I love travelling. In particular, I love the new experiences and perspectives I gain from travelling.
Everywhere you go nowadays you see the decline in individual boutiques and the rise of global brands like McDonalds, H&M and Gap. It’s something that I don’t find appealing, but it does have one positive impact – consistency.
Because at least when you buy a latte at Starbucks you know what to expect. And 99% of the time, that’s what you get.
So here’s a question.
When you market yourself – to a prospective employer, a new boss, a colleague or a customer – how do you shape up as a brand?
Not sure? Then Mary Spillane may have the answer.
Mary created Colour Me Beautiful, Europe’s first image consulting organisation, in the 80s. She talks about how to look, sound and behave your way to success. Her brand is recognisable and consistent. You know what she stands for and she delivers on it time after time – just like those global brands.
In her book, Branding Yourself, Mary suggests you imagine yourself as a company in need of a new corporate identity – your Personal Brand Identity (PBI). This is made up of:
- your assets (skills, abilities and experiences),
- your values (the things that are important to you) and
- your image (how you project yourself to others).
You measure everything you do against your PBI – how you dress, meet new people, build relationships, relate to colleagues, give presentations, even have lunch. It’s how you look, act and sound. It is what makes you – as an individual – stand out from the crowd.
As Mary says “A successful PBI never loses sight of your individuality – you live it with family and friends as well as at work. Strangers ‘get it’ when they meet you. You exude your PBI. When companies lose sight of their uniqueness, they make mistakes and sometimes fail as a result. There are countless ways to send the wrong messages, to mask your true values, which causes others to doubt or dismiss your abilities.
Your PBI is unique to you. It can be fine-tuned but should never lose sight of what makes you so special. Value your background, what you’ve achieved, what you know that you are capable of in the future”.
So when did you last consider your PBI?
Ask your friends, family and colleagues for feedback. Take note of what they say and if you are not portraying the PBI that you want, take action to make it fit with who you are and the way you want to be to achieve your goals.