The best business branding starts with you.
Recently I’ve become addicted to an Instagram feed called Humans of NY. On their feed I spotted a profile of a professional dog walker who captured my imagination. For many small to medium sized enterprises the founder is closely associated with the branding of the business – and often times when they are not they should be. The founder – as the leader of the business and brand – projects an image that either reflects and enhances the proposition of their businesses brand, or works to the contrary. All business leaders need to clearly understand this personal/commercial brand relationship and should build a sharply focused and strategically directed personal brand as the foundation of their business brand.
This dog walker and the guy clearly understands the concept of personal brand. It might have been his thirteen years working in hospitality that gave him a finely tuned sense of how customer perceptions can be directed and enhanced, but either way, the Dog Walking Pied Piper of New York wears his personal brand like a pro. In the words of the Pied Piper; “… I knew I had to distinguish myself. So I decided to make a uniform. I smoked a joint and came up with this outfit. I wanted people to look at me and think; ‘If this man is walking our dog, and there’s some sort of major disaster, he’s going to survive. He’s going to fish for those dogs. He’s going to build a bunker and shelter those dogs until it’s safe to bring them home'”.
And as this natural brander points out, the ROI on his personal brand presentation and launch guerrilla marketing gesture was five customers on his first day. Brilliant!