Branding is more than identity, it’s the voice and attitude too…
Last night while taking in a great conversation on Blab.im I started interacting with someone who felt rather familiar, we both followed each other on twitter and after the conversation she sent me what might very well be my favorite tweet of all time. Dawn said, So Brad (via twitter handle) — why do you sound so familiar? I feel like I’ve met your mustache before … We did finally work out that way back in the early days of Twitter Dawn and I were both in a small group that met online called the “United Nerd Life Group” or #UNLG way back then I was still using @Big_B_Rad as my brand / name on twitter. What stuck wasn’t the name… What stuck was the image and attitude I was presenting. You might be asking… “But Brad, does that mean I need to grow a 1800s facial hair monstrosity?!!!1!” And to that I would have to say – if a male, sure it might not hurt, but the number one tip that I would give you.
If you want to remembered, you have to be memorable. Remember that we all have things that are important to us. As you are developing your personal brand, what are you doing to extend the story of who you are… What you believe / stand for… The WHY that motivates you to get up each day… How are you taking those three things and weaving them in to what you show, what you tell and how people remember you?
Why a mustache?
If you have not heard the story of my mustache… Well here ya go. (If you have, keep reading as if you have not)
When I first joined twitter I did so under the name “Big_B_Rad” as I’m a big guy, and B-Rad was a nick name at the time. I didn’t really know if this twitter thing was going to be around long term (way back in Aug 2007) and did not really have an end game in mind. As time progressed I realized that I wanted not to be know in public as just a big dude, but for the value and knowledge that I bring to the table when talking about technology, marketing and communications. In trying to find a new way that I could be memorable I realized that all of the men of the Parler family have absolutely fabulous facial hair. (Seriously). That was when I started to grow out my wild mustache and started waxing it out and showing up on set when I was working in media with it all done up. I quickly started becoming that guy.
After changing my photo on Twitter to a super quick shot that I took with my janky old flip phone ( yeah – I went there). I have use that same photo as a profile pic off and on for years now. Fast forward to 2009, I am still rocking the handle bar stache and I noticed an up tick in traffic from reddit and so I posted about it on twitter, as that for the last year and some months was the best polling station for the web. After an exchange with Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian my stache became kindof Internet famous when the Reddit alien sported my branded mustache for about 2 days.
If you want to be remembered, you have to be memorable.
My hope, is not for you to just emulate what I’ve done in growing out or do things to just stand out. My hope is that you find your voice. What makes you uniquely you and you do that 1000% more than ever before. Live out the things that you are. As an introvert I know that is often more easily said than done. Remember you have a voice, you have the opportunity to put your stamp on this world – when people think about you, what lasting memory will they hold? Branding in business is about identity, but when it comes to your personal brand, I feel that it is more about your attitude, your voice and what matters most to you. Make your mark!