Are you inspired by your wardrobe? Are others confused by what you stand for? Are you visually consistent in every part of your life?
Dressing the part is an enormous part of your brand. What you stand for is reflected in everything you do, say, wear, and project to the outside world. It's more than marketing: it's knowing thyself and screaming it on loudspeaker.
When I moved back to the states after a period of living and working in Europe, I hustled like crazy, was working nonstop and took evening courses for one year with Genevieve Williams. A former professor at the School of Visual Arts and art director of The New York Times and Rolling Stone, studying with her was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
She taught me a very important message: to dress the part.
While projecting my work on the wall, she asked me to stand up next to it. It's as if a giant flashlight was being pointed directly on me. "This isn't you," she continued. "You don't wear any of these colors. You don't say this with your look. Where is Tündi? You look nothing like this."
What she was basically saying was that my work wasn't representing me. Dang, I thought to myself, she's right. The colors were all over the place, the work looked cartoonish and overly macho. It was then that I thought carefully about what I visually stood for and overhauled my closet. My wardrobe was only one part of the equation but an incredibly important one.
Your brand is the way the world sees you. The colors, textures, the style you're inspired by, down to every choice you make needs to align with who you are. Your business represents a very specific set of core values. Are you chic? Rebellious? Which designers do you love? Reflect those back into your brand. Visually, everything around you needs to reflect your tastes with unbelievable clarity and focus.
Some ideas to refine your style:
'Pin' your favorite looks and hold it up against your wardrobe, current website, mobile site, apartment decor, business inventory, and anything you've produced for your business or clients. Find small elements to wrap into your style.
A great place to wrangle in your visual aspirations. Take cues from images you're inspired by and put those elements (light, color, texture) into your wardrobe and surroundings.
- YOUR IDOLS
Look at the people who inspire you: masters of their craft, musicians, celebrities, friends or anyone whom you can't get enough of. What characteristics do those people possess? Now try to bring out those emotions every time you get dressed in the morning. Surround yourself with things that remind of you of feelings brought up from your idols. Infuse these into every aspect of your brand and business.
Now I'd love to hear about you. Have you ever experienced visual inconsistency with your brand? What did you do to align your look?
PS: If you know anyone who is having a hard time reflecting their passions and visions into their life, please share this blog post.