Have you ever had one of those days when people are commenting how you "don't seem like yourself," and you get questions like: "Are you feeling ok?" or "You seem tired." or "What's up with you today?"
Meanwhile you thought you were doing just fine, thank you.
I made a little discovery the other day about why this sometimes happen. How could it be that I'm feeling fine but everyone else thinks that there might be something wrong?
I've strayed from my personal brand.
Whether we've thought about it this way before or not, we all have a personal brand. Elements of ourselves, features and benefits if you will, that have come to represent who we are and what we offer to people. Sort of like how Tide is in a familiar orange bottle and has ingredients that help us wash our families' clothes. As people, we have the same kind of thing: familiar packaging and an expected attributes that define who we are and what we do. It's our own personal brand.
Me? I'm known for colorful patterned shirts (usually with jeans and a blazer) and a certain energy level that I bring to the day. Every once in awhile when I stray from my "brand", it's amazing how people notice. Not consciously, because it's far too subtle, but sub-consciously. They can't mark it exactly, they just know that the "brand" is off.
So if I wear a formal suit or muted colors, they perceive me differently and assume that there's something wrong. Or if for whatever reason I'm a little more quiet that day, they assume that I'm tired or not feeling well. Meanwhile, it's just a day when I felt like wearing a monotone color or am allowing others to take center stage. But that's not my brand!
One day even I noticed it myself. I wore a pair of "bucks" and felt oddly southern all day, totally out of character.
So do a little social experiment. Stray from your personal brand for a day. Don't do the expected -- wear different kinds of clothes from your normal. See what happens. See if you get any comments. I'm betting that straying from your personal brand will get you some unexpected reactions.
So please do tell me ... what's your experience? Jim.