There is a guy who works across from my office and I see him most mornings on my way in. The man is in his late fifties or perhaps early sixties and every morning I see him I think “That is one of the coolest guys around”. I have never spoken to him and for all I know he could be a real bad dude but I have formed my opinion based on his glasses.
Pretty reasonable huh?
Ya see this man, who going forward I will call “Cool Glasses Guy”, wears a uniform. Not a real uniform but a personal uniform. He always wears black pants, a brightly colored shirt (Pinks, Purples, Blues…you get the point) and while all this stuff is nice the thing that always gets me are his glasses. No matter what color shirt “Cool Glasses Guy” is wearing he has the exact colored glass frames and that is cooler then I can explain in a few quick words.
So seeing “Cool Glasses Guy” this morning it got me thinking of my personal brand and personal brands in general. I think the thing people discount most about their own personal brand is that just like a corporate brand like Coke or Pepsi, Nike or Adidas etc………..it is never about what you think of your own brand but what others think of it. You could go into any company and ask them about their brand and they will tell you how wonderful and exciting they are and you will get for the most part all positive messaging but how others perceived those same companies will almost always not reflect what the company thinks of itself.
Companies like Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Home Depot, Nike, Department Stores….and just about any other major brand all have supporters and detractors. Some people think Wal-Mart is evil and others (like myself) think it is a great place to get prescriptions filled and buy diapers. Some people think Nike is evil and that they under-employ people in third world counties while I feel they are one of the greatest brands in the world and the only shoes I wear.
The same can be all said for personal brands.
So since you can’t really control your personal brand completely does that mean you shouldn’t try?
No! You should work even harder on your personal brand and develop something unique that makes you remarkable……and when I say “work hard” what I mean is to think about your Brand but do not make it “work” (confusing huh?) because once it is work it becomes less authentic. Stay true to yourself and let people see “you” because that way it is easy to be the same person in all situations.
Just like companies, brand development isn’t the easiest thing….look at Paris Hilton…some people see smart PR machine…others see spoiled rich kid and a whole other group of folks can’t see anything but amateur porn actress…..so if you fancy yourself as someone worth remembering you have to do some work on making your brand…..your personal brand is being formed with or without you…so you might as well contribute.
BTW….In honor of my Cool Glasses wearing friend I am wearing black pants, a red sweater, black and red glasses (my only pair) and a pair or red patent leather Nike AF1’s.
So I guess the only thing left to ask you is……what are you wearing? (said in the creepiest way possible)
P.s. Personal brands don’t only involve clothes but they do say something about your personality. I have more thoughts about online persona’s and how to convey your personality over the interweb (and places like Facebook) that I will chime in with soon!