Your Brand Image Is Your Reputation
By Bertha Escarzaga
Protocolo Events & Image Management
Affiliated to Judith Rasband-Institute of Image Management, Conselle, L.C.
Consumers and businesses are cutting costs right and left. First to go are the niceties –mid-day doughnuts, business lunches, and training. Next to go are employees and finally services. Wait a minute –we have been here before. Cutting training, employees, and services only diminishes our business capability. With nothing more strenuous than the click of a mouse, disgruntles customers can go online to find another provider.
Is there another way to cope during a recession? Yes! A troubled economy, unending stories about corrupt corporations, ad bankrupt businesses all mean hat reputation matters now more than ever before. We most develop a positive professional reputation that customers and clients will reward with their trust ad loyalty. Think of ‘reputation” as the new profit center for the 21st century.
Reputation is the sum of all impressions perceived by the community in which we work or the public in general. It is how we are esteemed in the eyes of consumers, customers, and investors. Reputation is both a feeling and a mental image based on bran image –personal and company image. This requires making a conscious company wide-collective effort to build a positive personal brand image that will add up to a positive corporate brand image or reputation that communicates confidence, commitment, character, and competence. Reputation is build one person at a time, one client interaction at a time. That means everyone in the company must be committed to developing a positive professional reputation. First and fastest way to ramp up reputation is a professional personal appearance or brand image consistent with who and what we say we are –what you say you are. You have got to look like who you say you are confident, committed, capable, organized, productive, and trustworthy. That is image integrity.
Your brand image, the way you present yourself and do business is not a mask to disguise yourself. It cannot be fake or phony. It is exactly the opposite. It is an outward reflection of who you are inside and what you can do. We are talking about image from the inside out. It visually communicates the substance of you, the integrity and likeability of you as an individual and a professional.
Know who you are –what you do
Know who your customers or clients are –what they do
Know who your clients expect you to be-what they expect you to d
Know how you need to appear to communicate what they expect
Know what clothes will communicate your message
Customers and clients are influenced consciously and unconsciously by your appearance or brand image including clothes and accessories. The influence expands to include your eye contact, gestures, posture and pose, your tone of voice, pattern of speech and grammar, your business card and resume, your desktop and the condition of the car your drive. Improve as needed.
Then get out there. Build your reputation and goodwill in the community. This type of marketing does not cost money but does require in-person contact with current and potential customers. It includes referrals and testimonial, networking, networking, and more networking. Add in customer site visits, customer seminars, and business association involvement. Develop your public speaking ability and activity. It puts you out there as an expert, a reputable “go-to” person in your field.
Well my friends of NSHP, I guess this is it for today, 'see' you next time.
Bertha is a professional meeting planner, and a certified etiquette and image consultant.