by Gillian Armour

We are excited to announce a new course this season – Visual Branding (textbook for this course “Real People, Real Choices” by Michael Solomon, Greg Marshall and Elnora Stuart. Publisher: Prentice Hall) and here is a brief excerpt:

WELCOME TO BRAND YOU “Marketing is all around us. Indeed, some might say we live in a branded world. Value refers to the benefits a customer receives from buying a good or service. You have “market value” as a person—you have qualities that set you apart from others and abilities other people want and need. Therefore, the principles of marketing apply to people, just as they apply to coffee, convertibles, and computer processors. Sure, there are differences in how we go about marketing each of these, but the general idea remains the same: Marketing is a fundamental part of our lives both as consumers and as players in the business world.”

Do You Have A Brand?

                        Visual Brand Colors of The Pekoe Group

                        Visual Brand Colors of The Pekoe Group

Visual Branding in the image consulting world means to present yourself in a manner that establishes your image to the world via clothing, accessories, body language and behavior. It can be a way to imprint your status and level of success on the viewer. The viewer could be a potential partner, a future boss, an employee or a client. A visual brand ID sets you apart from others. You can define this ID via color, style, a signature piece of clothing.

Some people use their accents, their height or their hobby as a visual brand. Whatever sets you apart and attracts positive attention, and can market you and your skills, is called a visual brand. You are a brand – you are a product and you have value. If you did not take care of this brand by dressing well, grooming appropriately or marketing yourself via LinkedIn (catchphrase “Manage Your Professional Identity”) or Facebook the chances are your career could suffer.

There are many ways to visually brand. An example of how companies incorporate visual branding into their business via color – we all know the brown shade that UPS uses in their uniforms. Tiffany blue is a visual brand message sent via color. How about the Pekoe Group in NY whose dress code includes the directive that employees who are front and center with clients must sport the companies official colors of red or orange (wear a necklace, blazer, tie etc.)? Or, in Hawaii where attorneys can wear an aloha print pattern to work to establish the brand message of laid back.

People brand themselves in unusual ways as well. We all know that the dress code for tech workers is the sweatshirt. This may seem contrary to the rules of business dressing but for a certain segment of the technology industry wearing such apparel is an effective way to brand. The perceived marketing value is evident immediately – we get the brand message that this person is involved in the hottest market on the planet at the moment. On the other side of the branding spectrum think of all those young ladies who wear logos as status symbols. This too is a way to brand yourself and create a signature that states you have expensive taste.

Understanding these marketing principles and how they apply to the concepts of image branding, and how to improve both your own and your clients product images is at the heart of this course. After all - makeovers and image overhauls are the most obvious, everyday form of marketing and branding.

Related articles: