THERE are many philosophies and schools of thought around personal branding, but the most basic one is to do with physical image and behaviour. Physical image refers to one’s clothing, hairstyle, fragrance and make-up.
Physical image and one’s behaviour may make or break one’s brand. In order to create a personal brand one has to understand themselves and be clear on what they want to project.
This requires some research and introspection in order to identify the gaps in your brand. What attributes would you like people to associate you with? Do you want to be perceived as efficient, intelligent and professional?
Do you want to be perceived as diligent, quality conscious and reliable? Then look the part! Remember your outlook is your first advertisement! Will people buy what you do by just looking at the way you represent yourself?
Consistency is also important in personal branding.
One cannot chop and change their personality every day. The law of consistency in the 22 Immutable Laws of branding states: “A brand is not built over night. Success is measured in decades not years.”
This law simply implies that a brand cannot get into the mind unless it stands for something.
Situations may change, but the brand called you should not change. The brand may be bent slightly or given a new slant, but the essential characteristics should never change.
Personal branding is basically related to team branding.
I had the utmost pleasure of attending the Zimbabwe Aquatic Union senior national championships in Harare during the schools exit weekend. I cannot even begin to explain how proud I was to be associated with the Matabeleland team. They were well co-ordinated and well behaved. The team sat quietly in their allocated place and waited to be marshalled to their events. When it was time for the medal presentation, the winners from Matabeleland quickly turned out to receive their medals.
This was not so for some winners from other provinces who had to be called many times to receive their medals thereby delaying the whole event. Not only did the Matabeleland team behave well, they were dressed superbly. I really wished I had invested in their colours so I could have been identified with them.
Brands in the teachers’ field should present themselves well as the children normally draw inspirations from their teachers and head teachers. I suppose it’s easier to listen and respect one who is properly dressed.
Can you imagine the chaos we would have if the teacher came to class dressed as a clown? It would take extraordinary students to take the teacher seriously and listen to her.
The same type of behaviour would be invited if the teacher wore heavy make-up to the classroom. Each person therefore needs to carefully consider their field before making a fool of themselves as a brand.
Imagine addressing a group of business delegates dressed in jeans and T-shirts with uncombed hair and smelly armpits. I doubt that such a brand would be taken seriously.
People may argue that their professions are busy and they have little time to look at themselves in the mirror.
Well, I have news for them, if they took time to look at themselves in the mirror they would just be able to attract the right kind of clientele that they will work with in a better way.
Imagine getting a prescription from a chemist.
How many of you readers would use one who was seriously unkempt, had her hair uncombed and bad shape with crinkled clothing, looking like they were the biblical Jonah coming out from a fish and did not care any inch as long as they handed them the right medication. I personally would not use such a chemist.
Brands are always better when they are polished. Till next week, keep reading the red publication and remain Brand Savvy.