Everything Communicates

In a previous post here I wrote about the “Brand You” topic. Since it’s high school graduation season, and having survived our fourth and youngest son’s graduation last Saturday, I thought it appropriate to explore the theme a little more this week. Consider it an extended graduation speech, if you will.

“Everything Communicates” is the fundamental message of Tom Peters’ Fast Company magazine classic, “The Brand Called You.” Companies, products, and services aren’t the only things that get branded: we are all brands. In an economy of knowledge workers and free agents, project-based employment and team-based activities, we have to decide what our brand stands for.

Each of us is a brand, and every choice we make communicates what our brand stands for. Alan Webber, co-founder of Fast Company magazine and author of the great book “Rules of Thumb” lists some of the ways we communicate – even when we don’t realize it:

  • Your business card communicates – from the shape and size to the choice of title and font, you’re sending a message that often speaks louder than the card.
  • Your personal practices communicate – do you have a personal practice that sets you apart?
  • Your web site, blog, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. communicate – because design is so immediate, your digital communication often speaks louder and more frequent that what you intended it to say.
  • Your office communicates – from the front door to the furniture, the spaces we design and occupy tell a lot about us.
  • How you communicate communicates – your brand is a lot more valuable if you can talk business using real English, not the latest buzzwords or insider jargon.

First, figure out your personal brand. Then remember that everything you do – and don’t do – communicates it.


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