Branding vs. The Temptation To Conform

Dannielle Blumenthal PhD Communications Director, Government Agency - All Opinions Are My Own

Posted on February 2nd 2012

Branding vs. The Temptation To Conform

When you work in D.C. it seems like everyone naturally dresses in tan, navy and black.

New York they all wear black.

Miami it's surprising when people wear anything.

Even within metropolitan areas there are codes.

Nike+ chip on Vibram FiveFingers BikilaImage by soopahgrover via Flickr

The kids at University of Maryland dress different than at George Washington University. But within each setting you can tell who fits in.

Similarly the people walking on
Georgetown have a totally different look than at Adams-Morgan.

All I have to do is look down at the shoes and I know where each chicken goes home to roost.

Professionally, your brand is all you have. And if you look like everybody else, you are killing your ability to make your mark.

What distinguishes the brand-smart from the brand-stupid is that the former take conformity into account before deciding to "think different."

In a sense, the nonconformist must be an expert on fitting in - a student of grammar - before s/he decides to misspell words purposely.

To the untutored it looks like a teenage boy in pink Nikes is an oddball. To the fashion insider it is clear such an outfit is ultimately cool.

Whether you fit in or not is up to you. But at the very least, know how to play the game.

Have a good evening everyone, and good luck!


Dannielle Blumenthal PhD

Communications Director, Government Agency - All Opinions Are My Own

Dr. Blumenthal specializes in the use of branding to solve an organization's business problems. The recipient of numerous agency and industry awards for excellence, she sees communication as primarily a cultural issue and only secondarily a matter of presentation. Her metrics for success include higher-than average turnaround times, customer satisfaction, and quality. She enjoys thinking outside the box, breaking through stovepipes and stereotypes about what can and can't be done, and ultimately aims at transforming the organization to reach its highest potential. Her work has been featured at The Customer Collective, Brazen Careerist, Personal Branding TV,, Governing People, and more. A writer and lecturer in the field of branding, she has authored dozens of publications, most recently Beyond Brand Transparency (2011). All opinions are her own.

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