“So, Nick…Where is your bow tie?”
We were just sitting down to dinner, two client team members and I, after a day of meetings.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you without a bow tie,” he said. “Where is your bow tie?”
I winced. “I didn’t feel good about wearing it to the meetings this afternoon, ” I said. “There were new executive team members in the room. I didn’t know how stuffy they might be. I just felt like I should wear a more traditional tie for this first meeting.”
He looked at me without moving for three v e r y long seconds.
“You’re telling me I should have worn a bow tie.”
He smiled and looked down at the table, then looked back to me.
“Well, I HAVE a bow tie in my case. It’s Kelly green….”
His eyebrows lifted a little. “I’m just saying… If that’s your brand, wear the tie.”
Our professional branding strategies can include a wide variety of elements – particular articles of clothing (I’ve got the bow ties covered… y’all think of something else), a product, our specific expertise, particular turns of phrase (e.g. “I will study the situation.”), a tag line, or association with particular places or activities, golf, for example. Whatever they are, repetition and consistency are critical. Over and over and over again.
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