- Who & Why?
Category Archive for: ‘visual’
Women entreprenuers are sprouting up everywhere today and that’s a great thing! With the growth of multi-level marketing (MLM) companies such as NuSkin, Melaleuca, Silpada, SendOutCards, etc, it is getting easier for women (and men) to run a business out of their homes, on the side of anything else they are doing or in any other way they wish.
The problem for me happens when I see people having their hands in two or more of these businesses- and actively selling them all at the same time to the same people. Two things could start to happen if you are one of these people:
* Your personal brand message can get garbled: Are you selling skin-care, jewelry, clothing or hand-bags? If you are selling them all, do they somehow tie into your personal brand and represent who you are, your unique selling proposition and business goals? Do you have some passion around the combination of MLM lines you represent or did someone just do a really good job recruiting you and convincing you that their MLM was the best?
I need you to step back before you sign up for a lot of good money-making MLM businesses and evaluate if YOU:
a) believe in the product so you can sell it with passion and purpose,
b) can find a tie-in with the product and who you are/your personal brand,
c) have enough connections to have the reach to the MLM’s target market. In other words, do your circle of friends represent the accurate target market for the MLM you want to start selling?
* Your actual verbal message can get garbled: I recently saw someone who was has a business organizing things/people speak at an event. However, I really did not hear her speak to organization. Rather, what I heard (and maybe misunderstood, but that’s the problem) was her talk about her lotion/body care line she represents and her bag line she represents. Both body care and bags appeared to be MLM and neither really carried her message of why she has an organization business and what she could do for me to organize my life, closet, office, bills, etc.
Even if you don’t sell MLM, but are in professional services (doctors, lawyers, etc), you need to stop and consider the same two questions above. I see plenty of doctors and lawyers who are selling products and services that are not connected to their actual service and brand. I appreciate the economy has prompted even professionals to have to get creative with their multiple income channels, but at what cost?
For example, I know a lawyer who sells candles for “fun”. Are you planning on creating a romantic atmosphere in court for your clients? If you must sell candles, disconnect the concept from your legal practice and sell the candles on the weekend to moms in your neighborhood.
I also know of many dentists who sell/administer Botox out of their office. To them I ask: “Aren’t you diluting your specialty as a dentist by telling me I can come in and get Botox from you, too?”
I’ve also seen plenty of dermatologists really go off-base by offering tons of make-up lines and creams and gels, etc. Too much product sales in my opinion. I can go to Sephora and get the same stuff. And no, just because you are a dermatologist doesn’t mean the products are more credible to me -because all the products are overwhelming and so are you.
So if you are selling, or considering selling, one or more MLM product lines or adding a product or service to your professional degree’d offerings, please consider the two potential problems above. While having multiple income streams is smart, which ones really serve you well and complement your current profession and personal brand best?
In personal branding, your visual brand (attire, clothing, etc) is a part of your personal brand. Therefore, we do spend time making sure your attire and clothing options reflect the personal brand and business brand you want to project. We do this so you stand out, are memorable and feel good and look like you are “owning” your profession and service/product. In a world full of sameness, your visual brand and attire are a very easy and effective way of being unique and showing us what value you can bring to us- without ever saying a word.
Last week I had the privilege of being invited to Neiman Marcus for a Spring Trend preview given by their style adviser, Alex. Twelve of us were treated to a personal fashion show of the Spring trends in a way only Neiman Marcus does- Mimosas, gourmet breakfast and class.
The Spring trends include:
- Various shades of the color pink- from hot pink to pale pink
- Colorful clutches
- Various shades of yellow (my favorite!)
- Dramatic earrings
- Colorful pants, including pajama pants (yikes!)
- Mixing prints
- Scuba influences (minus the water)
- Tribal influences
- Strong eyebrows
Now, here’s the deal. The list above is not the “Truth”. I don’t think any of us should be wearing something just because it is “in” or trendy. I see so many people clamoring to wear the latest trends or style to fit in. But what are you fitting into exactly? Are you losing yourself and who you are to fashion and trends or are you incorporating trends into who you are to accent you and make you memorable and unique? Believe it or not, it is possible to wear trends AND stay true to who you are.
We should be wearing clothes because: 1) they make us look good and therefore, feel good 2) they reflect who we are as a person and a business brand and 3) they are comfortable.
The most important from my experience with clients is comfort. As part of our personal branding process, we dress clients. The first question I always ask is “does this outfit/attire make you feel comfortable?” If the answer is anything less than, “yes!”, we go back to the drawing board. If you feel uncomfortable in your clothing, then you come across that way to others- stiff, uptight, fidgety and unsure of who you are. In other words, it does nothing for your personal brand.
So go ahead and wear neon and scuba-influences attire. Wear hot pink and tribal influenced clothing. Go crazy with hot prints! However, only do so if these trends lend to your personal brand, enhancing who you are and how unique you are while making you look good and being comfortable.
What trends do you love? Email us and let us know.
