When I go to the theatre I’m always uplifted by the energy in the auditorium, the music, the mood lighting, the scenery and often the costumes on stage.
There are so many elements that come together even before the performers speak to create a positive experience for the theatregoers. Interestingly when I spoke to a client in the retail industry recently, she said, “We want to create energy and theatre so when a customer goes into a store, the customer senses that environment and engagement and it is reflected in all aspects of our business.”
Part of that experience is the overall look and communication of the brand.
How are you communicating your brand? Is it through energy, theatre and costume?
Right now, you can “paint the picture” of how you want your personal brand image to be portrayed. Your visual communication, clothes and appearance are part of the external image of your brand.
It’s not only your logo that needs to look good as being representative of your brand – so do you!
In this blog I share a few tips from my book IMPRESSario, to help you update your wardrobe for the summer season ahead.
I open my chapter on “Costumes” with an example of Hamlet, wearing his suits of “solemn black” and how this deliberate choice of costume says something about the character of the man.
“Solemn black” is well-suited to funerals and formal occasions but has become a go-to-choice in the corporate world as it portrays power, authority and even elegance.
The tech world is renowned for a very casual look and hoodies. However, even Mark Zuckerberg appeared in suits (rather than usual t-shirt and hoodie) before members of Congress to answer questions about Facebook’s data scandal some time ago. It was a deliberate choice of costume to appear more authoritative and respectful.
You can plan your “costume” by understanding the personal brand qualities you want to project with the work you do, to create a “look” that is suitable, creative and stylish that will help you make your mark.
Here are seven tips to enhance your image and update your visual communication.
1. Develop the framework of your brand identity by answering questions including: How would your character appear? Is it as a sophisticated, professional with a creative edge? Perhaps it’s a bright, modern-looking CEO or a casual, yet glamorous work-from-home entrepreneur.
2. Create a brand portfolio of ideas and visual examples by cutting out images from magazines and producing a scrapbook or search online and make a Pinterest board of your favourite styles. Find looks and colours that appeal to you and that you believe are the visual expression you want for your self-brand.
3. Determine who your business style or fashion icons are. Is it glamorous Cate Blanchett, or the bohemian fashion look of Rachael Zoe? Or maybe you aspire to a rock star look. Collect images of these people and see what the common thread is. Is it the simplicity of style, the colour choices, the cut and fit of the garments? Add these to your file of the fashion looks that appeal to you.
4. What colours appeal to you? Your colour choices may say more about your style than you may realise.
5. What objects and things do you love? Are they treasured pieces of fine bone china or bold brass statues? Does a particular style of artwork or architecture stimulate you? Write down or collect images of objects that appeal to you.
6. Do you have a favourite or ideal holiday destination? How would you describe that and what does it look like? What does your ideal home look like? Once again, thinking about that visual representation will give you more insight into your style influences.
7. Once you have noted all these visual elements, you will see some common threads emerging and you can then start to determine your signature style. For instance, are your images, cool, white, Scandinavian and simple clothing styles. Or maybe they are colourful and tropical?
From this overall visual impression, you can start to break down into detail your personal image and style management plan.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is passionate about helping business executives and entrepreneurial professionals elevate their personal brand, image and professional presence. Sue’s suite of services delivered through workshops, consulting, coaching and keynote presentations provides a multi-faceted approach to gain high transformation for her clients.
Learn more about image and brand in my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.