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Monday, July 21, 2014

Ladies, What Name Do You Wear on Your Back? (No, Not Your Clothes Silly!) — What’s Your Woman Brand?

By Tamara Hartley

Woman Brand

Nationwide — In the business world, a brand is a promise to consistently deliver a product, service, quality or experience. Ask any woman about her preferred clothing brands and she can most likely rattle off a list of her favorite purse, shoe and fashion designers and tell you very quickly why she loves a particular brand. When a woman buys her favorite brand, she typically knows what to expect and what she is going to get.

We often only talk about branding in terms of products and business, but rarely take the time to examine our own personal brand. Whether you realize it or not, you have a woman brand. Though some might call it a reputation, your brand follows you wherever you go. Just how we associate an experience with a product or service, we also associate qualities, attributes, and characteristics to people based upon our interactions and dealings with them. Let’s be honest, we all know people that make us cringe when we see them coming, and others that we love to be around and spend time with.

So what is your woman brand? Your personal brand?

What type of experience can people consistently expect when they interact with you? Do they cringe when they see you coming or welcome you with open arms? If you’ve never taken the time to think about or examine your woman brand, let me share five key areas that greatly impact how eager others are to interact with you:

1. Attitude – Do you consistently display a positive attitude? Do you brighten the room when you enter? Having a positive attitude can be displayed in many different ways such as a friendly smile, pleasant disposition, and cheerful mood. Even in a difficult or uncomfortable situation, you can choose to remain positive.

2. Appearance – As much as you try to rebel against it, how you care for yourself leaves an impression on others. Grooming, personal hygiene, and styling are important. While we know that the clothes do not make the woman, they are a reflection of your personal style and how you feel about yourself. When a woman chooses her clothing, she is making a statement about her mood, her style, and her confidence. Wearing clothes that are appropriate for your body type and the occasion, say a lot about who you are and how you want to be remembered.

3. Authenticity – Are you genuine? Believe it or not, people can sense when you are genuine or simply going through the motions and trying to impress others. Know who you are and be comfortable being you. When you are confident and comfortable being yourself, you give others permission to be themselves around you.

4. Actions – Are your actions consistent with your values and beliefs and who you say you are? In the age of social media, there are no longer lines of demarcation between your professional and personal lives. You have to mindful of your actions at all times and how they affect your reputation and others around you.

5. Associations – Your network is an extension of who you are. The people you choose to associate with say a lot where you are and where you are going. Developing and managing healthy relationships and surrounding yourself with allies are critical for your growth and success.

As you can see, we broadcast our personal brands every second of the day through our attitude, appearance, authenticity, actions, and associations. Borrowing a page from corporate America’s playbook, we have to better manage our brand image and be more aware of what we communicate about who we are and what we stand for. Remember, be conscious of the ambiance you create and how you affect and change the atmosphere when you walk into a room. Be in charge of your woman brand.

Tamara Hartley is speaker, author, advice columnist and personal success coach. She uses her personal life experiences and lessons learned to help others make critical decisions in their life, relationships and careers. Read her advice archives at www.YourAdviceGuru.com. Email questions toadvice@YourAdviceGuru.com or on Twitter @DrTamaraHartley using the hashtag #AskTamara. As a personal success coach, Tamara works with individuals to help them find balance, make moves, and live their dreams. Learn more about her coaching programs at www.YourPersonalSuccessCoach.com.

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