Part 1 of 2: Getting Inspired and Getting Started
As we close out Women’s History Month, I’ve been thinking of all the iconic women in history (and today) who walk through the world with inimitable style, grace, and power. These women vary in their work, style, and lives, but they all have one thing in common: a defined personal brand. From Michelle Obama to Jane Goodall, Taylor Swift to Madonna, and Frida Kahlo to Katharine Hepburn, the women we admire most are easily recognizable for their poise and their unique personal brands.
So, let’s talk about how to show the world who you are and define your personal brand. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, mompreneur, teacher, executive chef, C-suite executive, artist, community leader, or anything in between, having a defined personal brand can help you better navigate the world. But your brand isn’t just the clothes you wear or the words you use to describe yourself. It’s the essence you exude when you walk into a room. It’s what people remember about you, and it should employ all five senses...including scent! That’s why choosing a signature scent is so important to building your personal brand. Let’s walk through a few simple tips to get started.
Getting started: Define your personal brand in a few steps
In my life before Urthy, I was (and still am) a brand expert. I spent 20 years helping businesses develop their brands, and I learned that a lot of the work that corporations put into building their brands can apply to personal branding (with a few tweaks).
Basically, when a business rebrands or defines its brand for the first time, the process often looks like this:
- Conduct market research.
- Select your brand's personality.
- Choose your brand name and/or slogan.
- Create a unique value proposition.
- Apply the new brand across all business communications.
I like to use variations on these steps to help people build their own personal brand:
Get inspired by the women you admire. Take some time to look through your Instagram feed and your favorite Pinterest boards. You can start with your friends, family, coworkers, personalities and any women that you admire, but don’t limit yourself to just one person. Find a few things from each that you love so you can create your own unique brand style...a formula that is all you.
- Choose the focus for your personal brand. Make a quick mental list of some of the things you love most about the women and images you chose for your inspiration. What do they have in common? Usually, you’ll find that your inspirations share similar characteristics, which generally fall into one of twelve basic archetypes.
Archetypes aren’t a new concept. Psychologists have been working with them for decades, and the study of archetypes dates back as far as ancient Greece. Basically, the idea is that people are emotional beings, driven by desires. And, as such, our personalities fall into 12 archetypes, based on 12 basic human desires. Essentially every successful brand you can think of is based in a personality archetype, and you can use them to create yours. The 12 archetypes are:
- The Innocent: Brings a sense of safety, warmth, and trust
- The Sage: Wise and knowledgeable, a go-to for good advice
- The Explorer: Carefree and open, adventurous
- The Outlaw: A revolutionary who’s not afraid to break the rules
- The Magician: Makes dreams come true, a force for transformation
- The Hero: Overcomes extraordinary odds to accomplish great things
- The Lover: Brings people together in love, passion, and care
- The Jester: Joyful, entertaining, funny, and always the life of the party
- The Everyman: Gives everyone a sense of belonging and equality
- The Caregiver: Cares for others and listens with an open heart
- The Ruler: Displays exemplary self-control, always knows what to do in difficult situations
- The Creator: Innovative and creative, bringing new life and works into the world
I find it best to pick 2 or 3 archetypes that resonate with you and your personality. That way you can create a mash-up.
Name your personal brand. Consider the 12 archetypes, and as you do, brainstorm a few words, thoughts, and/or feelings that come to mind when you see pictures of your favorite outfits, glasses, accessories, clothes, wellness regimens, etc. Make a mash-up of your favorite archetype with the words and phrases that pop into your head. Use these ideas to name your personal brand. Your brand name doesn’t have to sound like a company name, and it should describe the look, feel, and style that you want to convey. You could keep it simple with something like “elegant caregiver” or get just a little more specific with something like “fashion-forward outlaw mom.” You could also go with a more descriptive option like “modern and minimal sage with a side of sass,” or you could really embrace the mash-up idea with something like “Explorer Tina Fey with a dash of Rihanna’s attitude.” There's no wrong answer. Just have fun with it!
Create your own unique value proposition. In the sales world, a unique value proposition (UVP) is a statement that clearly expresses a company’s main selling points and what makes it stand out. Writing one for your personal brand is a great way to solidify your brand identity for yourself. What sets you apart? What do you bring to the table? How do you want the world to see you? This doesn’t have to take you very long, but putting your intention into creating your UVP will help you create your personal style direction.
- Apply your personal brand to your everyday life. This is the part where you choose your signature scent (more on that later), the apparel and accessories that best express your personality, the confident smile and poised gait that show the world who you are, and so much more.
Okay, yes…this can be a lot of work, so I’m actually here if you need some inspiration and help. You can check out my personal branding Pinterest board to see some of the people, outfits, moods, and scents that inspire me on a daily basis. While you’re looking, feel free to add me to your personal brand Pinterest board or email me if you have questions about personal branding. For now, let’s talk about scent and how it can help you express yourself and your personal brand the moment you walk in a room.
Your brand is more than just how you dress. It’s how you present yourself to the world, and that means it must embody all five senses. Multiple studies have shown the power of scent. As far back as 2007, researchers published an article in The Journal of Marketing Society on the importance of defining brands through scent. In their work, they found that up to 75% of our emotions are generated by smell! And, according to Scientific American, in 2013, researchers found that olfactory (smell) stimuli caused more brain activity than visual stimuli.
In other words, scent matters! And you should definitely use it as you build your personal brand. Choose a scent that evokes the emotions and images that you most want to be associated with. But how? Stay tuned for part two of this blog series! In it, I’ll go into detail (without getting too nerdy or technical) about different scent notes and how to choose the right one to fit your personal brand.
Until then, check out Urthy’s selection of fine fragrances, home provisions, and candles today! And, for more inspiration on building your brand and choosing incredible fragrances, follow Urthy Scents on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Facebook. And stay tuned here for more fun and educational articles to help you express yourself to the fullest!
Till next time ~Jen