Psychology | Personal Branding
I’ve looked at company branding a little recently and if a company isn’t doing so well they often re-brand their products and the company. Nike make sports shoes and trainers and they re-designed their shoes and changed the way the company did business. They had a bad reputation for the way they treated their workforce and so changed that and tried to produce their products in a more sustainable and environmentally way. Everything they do is part of the brand; part of their public persona; part of their image. Can we apply branding to ourselves to improve business success? To help us get a job? To help us get higher pay?
The makers of Anglepoise lamps did something similar to Nike and re-designed their product and also re-branded the company. The new lamp sold for five times the price of the old lamp, but used it’s innovative technology and brought the company back from the brink.
We can learn from these companies that promote these brands that we are so familiar with; because they are so well promoted. These brands have visual appeal; they look good! We can try to look good and create the right impression. If you are looking for a management job for example, you might like to look like a manager; possibly by dressing in a smart suit and looking the part. It might be stylish to wear faded jeans and sport designer stubble, but that won’t help you get a position of responsibility. Even the car you drive could have an positive or negative effect. Human resource managers have been known to walk women to their car to to see if there is a child safety seat in the back. I would at least keep your car clean and polished, as well as your shoes of course!
Many people think what we write is unimportant but this blog is now part of my public persona; part of my image. What do you think of the general look of it, the black background; the photographs and the informative nature of it? I selected a summer picture for this blog because I wanted a sunny and positive image. If you turn up for a job interview dressed all in black looking like a mobster; that isn’t a sunny and positive image. You might choose a dark suit to signify seriousness but with lighter accessories. Looking good isn’t enough though; Nike designed a new training shoe but also changed its behaviour as a company and became more sustainable and environmentally responsible. Many people think smart dress and the right accessories like an Iphone is enough; it isn’t. You have to behave in an acceptable and responsible way too.
When I write anything, even a email; I go to a lot of trouble to do it properly. I add little extras like a link to my blog and LinkedIn profile so the reader can find out more about me if they want to. I project an image through the email and can even do that using a letter. My friend has a graphic that he adds to his email that publicises his website and the website in turn publicises the novel he wrote. I looked at a Facebook profile this morning and the young lady who owns the profile has little chance of getting a job because she has a very negative image of herself and it shows in her Facebook profile. You have to be careful what you post on Facebook and other social networking sites such as LinkedIn. Even Twitter with its very short messages creates an impression and so be careful what you tweet!
Even if you have a less than perfect past, you can re-brand yourself, but it does take time. People can have long memories! If you are new to social networking and haven’t already tarnished your online image; that could be the route to go down. Even if you have a tarnished image, people can be quite forgiving of the repented sinner!
The key perhaps to better behaviour is to be more positive, to be charitable; try not to criticise others. I hear a lot of uncharitable people say ‘charity begins at home’ and lots of racist comments; those people don’t endear themselves to others. They have low self esteem and it shows every time they put other people down. The glass is always half empty and they look on the negative side of life. Would you give someone a job who was clearly miserable and racist? How about a pay rise? Do you think the positive person with a ‘can do’ attitude would be more likely to get a pay rise than the negative employee with the always moaning ‘life is so unfair’ attitude?
Personal branding can also affect your personal life as well as your professional life. Would you date someone with a negative attitude to life when you could just as easily date someone who is positive and fun? Yes, personal branding can even make you more popular with the opposite sex and a lot more desirable. Even the places you go socially can reflect on you and have a negative impact on the image you project. If you are found to be frequenting a sleazy night club or strip joint on a regular basis that will been seen as undesirable. If a woman only goes to a see a male stripper once and her boss becomes aware of the fact, it could ruin any chance of promotion. I know many women that will say that it is unfair that they should be judged in this way, that what they do in their personal lives is personal and shouldn’t affect their professional life; but it does, live with it. The same applies to men, your colleagues may be amused by your stories of a wild night out with the boys but your boss may privately see it as immature. They don’t put immature people in charge of anything important. I know, but leaders of political parties are an exception!
I hope this blog has made you think about your appearance and behaviour; can you improve the brand? There are more amazing blogs on my Home Page.
Please comment, what do you think your brand is; do you have a good image?