Personal brands – Part 2.

Last week, we looked at the topic of personal brands. Your individual brand that is an outward manifestation of your best self, what you stand for, what you look like, your manners and how you behave towards others.

This week I am going to explore the need to protect and preserve our personal brands, the great personal care divide, the danger of the service brands and finally, personal brands to avoid at all costs.

Part 2. Polishing your brand

I know an accomplished musician who is charming and fun, patient and kind. He is an energetic conductor, popular choral director and talented organist. He receives many offers of employment and he is admired, respected and appreciated universally. He has a wonderful personal brand and some others, including: Ski Whizz, Curator of Green Lawns, and Collector of books and music.

Without even knowing it, he invests unlimited time in his brand and has done so for many years. He knows, instinctively, its great value and how to maintain it. He practises several hours a day to keep his skills honed to perfection and performs exquisite organ recitals. He runs choral and opera societies, church and school choirs. He takes rehearsals, practises and lessons and puts on concerts, operas and performances. But there is something else that he does, more than anything else. He invests in his audience and his singers. Is this investment the pathway to his great success? It might be. Does he give time to his close friends and family in the same way? No, but we all know the score. But, more than anything else, he is living life as the best he can be. Who would want more than that for anyone?

Composer Gustav Mahler

Living life as the best you can be

It would be interesting to know how many people really live the life that they were destined live, or, become the person that they were really meant to be.

Some people are born to great parents. Some people attend great schools, and some are born of high social-rank, into money and connections. Any of these advantages will foster being the best we can be. But not everyone has these starts in life and yet, many go on to develop wonderful personal brands and make a great success out of their lives.

Despite the unkindness and brokeness of the world – strive to be the best you can be every day.

The great personal care divide

We all know that our approach to personal care in our current cultural times, is gender unbalanced. We know that many men take good care of themselves. But for many women, it is an art form, a lifestyle, a crucial and complex accomplishment to keep our very personal brands live and kicking.

I packed my bag and in it I put..

In my wash bag – which is packed and ready-to-go – there are 36 items. Excluding the anti-intruder door stop, prescription meds (counts as one), bottle opener, hairbrush and comb, contact lenses, sissors, nail clippers, tweezers, plastic razor, and contact lenses (11 items), I travel with: nutritional supplements (3) OTC medication (5), hair care (only 2) dental hygiene (5) skincare (2) moisturiser (2), deodorant (one), insect repellant (one), perfume mini sprays (counts as one), sun protection (one) glasses cleaner (2). I need all these personal care items to maintain my personal brand. And this list does not include make-up, anything to do with hair removal or painting nails.

Men – you might be thinking that this seems an excessive number of items. Women – you might be asking “why is so much is missing?” The time and cost of women’s personal care and grooming over a lifetime is enormous. (I’d quite like to do the study on this and personal care throughout the ages.) The Covid-19 pandemic has afforded many of us a break on the personal care and grooming front. I for one am grateful for the reprieve and, dry shampoo.

What takes my husband 20 minutes, takes me at least 45 minutes. This is the great personal care divide.


Beware the service brands

I was at an outdoors sporting event one summer. It was the sort of do where people parked their cars, enjoyed picnics and met up with friends. In the car next to ours was a red-headed family of four. Handsome-Dad was wearing a blue blazer and tie, crisp shirt, smart chinos and polished black loafers. He was well-groomed with immaculately combed hair. The two young boys looked equally impressive. But mum, not so. She looked dreadful. There was no adequate description for her personal brand.

Her red hair was a flattened, straggly mop with a runway of grey down the parting. She had attempted to disguise her calamity hair day with a turban which kept sliding off to reveal the neglect. She was wearing off-white cheesecloth that was grubby and creased and dirty espadrills. But most of all, she looked absolutely exhausted – frazzled, burnt out to the core. She wasn’t smiling or laughing and there was no fun or joy in her at all.

I wonder, if in putting all her time and energy into her husband and son’s needs, that she had lost sight of herself and her personal brand? In other words, this undoubtedly loving and caring mother, had sacrificed everything she had, at the alter of others. Women please cherish your brand. It was never meant to be sacrificed to the world.

Whilst no child wants their mother to be a self-obsessed diva, they don’t want their mother to be a miserable wreck either.


Personal brands to avoid at all costs

There are personal brands that we must try and avoid at all costs. They are not proper personal brands, they are the remnants or shells of broken brands, emptied of all energy, life, joy and hope. This broken brand might include any of the following charateristics: self-neglect, constant irritation, anger, aggression, burn-out, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, inability to sleep, alcoholic tendancies, eating disorders, an inwardly focused view of the world. Reader, please do whatever it takes to avoid becoming this emptied personal brand.

You are a unique and valuable human being. Go out and claim your personal brand. It is yours. It is fabulous.

Next week, will explore the subject of Black Spots, daemons and other hidden things….

Published by katharine@kvhcom is all about creative communications. A creative approach means not just an attractive visual appearance, but engaging text and an innovative approach to any project.

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