Personal Brand

Personal Branding: Brand of a Nation

I have often written about our own individual authentic personal brand, but while on holiday recently, it got me thinking about the brand of a nation.  We met a lovely couple on a boat trip around the Turkish coastline and we spent the day together.  As you do, we started to chat and find out about each other.  They were from Chile and he had travelled extensively with his work and had even been to Warwick University just down the road from us – what a small world.  His wife had never been to the UK, so her perception of us was from TV, newspapers and meeting Brits abroad.

My heart sank, I knew what was coming next.  She either had us down as one of two extremes.  Her experience was either aristocracy, such as the royal family or lager louts on tour!  She said that Brits abroad have lots of tattoos, wear short skirts, get drunk and are very loud!  Her husband, having spent time in the UK realised that there were many different characters and socio-economic groupings.  He understood the subtlety of different parts of the country, different accents and different occupations.

Royal Family Wayne and Waynetta

I do hope our day together changed her opinion somewhat.  I wonder what your view is?  How could we re-brand our nation and how would you want it to be?

Chemistry, Classic Cars, Fashion, Jodie Kidd, Personal Brand, Quentin Wilson, The Classic Car Show

Chemistry: Classic Cars and Fashion

The picture says it all – chemistry, what chetheclassiccarshowmistry?  Rapport is so important in communication, and never more so than in TV presenting.  There is an awkwardness between Jodie and Quentin – they talk over each other and haven’t quite yet found their groove.  It’s a good show – The Classic Car Show, so I hope they get more comfortable with each other as the series progresses.  Jodie seems to be dressed for the night club, rather than chatting about cars – the stylist needs to have a dressing down(!)  Quentin is a highly successful motoring journalist of 30 years and a real authority on classic cars, yet he looks like he is selling photocopiers! His plain suit and tie-less shirt looks reminiscent of a corporate drone.  There is no individuality.  He is a presenter, writer and political campaigner and his unoriginal and slightly ill-fitting suit is not telling me any of that.  There is such a synergy between cars and fashion – you only have to look at Goodwood Revival to see the link, but they seem to have got it completely wrong and it is just not working for me.

Cars are as much about personal brand as any other accessory. Granted, it is quite a pricey accessory, but it is an indication of one’s station in life.  Too flash and your clients think that they are paying you too much and too old and rusty and they think you are in trouble.  I was once interviewed on BBC Breakfast, talking about the link between cars and personal brand.  Apparently people were punching above their weight by hiring cars to go to interviews.  I’d have thought it was more a sign of the times – people loosing jobs and hiring cars until they land their next role.  As with any statistics, the numbers can be read and interpreted in any which way you like.

So why do I care?  Well, along with being quite a girly girl, once upon a time I was a real tomboy.  I have lost the fascination for tree climbing and motorbikes, but still love cars, and being married to a petrol head has only fuelled that fire (I do love a good pun too!)  We have had many classic cars over the years and I currently drive a Fiat 500, which I love for it’s vintage feel, it’s cheeky design and of course, being an ex-accountant, it’s fuel economy!

So come on Jodie and Quentin, I really want this programme to be great – right now, it’s a bit lukewarm and I hope that it gets better.  Less of the high fashion Jodie, more appropriate are the jeans and t-shirts worn in the location shots.  I hope they become a little more natural and Quentin gets out of the stiff suits and looks more like the confident professional he really is.

Have you seen it?  What do you think?

Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions  Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Director of Regional Events at FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke image training or one-to-one coaching.  First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK – to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map. Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038 Email: Website: