Did you know you make a statement about yourself, your company and your brand before ever saying a word? As you walk into a room, you’re shouting information. Just by what you’re wearing (or not wearing.) Your clothing and accessory choices are incredibly important for your brand. In fact your ability to land contracts or get a pay raise might be affected by your clothing.
Not quite sure about this? Well, in honor of National Women’s History Month, let’s look backward for a couple of seconds at some examples of how clothing creates an image. (Gentlemen, stay with us – we have examples for you too. Keep reading!)
You’re a real history buff if you know that First Lady Dolley Madison was famous for her turbans! She used her clothing styles to reflect her and her president’s beliefs (their brand, if you will) – regal and democratic. As for the turbans, they were a popular fashionable accessory, but Mrs. Madison made that style her own, wearing iconic turbans for the rest of her life.
The press dubbed her White House “Camelot,” and Mrs. Kennedy created a classic, beautiful image of style with a hint at romantic looks. Was she successful? Hands down, yes! Jackie Kennedy crafted the modern look for First Ladies. In some ways, she made a First Lady “Brand” through fashion that has assisted (or haunted) every post-1960 First Lady. (In fact, at the 2017 Inauguration, Melanie Trump’s style choices were compared to Jackie Kennedy’s.)
While girls generally tend to have more clothes and shoes in the closet than guys, men shouldn’t underestimate the importance of their clothing choice. We found two examples of modern businessmen who created iconic looks and branding tools through their apparel.
Apple’s founder revolutionized more than technology and apps. He left the fashion apparel world wondering and branding gurus cheering. Steve Jobs wanted to be “cool,” but he also had to be professional in his appearance. His solution? The black sweater, blue jeans, and sneakers. In his role as Apple’s executive, this unvarying outfit stylized and branded him. It also supported the image of his company.
2. Bill Nye (The Science Guy)
Talk about brilliant branding… Read that name and “title” aloud. Catchy – huh? Bill Nye has more than a catchy name, though. He has a memorable style. It’s his signature accessory contributing to his professional and “fun” look: the bow tie. He explains his fascination and branding with his bow ties in this video clip.
What can we learn about clothing and branding from these famous people? After-all, most of us won’t appear in fashion magazines with reporters commentating on the designer of our dresses, suits, or ties! We did some brain-storming and found three takeaways for you to consider.
- Know your brand—exude the message without saying a word
- Pay attention to the image you’re creating through your clothing
- Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize – little items make big statements
We can help you learn your brand and as it becomes part of your life-role as an entrepreneur you will understand your image and style. Classic. Casual. Vintage. Venturesome. Elegant. Artsy. Professional. Business Casual.
To complete and enhance the discussion of clothing and branding, here’s a list of accessories you could easily incorporate into your wearable branding statement. (We’d recommend only picking one or two to create a memorable, professional image.)
- Men – ties and bow ties (Did you know that style and color choice is a branding tool here?)
- Ladies – don’t neglect your choice of necklaces, bracelets, and rings!
- Watches – you can “say” a lot with your timekeeping style (or lack thereof)
- Scarves – usually a feminine accessory; great in a fashionable knot or tied on your plain purse
- Bag – purse, laptop case, messenger bag, backpack…a subtle statement
- Lapel pins – amazing branding tool right here! (Did you know Madeleine Albright used fashion jewelry pins to make statements about her diplomatic opinions?)
- Sunglasses – obviously not to worn indoors, but great for a “cool” image at some outdoor meetings
- Cellphone Case – plain, bedazzled, or generic…phones are often seen at business meetings, so make sure it matches your statement.
Here at Epiphany Creative Services, we share a lot about branding, how to build a company, and use social media. We can design the most amazing logo and use the cutting edge channels to help you connect with your market. However, your appearance must match your brand and contribute to its powerful uniqueness.
Seriously, ALL clothes matter. We hope you’ll agree!
If you’d like to continue the discussion about branding, we’d love to help you improve (or start) your company…
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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