Personal Branding With Your True Colors
Wait a minute. Do the colors associated with you and your personal brand really matter all that much?
Colors can be the greatest emotion-generating elements of your brand identity. They can help people connect attributes with your brand promise and amplify your memorability.
You are the CEO of your own company of one - Brand You.
Take advantage of the recognition power of using your own signature colors in:
- Your career documents (resume, biography, etc.)
- Business cards
- Online profiles (such as Twitter) that allow color choices for font and background
- Your blog or website
Along with building visibility and credibility for your subject matter expertise, having your own website or blogsite affords the ability to display your brand colors. You can even use your signature colors in the clothes you wear.
I chose my brand colors when I launched a new blogsite and re-branded 2 existing blogs. The selection was easy - amethyst purple with grassy green as an accent color.
People who know me best associate me with purple. It's always been my favorite color to wear and one that looks best on me. I've been using purple for years in my business marketing materials.
I'm a lifelong organic gardener and environmentally-sensible. My early career included a 10-year stint managing my start-up organic garden center specializing in exotic herb and vegetable plants. Green matches my green thumb and environmental sensitivities.
I later realized that purple and green are FedEx's colors, so I think I'm on the right track.
Choosing colors and using the same colors across communications channels helps you embrace the 3 C's of Personal Branding - clarity, consistency, constancy. To learn more, see my article "Does Your Personal Brand Pass the 3 C's Test?"
What's interesting is that often your favorite colors fit your personal brand, so start your selection process by thinking about the colors that you gravitate towards.
To help you determine the appropriate colors for you, here's a list of colors, with the attributes we most associate with each one followed by some companies that use them, from William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson's "Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand:
Attributes - credibility, trust, authority, loyalty, fiscal responsibility, confidence, security
Brands using blue - IBM, Ford, Nokia, WalMart
Attributes - environmentally-friendly, fresh, natural, calming, healing, tranquility, wealth (the color of money)
Brands using green - Starbucks, The Body Shop, Garnier Fructis.
Attributes - excitement, risk, heat, desire, courage, power, energy, passion, strength, danger, aggressiveness
Brands using red - Coke, Adobe, Target, HSBC
Attributes - luxury, mystery, royalty, wealth, sophistication, spirituality
Brands using purple - Federal Express, Sofitel Hotels, The Church of England.
Attributes - bright, happiness, warmth, positive, visionary, future-oriented
Brands using yellow - DHL, Lotus Software, Hertz, McDonald's.
Attributes - vibrancy, warmth, contentment, pleasure, endurance, generosity, strength, productivity
Brands using orange - Hugo Boss, Home Depot.
Also check out Color Matters, an excellent resource for color symbolism and emotions.
Just one piece in your personal brand communications plan, the colors associated with you - online and in person - make an immediate and lasting impression, and can influence people to hire you or do business with you. © Copyright Meg Guiseppi, 2010. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
About this author...
Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt's Personal Branding Expert and 20-year careers industry veteran, holds 7 certifications, including Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Reach Certified Online Identity Strategist, and Master Resume Writer. Meg is the author of the ebook, "23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land." Connect with Meg at Executive Career Brand, on LinkedIn (LinkedIn.com/in/megguiseppi), and on Twitter (@megguiseppi).