01 Mar

Does Your Image Help or Harm Your Brand?

You may hold a high level job in a large organization, be an
innovative aspiring entrepreneur, or offer a high quality product or exceptional
service. But does you image deceive you and undermine your efforts and
reputation in the marketplace by contradicting your brand message?

They say you never get a second chance to make a great first
impression. Your prospects are continually making judgments about the
professionalism of you and your organization, and they reach those conclusions
within just a few short seconds. This means that your professional presence
needs to be consistent – day in and day out – and resonate with your brand.

The simple idea of first impressions being permanent can also
be a myth, because our impressions can and do continue to evolve and change. But
after a poor initial encounter it does take numerous positive encounters to
improve other people’s opinion of you – so it is always best to start off on
the right foot and continue to build on that great first image and impression.

It may not seem fair – but it is human nature. We do judge a
book by its cover. Why do you think that book publishers want to be sure the
covers of their books resonate with their readers? They are experts at knowing
that a book will never sell until someone opens it up and skims the story. Think
of movie trailers you see. They always show and emphasize the best features of the
motion picture, in hopes that you will stand in line to view their upcoming
film. It’s all about creating a strong first impression with the right kind of
image. Similarly, our professional image is judged every day as we interact
with peers, colleagues, our competition, and our potential prospects.

If you work for a large Fortune 500 firm, for example, you
must think about your personal brand image and how it represents and coincides
with the company brand. Your overall look needs to reflect the brand
attributes, the unique promise of value, and the core values of your

If you positively convey these brand messages you will
remain memorable in the minds of those who need your product or services. In
today’s difficult economic climate, having a powerful professional image can be
the edge and difference you need to survive these tumultuous times.

What does your consistent image say about your personal and
corporate brand? That may be a difficult question to ask of a trusted peer or
superior. Especially if the feedback they give is constructive it may be
difficult to hear and accept – but it is well worth investigating.

me on this. I receive numerous calls from large organizations where specific
people or teams need to polish up their image. They want me to facilitate the
difficult conversations that superiors don’t enjoy having to initiate with
their people. But if you take the initiative and ask the questions, your boss
will feel much more comfortable having this kind of conversation because you
have let him or her know that you are open to receiving some direct constructive

Do you want to use
this blog article?

You may, as long as
you include this complete bio with it:

Sarah Hathorn is a professional image
consultant, certified personal brand strategist, speaker, and author.

Her company, Illustra Image Consulting, works
with high-achieving future leaders and large businesses by enhancing their
corporate and personal brand image to take their businesses and careers to the
next level.

Blog, Ezine & Website: 

Copyright 2010, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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