As a brand, your brand accounts for more than just your personality and who you are as an individual. I believe it’s the sum of others brands that you either own, work for or touch in some distinct way. Brand equity is the value built-up in a brand. It is measured based on how much an audience member is aware of the brand. In the above picture, you see a man who drives a Mercedes, wears Lacoste and works for General Electric. Each brand has various attributes, values and perception tied to it.

Let’s explore each brand:

  • General Electric is a multinational American technology and services conglomerate incorporated in the State of New York. In terms of market capitalization, G.E. is the world’s second largest company.
  • Lacoste is a French apparel company founded in 1933 that sells high-end clothing, footwear, perfume, leather goods, watches, eyewear, and most famously, tennis shirts. The company can be recognized by its green crocodile logo. Lacoste has the reputation of being culturally preppy, especially in the United States.
  • Mercedes-Benz is the brand name applied to the models of one of the premier automotive manufacturers in the world and, because of its tie to Karl Benz, it is also the name of the world’s oldest continuously produced automobile line.

If you meet someone for the first time and they are driving a Mercedes, your first thoughts may be that they are successful or classy. If a youthful individual drives one, they may be considered spoiled. It also has the perception of “he must think he’s better than me” or that stereotype that Mercedes drives aren’t nice people. If that same person wears Lacoste, you may think they are preppy or trendy. If they work for GE, both their dress and automotive side may make sense to you because GE is one of the largest and most successful companies in the world. To me, these three brands (as an example) make sense with each other and tell a story to the audience. As you can see the total equity of these brands reflects in your Personal Brand. You are what you dress like, drive, work for and behave like.

More about the brands you work for

When you interview for a certain position, if you have previously worked for well-known, top-of-mind brands, such as GE, you will be taken more seriously and the interviewer will associate your name with that of the larger company as being intelligent and successful. The more “big brands” you have on your resume, the stronger your brand will be. For example, if you worked for Nike, GE, Ogilvy and Ford, you would have a leg up on someone that worked for 4 small “no-name” companies. Let this association work in your favor.

Why is this important?

You can explain a good portion of someone’s Personal Brand without even knowing anything about them. What this means is that your appearance element is crucial for first meetings, interviews and daily life routines. Your appearance is a gateway into a conversation or a networking opportunity, which is heightened by your personality, competencies and differentiation. All the brands that surround you play a role in building your brand!