As I made space for someone to do their manoeuvres to reverse out of a tight car park, I overheard conversation about another drivers impatient response to someone attempting to park .
The driver of that other vehicle was quickly labelled by those watching as being impatient, rude, arrogant and selfish. Unfortunately, their vehicle was emblazoned with signwriting advertising its business as a real estate and property management company.
The people standing around all loudly agreed they would never use that real estate agents services and they would tell others not to as well.
The driver of the 'offending' vehicle was likely to be blissfully unaware of the future impact of that interaction and any reputational damage as a result. If we spoke to the driver they are likely to have a different story of the event.
Yet because of perceptions, biases and assumptions made by those I overheard, there is a possible risk to the company reputation.
Research shows we make judgements on a situation in a matter of seconds and changing this perception takes significantly longer.
It highlights the importance for a company or organisation to be hyper aware of its actions or lack thereof if it wants to protect its brand. Just ask United Airline whether they would agree with that!