Monday, February 10, 2020

What's Your Personal Brand?

What do the logos you wear say about you? 

Recently I blogged about author brands. We all have our personal "brand identity" as well. What does that say about you?

I’m not a big fan of wearing company logos on my clothes. I feel like if you want me to advertise your brand for you, you ought to pay me.

My students feel differently. As I walk across the campus I’m assaulted by logos from PINK, Aeropostale, and Hollister, among others.

From my studies in marketing and advertising, I assume it’s because they want to feel associated with the brand and what it stands for.

Sometimes, though, I’m baffled. I have an elderly neighbor who walks religiously up and down our street, and I often run into him when I’m out walking the dogs. One of his T-shirts has a huge K-Mart logo on it.

Really? That’s the brand you want to be associated with?

Then there was the guy I observed while I was waiting for my husband’s cataract follow up appointment. He wore a Versace polo shirt with a bright green underlying the company’s traditional baroque twists and turns of gold. He had a round-faced watch in a matching green, the same color as his webbed belt and the socks sticking out of his white Versace sneakers. He had a hard face, one that had seen trouble and was completely at odds with the bright colors of his outfit. The only thing that wasn’t Versace were his white shorts, with the RL Polo logo perched on his fine ass.

I figured out that he was there with his father, for an eye appointment. He didn’t necessarily look gay, from his face to his short hair to his generally straight presentation. But really, would a straight man coordinate his outfit so carefully, down to matching the face of his watch and his socks?

I’m not saying my clothes are totally brandless. I am an outlet and Marshall’s shopper and if I find a polo shirt that fits well and is a bargain, I won’t care if it has a little polo pony on the breast, or the Margaritaville logo. My jeans come from LL Bean, and my shoes are usually Crocs. My T-shirts are usually dog-related gifts or souvenirs of places I’ve visited, and even the one Armani Exchange T-shirt in my closet was a freebie given out when a new store opened on South Beach.

So I guess you could construct a fictional character based on your observation of me. How about you? Do you wear brands or observe people who do? If you’re a writer, do you use brands to identify your characters?

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