The Art of Living in Brand

I’ve spent most of my 30-year career managing and building brands. I’ve had the honor of working with some of the most recognized and respected corporate, service and product brands on the market. In all of my experience working with brands, I was, and continue to be, most intrigued by people and the fact that they, too, have a brand.

Your brand makes an impact. It is what compels people and draws them to you. Or not.

Every person walking this planet has a brand whether they are aware of it or not. And that brand has a voice. Our brand voice is communicating an expectation of what it might be like to know us or work with us. It communicates, “Trust me” or “you can rely on me” or “I am accomplished and professional and will take great care of your project or customers.”

Our brand comes to life in every way we show up from what we wear or project physically (our brand image), what we communicate verbally and non-verbally (our brand voice), and the experience of knowing us or working with us (our actions, behaviors, what we repeatedly do).

Most people aren’t aware that they have a brand, let alone know what it really is. The prevalence of social media makes every person a global brand. What you post and how often says volumes about you and goes far beyond your small group of online “friends.” Every tweet and Facebook or LinkedIn post is an opportunity to reinforce your brand or cause confusion.

Every time you send an email (and how you sign that email and what is in your email signature), gives you a chance to reinforce and build your brand.

The way you treat a waiter or whether you deliver your work on time is your brand coming to life through an experience. Maya Angelou is known for saying, “I will forget what you said or what you did, but I will never forget how you made me feel.” This is your impact. This is your brand.

The simplest way to understand your brand is to ask yourself:

What am I known for?
What happens because of me? What is my impact on people?

Then take a close look at how you are bringing this to life – living your brand.

How is what you wear, project physically, reinforcing your impact and what you are known for?

How is what you say or don’t say, post and how often, write or respond communicating your brand consistently? Or not.

How is the experience of knowing you and working with you making me feel? What is the impact of the experience of you?

So, what happens because of you?