The right personal branding accessory for you is the one that best builds your personal brand. So which one is right for you?
In Let a Personal Branding Accessory Boost Your Brand, I told the story of how I discovered the benefits of having a personal brand accessory as a tool to make yourself more memorable. The accessory was a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes, the likes of which most people had never seen before, so once they noticed I was wearing them, it didn’t take long to get an amazed reaction.
This story illustrates one trait of the ideal personal brand accessory:
1) It should be an item that’s unique or at least, hard to obtain for your target audience, which would make it unique to them. Otherwise, others could easily copy you, and the accessory would lose its standout effect.
However, there was one problem with using the VFFs as a personal brand accessory.
I thought of this story again recently while vacationing in Paris and attending a local synagogue.
During the morning prayer, Orthodox Jews wear a pair of small boxes called phylacteries, one of which is placed above the forehead. Since the positioning is important, it’s handy to have a pocket mirror, and I started carrying extra mirrors when I noticed that few people had them and was often getting the positioning wrong.
On this particular day, I gave the rabbi all the extra mirrors I had. He said that he’d use one and thanked me profusely in such a way that I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought of me every time he used his new mirror.
This story illustrates another trait of the ideal personal branding accessory:
2) It should be an item that makes you memorable, either because it was so unusual as to be unforgettable (like with the VFFs) or because your audience will use it regularly and therefore think of you regularly (like with the mirrors) or even because of the off-the-wall creative thinking that was required to put it in action (like with these creative business cards).
But there was also a problem with using those handheld mirrors as a personal brand accessory, which leads us to the third trait:
3) The accessory must match your current personal brand
My brand is about effective job search and personal branding. What do funky shoes and handy tools have to do with them? Aside from leaving a positive impression that might lead people to want to know more about me, not much. And that’s ok, because neither of the above stories occurred with a personal branding goal in mind.
When you have your personal branding goals in mind, use these three traits to choose the right personal brand-building accessory for you.