Does this Brand Make Me Look Fat?

When Being in the Red Isn’t Bad for Business.
October 12, 2012
Does Size Really Matter?
October 25, 2012

Come on, admit it. We’ve all tried something on that hasn’t felt exactly right and then surveyed our husband or best girl friend for an answer we’d like to hear. We say “Does this make me look fat?” Of course, we want them to say “No, honey, you look beautiful.” But honestly, if you felt beautiful in the first place, you probably wouldn’t have asked the question.

I have found recently many people do the equivalent with their brands. They try things on for size, it might be a new service or a new tagline, and then they survey the heck out of anyone who will listen. “What do you think of my new_____?”

Don’t get me wrong, surveys are wonderful and necessary tools to get clear on how best to promote your brand and serve your audience. The problem comes when people do surveys before or instead of doing the self-reflective work needed to create a strong brand foundation.

Why do we ask if our clothes make us look fat? The question stems from insecurity. We may not have a clear sense of what does or does not look good on us. We feel something isn’t quite right, but we’re not sure what the problem is or how to fix it. The same holds true in branding. When you are not clear about your best assets and how to dress them up, you will be constantly nagged by insecurity as to how best to represent yourself or business.

Here is a fun exercise to help you think about what you want to accentuate in your brand and how to dress it up.

1.Imagine you have to leave your house completely naked except for a sandwich board around your neck. You can only write one sentence on the board and it starts like this “I am a really good_________________________.” Fill in the blank with your strongest, most exciting skill, talent or attribute.

2. Now imagine writing your same answer down on beautiful piece of paper. You are going to “gift wrap” your answer and send it to your clients. Your job is to find the most appropriate box or container in which to put the piece of paper. Think about how you would package the box. Would you use wrapping paper? What color would it be? Would it be glitzy or perhaps made out of recycled newspaper? Would there be a ribbon? Etc. Have fun with this and get creative.

Write down any thoughts or insights you get from doing this exercise. Notice the message never changes. Whether it was written on a sandwich board or dressed-up in a Tiffany box, the foundation stays the same.

When you understand your core strengths, you can build and expand a rich and textured brand. It’s like finding the perfect little black dress. The lines hug your body in just the right way, the cut flatters your best assets and the fabric feels like silk against your skin. You step into it and you already feel like a million bucks. When the foundation is strong you can create a multitude of interpretations.

If the core of your brand is a custom fit, you will feel much more secure and prepared to meet your audience.  Believe me, when you are clear about the best parts of yourself, knowing how to dress it up your brand becomes a snap. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to walk around naked with a sandwich board, but if you did, I’m sure you’d totally rock it with your brand message!

I’d love to hear the answers you came up with for thee exercise!

What is your greatest attribute?

How did you “package” your answer?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:

Heather Poduska is a Reach certified personal brand strategist, image consultant and business coach who helps women entrepreneurs create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.
To learn even more about Heather and the Clear Voice Branding System click the link.