We've all heard of branding, we're inundated with it every day whether we know it or not. You've got the really famous brands that immediately pop into your head such as Coca-Cola, Netflix, and Nike... you get the idea. These companies have a strong enough brand that hearing (or reading) each of their names immediately brings to mind their logo or product: their brands are that good.
It should then go without saying that your personal brand is actually very similar. Throughout your life and career, you're always interacting with people and each of those interactions no matter how small can play a vital role in building your brand whether you're aware of it or not.
Have you ever been out at a restaurant, and spotted someone being rude to a waiter? For me, that immediately contributes to a negative brand for this stranger that I don't even know. This particular example is actually known as “The Waiter Rule“, which suggests that how someone treats waiters and waitresses can reveal a lot about their personality, so maybe I'm not far wrong with this association.
On the contrary, being friendly and doing nice things for people is more likely to contribute to a more positive brand: did that person go out of their way to help someone? What does their tone of voice (or text message) say about them? How someone talks to others builds up a picture of who that person is, and the longer you interact with others the more of their personality and brand you begin to understand.
The inspiration for writing this blog came from a post from Steven Bartlett a few months back. The concept of an "invisible brand" just clicked, and since then when I'm speaking to or working with someone I like to consider this concept. I believe that your invisible brand directly correlates to how others respond to you. For example, if you've established a brand as someone who goes out of their way to help others then you're more likely to receive help when you need it.
I've always been a big proponent of kind engineering and putting people first. If you've taken the time to read this, then I hope if nothing else it strikes that awareness of invisible brands. Take time to reflect: What is my brand? Is that how I'd like to be perceived? If not, what can I do to improve my invisible brand?