My first-hand experience of this relates to hair colour. I am one of those women who will routinely change their hair colour. There are a number of reasons why I love to do this, which I’ll save for a therapy session some other time, but basically, I love to change things up a little and I love colour.
I began to notice people treated me differently according to whether I was sporting a Debbie Harry, bleach blonde look or my brooding Chrissy (Amphlett or Hynde, whichever you prefer) look. Nowadays, I sit somewhere in the middle, and closer to what many (myself included) believe is the ‘real’ me, with my copper coiffure. The point being, I was treated different, regardless of the fact my personality hadn’t changed. My abilities hadn’t washed down the hairdresser’s sink. It was still the same old me.
As I observed the changes in others around me I realised that many were simply shocked that I had the guts to make such radical changes to my look, and I quite enjoyed the feeling I could surprise people. There’s nothing wrong with shaking people gently if they have a long held belief about something. I have fun with the copper because people tend to treat you with a healthy respect. You never know when I’m going to turn a bit feisty eh? A redhead with a Scottish accent? Look out. Seriously, though, we do make great sweeping assumptions based on a person’s look. If you’re interested to read further, Forbes wrote an interesting article a couple of years back, which studies the effects looks (first impressions) have on your career and it makes interesting reading. You can read ‘You are judged by your appearance’ here.
We do like to label things, don’t we? We like to file people and objects into safe categories for handy reference. There is a host of biological and sociological reasons why human beings seek people who mirror us on qualities we appreciate. A person’s look is the first thing we ‘perceive’ about them. Of course, the lines between this and stereotypes are fuzzy but then stereotypes have also been described as a quick filing method but that’s not to say we shouldn’t be open to reshuffling from time to time.
It’s probably one of the reasons why I love branding so much. The whole psychological aspect of why particular brands resonate with is ultimately based on our perception.
Take my business cards for example. They are vibrant, they are pretty and they are pink! Not typical corporate you may say. Precisely, I say.
On the reverse, you’ll see a splash of acrylic colours. These colours represent (a) my love of colour, so it says something personal about me, (b) colour represent the love and passion I have for my job (helping you find your voice), (c) the colours represent the scalability of my offering and the ability to provide an end-to-end solution. It doesn’t matter if you need a 200-word blog on the latest nail polish (pink), or an extensive, technically-charged White Paper on the latest stats about our consumption of energy (green), (d) the colours are not boring. This represents the consultancy’s aim to bring even the driest of subjects come to life. Besides, who says Corporate must be Blue or Grey or Black? It’s about knowing what effect you want to create, the people you want to reach, and knowing when to turn up the colour, and when to tone it down a shade.
It’s an exciting and refreshing time to be in business. In the 21st Century, new brands have emerged. Brands that enable us to do things – things that enable action. They are aimed at people to encourage them to participate. The success of these brands is based on the quality of experience rather than just ‘quality’ of the product (which should, of course, be a given). Brands are no longer just about a logo or a tagline, instead, they are more about ‘Purpose,’ ‘Role,’ and ‘Experience’. Branding is about creating patterns, not just repeating messages.
So enjoy my pretty patterns on my business cards, and get in touch with McRae Communications Consultancy, because we’re about to provide you with that positive experience you’ve been looking for, and we promise to inject your communications with a sense of purpose!
And remember, if Orange is the new Black, then there is no reason at all why Pink can’t be the new Corporate! ‘mon the revolution.