Personal branding and the shirts you wear, you ask?

Recently I read a question from someone (can’t remember who) on Twitter asking if young


people put as much value in the logos or brands of their clothes as previous generations may have? I’m not sure if the question was geared toward children, but it got me thinking about my own personal preferences with clothes, in terms of logos and branding.

As I thought about it, I realized a lot of my decision making around what shirt I want to buy, depends on the brand making it. Lately I’ve come to prefer GAP clothing because the material of the clothes I pick up seems well put together and worth the price (usually on sale though!). For example, I don’t prefer American Eagle as much anymore because their clothing seems inferior with thin material and too many pieces have the logo spread across the shirt – not a fan.

How does this relate to personal branding?

As I’m setting myself out into the job market for the first time since finishing school, employers will be looking into my personal brand. How I present myself is important to see if I’m not only compatible for the position, but if I match up well with the other employees.

It’s all very similar to branding on clothes. If I’m broadcasting that I’m a social media savvy individual, but not active on social networks, then I’m like an American Eagle putting a huge logo on a shirt with no substance. It isn’t all about the flashy logo, but the material of the shirt. Just like your personal brand isn’t about who you claim to be but the actions you do to back it up.

It’s all about transparency

If you can see through your shirt, it’s likely not well made (especially when costing you an arm and leg). The same thing applies to one’s personal brand; if you can see through the rhetoric, and the person isn’t backing up their words with action, it’ll come back to bite you. Like Dan Schawbel says in the second of his three laws of personal branding:

Transparency: It’s better to be straightforward and honest, then lie, and have your actions work against you.

Do you prefer the shirts with the flashy logo displayed for everyone to see, or is it about the quality of the material that gets you to take it off the rack?