Developing your brand
Giving the right impression
A company brand is a unique and
consistent set of values that underpins
its product or service. Just as a company
builds its brand, you need to know what
you stand for and how you want to project
yourself to others. You need to make
sure the messages you give out are
consistent with your personal brand.
This does not mean you should try
to be something you aren’t. That may
work for a short time but it will be
impossible to keep up over a long
period. Your “brand” has to be something
that you are completely comfortable
with. It should reflect your values
and be uniquely yours.
We have looked at the importance of how other people see you and
of understanding yourself, your strengths and limitations, and your
ambitions. Developing your brand is about how you bring these factors
together, use them to differentiate yourself from other people, and
develop your career.
Match your personal style
to that of your customers—it
will help you create rapport
with them.
Creating the right look
There are some aspects of the way
you look, sound, and behave that are
essential to your brand, wherever you
are working. Paying attention to your
appearance, whatever your style, being
polite, and fulfilling your promises, for
example, are all “musts.” Your brand
needs to take into account your “target
audience,” such as the organization you
work for and the customers you work
with. If you work for an old-fashioned
law firm, for example, wearing the latest
fashion in shorts and flashy jewelry
probably won’t inspire your clients with
confidence, but it may if you work for
a high-fashion retailer.
Being personable
While appearance is important, how you
behave becomes far more important as
time progresses. If you look the part but
fail to do what you have been asked or
are bad-tempered and difficult, then no
amount of image makeovers will help
you succeed. The key to defining your
brand is to pay attention to every element
of the image you project, and make
sure your actions are consistent and
acceptable to the majority of people.
Paying attention to your
appearance, whatever
your style, being polite
and fulfilling your
promises are all “musts
The clothes, shoes, and jewelry you wear—
style and colors
The way you style your hair—always
well groomed
The way you movewith a purpose
The appearance of your hands and nails—clean
at all times; if you wear nail polish, it should be
appropriate to your situation
What defines your brand?
The tone of your voice—lower-pitched voices
carry more weight
The pace of your speech—slow enough to
sound purposeful but not hesitant
The words you choose—short, active, and
positive, or longer and more descriptive?
The expression in your voice—approachable
and friendly
Shaking hands firmly, but not squeezing too hard
Saying thank you
Returning phone calls or emails within
a reasonable time
Respecting other people’s views
Giving other people the credit due to them
Doing what you have promised to do
Standing your ground when necessary

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