Humans think visually! The saying “I hear what I see” is true. A UCLA study proves that 85% of all decisions are made with our eyes. That’s right: the visual you have has the most impact.
Whether you like it or not, the personal brand you project affects others’ decisions as to your intelligence, character and ability, and determines whether or not they want to do business with you. The way you dress (and act) has a remarkable impact on the people you meet professionally and socially. This greatly affects how they treat you. Clients have told me that they have lost promotions, that deals have fallen through, that memberships were denied and friends have disappeared because they dismissed the importance of personal packaging (their personal brand).
If your personal brand is not professional and congruent, attractive and attracting you will be passed over - guaranteed. To be competitive, to have a greater influence on others, to attract more business and be more successful it’s critical that you pay attention to “personal branding.”
Before you sell anything … your product, company or service you sell yourself first. Shift the balance of power in your favor. When you brand yourself you are perceived to be more desirable and in demand. Brand Status increases the bottom line … both personally and corporately.
Now take large, successful companies for instance. They understand the power of “branding” a product. They spend a lot of time, money and energy to create a “brand” that is eye catching and appealing enough to sell their product through to market. They want to ensure that the buyer builds a strong connection with that brand.
Now think of yourself as A COMPANY OF ONE. How much time, money and energy have you spent in developing a “personal brand” that is unique enough to sell through to your market? An individual who has a well-defined personal brand has more status and a tremendous advantage over the competition in the market place. Whether it’s social or business, when you are well branded you are pre-sold, giving you a huge advantage over others selling themselves.
We know that in the current economy, competitiveness has increased dramatically. Business has become more serious and conservative - not only in attitude and business attire (the suit has returned to corporate America) but in etiquette and manner as well. The hallmarks of successful individuals in a fast paced global marketplace are their confidence, manners and poise. Mediocrity is dead and it’s about time. It’s no longer acceptable to dress inappropriately or do business with the wrong fork. There is a return to formality, elegance, manners and sophistication. Even though intelligence, experience and education count, companies are simply not hiring those who do not possess these all important “soft” communication skills. It is the whole package that counts.
Tom Peters, author of “In Search of Excellence” said it best:
“You either create a brand that is distinct … or you become extinct.”
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