We all know some of the most prominent brands and companies in the market: Coca-Cola, Walmart and McDonald’s to name just a few, but have you ever stopped and thought about how those companies became so well-known and trusted?
It wasn’t simply an overnight miracle. These companies work very hard to protect their brand image. Successful companies maintain their revered status by knowing their values and how they want their customers to feel about them.
Now that I have you thinking about what makes a strong brand, have you ever stopped and thought about your own? I bet most people haven’t. I too never realized that my day- to-day actions and goals were the building blocks to creating my brand image.
I think this idea really clicked for me during the past two years at Monroe Community College (MCC) participating in the international two-year honor society, Phi Theta Kappa. As I networked and met people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures, I listened to their stories and challenges, not taking into consideration that these tales and obstacles were little bits and pieces that created their brand. The importance of imaging and creating a brand has played an even larger role during my internship at Dixon Schwabl. I have learned that everyone needs to consider the image they are projecting, and make sure that it is the way they want to be remembered.
Try thinking of yourself as a business. People will be more inclined to buy from you if you have a solid reputation in your field. In other words, if the image you are projecting indicates that you can get a job done quickly, while multi-tasking, you will receive more opportunities in the workplace. This is especially true for anyone in an intern or entry-level position!
Does your brand image reflect YOU properly? Follow these three basic tips to help get you noticed in the right light:
1. Treat friends, family, professors, bosses and mentors as if they were your customers. Treating people with respect and making sure that they are happy to be working with you will lead to more opportunities. Being kind and courteous are essential qualities in a good business partner.
2. Double check all social media and blogs to make sure you are projecting the right image. Although you may be respectable and responsible, it can be easy for others to reach the wrong conclusions online. What you post and comment on is a direct reflection of your values and morals. Be conscientious of the impression you leave online.
3. Consider how you dress. Regardless if you are going to the grocery store, to a movie or to a business meeting, it’s important to be aware of how you look. Next time you head out, consider how you want to be perceived by those around you and choose an outfit that reflects your brand image.
Everything you do, the way you look and the way you respond to those around you construct your brand image. You are like a business—don’t lose out on any opportunities because of the way someone perceives you isn’t the correct reflection of the real you. Just ask yourself what your values are and what your morals are. When those values and morals are written down, use those keywords and phrases to create your own mission statement. When all is said and done, you will have finally figured out what your brand image will be and how you will become the brand that everyone wants.
Carolyn Spencer is a junior at Rochester Institute of Technology majoring in marketing with a minor in public relations. Currently, she is a public relations intern at Dixon Schwabl. When she is not working one of her other jobs, she likes to volunteer her time to help the Rochester community and her alumni organizations. I love helping people work toward their goals – there’s just something so magical about knowing that I can impact someone’s day or life.