I often walk into offices and am shocked at the surroundings. It seems that business owners may be aware of the fact that they need to have a personal brand that resonates with their business in order to stand out and be memorable to their prospects. HOWEVER, sometimes I wonder if they realize the interior design and layout of their business needs to have the same feel and effect.
This week’s blog post features my friend and colleague, Ekaterina (Katia) Kohlwes, principal/designer of Mindful Design Consulting. Katia is a dynamic and creative designer whose works speaks for itself. As Katia so beautifully states it on her website, “great space is not branding, great feeling is”.
Below is an interview Puris did with Katia:
Puris: How did you get into this line of work? Why do you do it?
-Katia: Drawing and design are my passions in life! I feel that I was blessed by getting these talents probably from my parents who are very creative people. One day, long time ago, I was helping my friend to redecorate her apartment when she told me that I have a gift and that I should pursue a design career. When I took a few interior design classes at SF City College my design professor, Jerry Chen, also commented that I have a talent and that I should get into architecture. From there it simply unfolded by itself. I got my first job before even finishing my design classes at the City College by merely showing my portfolio. At jobs I was doing design work similar to what educated architects would do when I realized I do need to get a diploma to blend in with architects. I have been in architectural design for over 16 years working for large corporate to mid-size firms. I did get a great experience in production work, but I always felt unrealized as a designer. I knew I could make a big difference for my clients only if I had my own design company. So, here I am now, doing what I love the most!
Puris: What is the #1 thing you have found your clients take away from working with you (in terms of product and mindset/mentality)?
-Katia: My clients get a professionally designed space which makes them and their customers not only look, but feel great! I look at psychological aspects when designing spaces. What colors/style/materials would deliver a desired message to the clients? What elements will make employees feel at home, positive and healthy? These are some questions I ask myself working on any project. Architecture around us deeply effects our emotions and even our well being. It is my job as a designer to produce positive results with whatever I design to build. I wrote a small e-book on this subject which can be found here: http://mindfuldesignconsulting.com/branded-by-interior-ebook/
Puris: In the world of personal branding, first impressions account for everything. Why does a business’ interior matter so much? Isn’t the substance of the business the most important?
-Katia: Substance of a business is very important but most of the time it’s not tangible. When a new client walks in to your space they immediately create their opinion about the quality of service they will receive- first impressions, as well.. Another example is, if you deliver similar products or services, your interior/exterior branding maybe the only factor separating you from your competitor. I’ve done a simple analysis of San Diego’s Mission Valley Sears and Target stores based on this comparison. The two stores sell almost the same products but the way they represent them is two worlds apart. Take a look at this branding analysis here: http://mindfuldesignconsulting.com/newsletter/newsletter_2011_march.html
Puris: How does what you do tie into Puris’ business of personal branding?
– Katia: Mindful Design Consulting and Puris Image both look at the core of how businesses represent themselves. Just like self confidence of a business owner comes from the way a person looks and feels, the confidences of the whole company comes from the way it’s being physically represented to clients by its interior and exterior. I see a lot of similarities in our work and even philosophy with Puris Image. My hope is some day to work with Puris Image on the same client from image revision of the owner to rebranding the company’s facility. That would be an exciting and an interesting project!
I get asked often why the visual element is so important in terms of personal branding. Often people assume personal branding and the related association is based strictly on name recognition. For instance, I read an article today on legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer. In the article, they refer to Bruckheimer as a brand. Most people have no idea who Bruckheimer is, let alone could spot him in a crowd. However, they know him as the producer of many great shows and movies including Amazing Race and Pirates of the Caribbean, to name just two. So for Bruckheimer his brand is his name.
However, for most of us our brand is about the visual reality we establish and build with people who get to know us. We remember people based on what we “saw” of them initially.
Thus, I tell my clients we must package our personal brand in a way to be aesthetically appealing to those around us who would want to get to know us better to build a long-term relationship and then perhaps become clients. So what is aesthetically appealing? Well, the human eye lands and stays on objects and people that are neutral, high energy and generally appealing at which to look. In other words, we like to look at and interact with those who are easy on the eye- literally. It is about art and proportionality and the proper use of color, pattern, texture and design in terms of our personal brand.
Once people are attracted to our aesthetically appealing personal brand, then they will build affinity for us and then communicate with us based on their reality, which is hopefully our reality, too.
So, what’s a person to do to become aesthetically appealing and easy on the eye? Here are some tips:
– Always look at yourself in terms of maintaining the proper proportionality when you dress. Keep bulky attire to a minimum and if you are wearing loose clothing on top, taper it with more form-fitting garments on the bottom. This applies to men and women. You wouldn’t buy a lamp that is out of proportion, so why would I choose to interact with someone who looks out of proportion and disturbing to my subconscious sense of art and balance?
-Always ask yourself, “Why am I wearing what I am wearing today and what does it say about me as a person and professional?” Is the garment appropriate for your personal brand and the message you are trying to impart to your audience for the day? Your message in terms of who you are and what business you perform is critical in your visual appearance.