Good Morning and Happy Monday! It’s a new week, a new month, a new quarter! The slate is wiped clean and the day is full of opportunity. I can’t help but share this earworm: Nina Simone’s Feeling Good. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me…and I’m feeling good. 😀
How important is your personal brand? Whether you think you have one or not, you do. It’s how others perceive you, it’s how your style separates you from others, how others relate to you. Think of it this way – How do others describe you in 5 words or less? Is this the brand you want? How do you enhance, evolve and protect your brand?
Since the idea of branding began in the business world, let’s look there for an example: How about Apple? I informally polled several people about the five words they’d use to describe the maker of the iMac, iPhone, iPad – you get the idea – and this is what I heard. (You’ll note that not all of these are positive but perception is reality.)
- Closed (operating system/environment)
- White / Clean
- Controlling / Secretive
- Intuitive / Design
- Overdone / Hyped
How seriously does Apple take their image? Very. Y’all have seen their ads and are more than familiar with Apple products. Have you ever bought something in one of their stores? It’s a pretty unique experience, from the moment you walk in to when you stroll out with something in their iconic, white bags.
Being Apple, they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to protect their image, including patenting the bag.
Yes, you read that right, Apple filed for a patent on the shopping bag, see above schematic. (Your polite (or not so much) snickering is loud enough for us all to hear, BTW.) On the surface, the idea of patenting a shopping bag is a little silly. But can you imagine if other retailers copied their signature bag? Apple’s shopping experience wouldn’t set them apart as much so it’s understandable that they want to protect it.
I’ll add that being too protective of what makes you, you, can make it hard to evolve. The trick is to find the right balance of preserving your identity while always growing.
So, what’s your brand? How do you promote and protect it? Do you know of other business examples that cause you to reflect on how you manage your reputation?
Have a glorious day!