And Now a Word from…
Lorraine Moore /Canada
A monthly column featuring a new guest author from around the world!
Refreshing Your Brand – Why it Matters
As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops in the northern hemisphere, many of the residents in my city start to decorate their homes and yards. First with Halloween characters, mock graveyards and pumpkin patches, and by mid-November, with colourful strings of lights, evergreen wreathes or menorah lamp stands. When our children were young, we spent at least one evening in December driving around the city, looking at the beautiful decorations while singing along to our favourite carols.
As you traverse your community, do you see similar seasonal enhancements? What conclusions do you draw? Maybe you think, “That house has little interest in their appearance,” as evidenced by the neglected gardens, no decorations and the need of a fresh coat of paint. Or, “The owners on the hill have a keen eye for colour and enhanced their linear, structured French garden with a row of lights in a single colour.” Alternatively, “In the inner city there is a home with an array of colour – wreaths, lights, a lighted walkway and large, colourful character decorations. They clearly have a sense of whimsy and a creative bent.”
And what about you? What conclusions do people draw from your behaviour and appearance? How do people perceive your brand when you walk into a meeting or when you make a presentation? When they land on your web page? Is there congruence in how you present yourself and the image you intend to create? Does your web page reflect fresh thinking or an outdated browser and lack of investment? Do you present new and courageous ideas to your peers and superiors? Or are you intentionally cautious and careful to speak and behave in alignment with your corporate culture? We are telling a story about ourselves every day – through our appearance, actions and words – written, spoken and unspoken.
As 2012 draws to a close, take some time to reflect. Have you altered your appearance in the last 12 to 24 months? If you have your own business, when was the last time you refreshed your web site or your business cards? If you are part of an organization, what investment have you made in your brand this year? Have you polished your presentations? Modulated your speaking voice to engage more listeners? Are you offering innovative solutions and new ideas? Have you expanded your network within and outside of the organization?
It is particularly beneficial to seek the input of others… your boss, your customers, your peers. What characteristics are you portraying? What is your personal brand? Has your corporate brand evolved?
One you have received feedback from others or assessed yourself you can determine: Is your brand (image) holding you back or propelling you towards your desired goals? What is one thing you can do now to further strengthen your brand for 2013?
Lorraine Moore helps others with organizational change and revitalization, leadership development, personal transformation, talent management and overcoming tough business challenges.