ever expanding interconnection of people due to social media. Key drivers morphed into user base, user growth, and impressions. A company with a massive audience and little no profits suddenly became worth more than the blue chips of yore.
Now that communication has saturated the global footprint, and little stands between a company and its clients, different metrics have risen to the forefront. Ones which are much more difficult to track or even understand. Your appearance is now as meaningful as your performance, and even the size of your audience. That is, everyone is watching everyone. CEO’s of major companies are making dramatic political statements to appease media. Their internal culture has dramatized value and performance
So how is a companies perception defined to its audience, and what value does this bring it’s stakeholders? There are several ways to both manage and track the Optics of short and long term business scenarios. And, with the internet, they can actually be tracked as well. But the speed and voracity of the internet means that these fundamentals must be watched vigilantly and in real time.
The success or failure of any company today may come as the result of something as arbitrary as perception. The question remains, how do other perceive you?