By Marcela Jenney-Reyes
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?
Unforgettable…in your own ethnic way!
Imagine how it would feel to be remembered forever. To be recognized among your competitors and peers as someone who left a mark behind. To be memorable for having done something so unique that even the passage of time would never erase your name from people’s minds.
As the world becomes, culturally speaking, flatter and flatter, it is increasingly difficult to stand out as an individual. The lines between the world’s previously diverse cultures are blurring. As we try to connect with our audiences by being more like them, speaking more like them, and behaving more like them, our differences are becoming less remarkable. In spite of this, it is still possible to remain culturally sensitive while also incorporating special aspects of your own background that you can leverage to make yourself unforgettable in a unique and distinctive way.
Make your exotic food a memorable experience. One way to do this is by making your “exotic food” a memorable experience for your audience. We all have certain particular foods typical of our heritage that make us different in some way. At a presentation I gave recently, I used something from my hometown in Colombia to leave a mark on my listeners. Where I grew up we eat “hormigas culonas” (big butt ants), which are dried queen ants. This is a food item from my culture that is normal to me but so strange and foreign to most people. When I brought out the ants, you can imagine there were some people that were taken aback, if not utterly disgusted. However, I provided the people in that room an experience they will definitely never forget.
Look for an aspect of your unique character or identity that makes you stand out from others. Every person has at least one characteristic from their culture that makes him or her distinctive. Your objective is simply to devise a clever plan to reveal it to your audience in such a way that will leave you forever in their memory, even in this ever mixing jumble.
In the business world it is difficult to leave a mark by expressing your uniqueness without seeming crazy, foolish, or even just unprofessional. Whether you express your individuality through a thank you note or an outlandish business card, by incorporating your heritage in these devices, you differentiate yourself from others, both culturally and individually, and in an acceptable way.
Marcela Jenney-Reyes is a global marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. Her clients include language service providers, entrepreneurs and business professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.