What do Lance Armstrong, IKEA, and Mercedes-Benz have in common? They are all strong brands that boast three essential qualities: clarity, consistency and constancy. Personal branding guru William Arruda says that you cannot spell ‘brand’ without the letter C – three C’s to be exact. Strong brands are clear about their unique promise of value. They consistently express the same ‘on-brand’ message in every communication tool and method they use. Last, their brand is visible and in constant view to their target audience.
What if Lance Armstrong actually did use performance enhancement drugs? What if IKEA stopped their “flat pack” concept? How about if Mercedes-Benz replaced luxury with cheap chic? In all three cases they would not be true to their brand and the loyalty of their target audience would diminish.
Clear, Consistent, and Constant Visual Vocabulary
One part of the visual vocabulary for your personal brand is the image, artwork, logo, or photo you use to express an on-brand message. The image you select should tie directly to your brand attributes. For example, if one of your brand attributes is physical fitness, you should use active, healthy, and athletic images.
Years ago a friend introduced me to cycling. I immediately feel in love with it. Jumping on any bicycle became my healthy escape, my stress release, my nirvana. Naturally, it made sense for my own brand image to be geared toward cycling and I have incorporated this passion into my work as well. By combining personal branding strategy with cycling imagery my clients are motivated to shift gears, get out of the saddle, and sprint to success.
Here is the image I use to promote my brand and motto, “Personal Branding with a Spin”:
The image is a clear representation of my brand and promise of value. I consistently use this across various communication tools which presents a constant visible image to my target audience.
1) Business card
The image is on the back of my card and at networking events provides an immediate talking point and story to share.
2) Facebook Welcome Page
Visitors to my FB page immediately see this image and hopefully are interested in spending time on the page and clicking the ‘Like’ button.
3) Website home page
On the home page to my website the image is front and center. People who have my card will immediately know they have reached my site.
4) About.me profile
I love About.me as it provides a simple, clear, and free vehicle to market your branded bio. If you do not have a website this is a great starting point. Once again, my image jumps out on my about.me page and fills the screen.
As much as I love About.me, I am crazy about VideoBIO! The most powerful tool for branding yourself is video and VideoBIO provides a professional and very affordable way to do this. My brand image is placed at the start of my VideoBIO and immediately sets the stage for the video.
How do you express a clear, consistent, and constant personal brand message? Share your method and ideas below.