By Praise Jackson
Brand and image.
We often hear and see these two five-letter words whether in print, on television, on the internet or on social media.
When speaking of “brand,” we associate it to a company’s identity, logo, product or service offerings. While thinking of the idea of an “image,” your favorite celebrity may possibly come to mind photographed wearing the latest collection of any number of designers. It isn’t necessary to have a company or be a celebrity to reap the benefits of a solid brand and image. The fact of the matter is that we all have both, whether we choose to recognize it or not.
Personal brand relates directly to identity — the combination of adjectives used to describe yourself, combined with the way you communicate and how that translates both verbally and nonverbally. It’s your talents and gifts, what you spend the majority of your time doing.
Image is your style, which involves the type of clothes and accessories you wear, your hairstyle and even your choice in wearing makeup or not. For men, image can involve choosing to wear facial hair or not, but it can also speak to personality and character. Brand and image are intertwined. With this identified, the questions then become what does your personal brand say about you? Is your image reflective of who you want others to see inside and out?
From landing that new job or promotion to obtaining an investor for a startup venture or a grant for a nonprofit, to being considered for that next movie role or running for an office or meeting the man or woman of your dreams, the reality is your brand and image matter.
Now, more than ever, we can all appreciate individuals, businesses and nonprofits that have authenticity, integrity and a captivating story. It’s important to evaluate what this means to you. Could you use the guidance and expertise of a professional brand strategist or image consultant? For many, the answer is “Yes!”
Though it will require a little time and money, having end results of achieving a solid brand and image you desire and deserve is a feeling unmatched, following the idea that authenticity is on trend. The idea isn’t creating a brand to change who you are; the goal is to enhance what already makes you special.
Praise D. Jackson has represented hundreds of brands and Fortune 500 companies, including New York Life, Coca-Cola, Samsung, L’Oreal, Express, Sony, Mercedes, Borghese and Nivea. Since 2014, she has been the creative brain behind Elements of Delight, an agency that provides brand strategy and image consulting services. The successful mother and businesswoman is committed to making a difference in her local community as a volunteer, mentor and influencer.