Careers: Taking Personal Branding to the Road

Someone was complaining to me the other day about his boss, a high level apparel executive, who never takes time to visit a customer. The boss’ world has become his desk and computer.


Which made me think that while everyone talks today about how the Internet has expanded our world, in some ways ironically it has made it smaller.

Given the ease of emailing, text messaging, webinaring, teleseminaring and ecommercing, we’re taking less and less time to hit the road and viscerally connect with customers and prospects.

If you’re like me you believe in the dictum of “listening to the customer.” But are we truly listening from the confines of our offices? There’s an excellent article with the wonderful title, “See for Yourself,” in the fall issue of Strategy and Business, that makes the point for firsthand observation with this pithy quote:

“What exercise is to weight loss, firsthand observation is to corporate success.”

The article argues that executives and companies that have a culture of face-to-face interactions have a superior mindset. The authors Tim Laseter and Larry Laseter write:

“Embracing firsthand observation as an integral part of your personal management style and embedding it in a company’s culture can break the fad cycle…and produce enduring results rather than just temporary improvement.”

You need to continually refreshen your personal brand by staying on the frontlines of your customers and prospects. Otherwise your brand will develop a musty, academic smell that has as much value as yesterday’s leftovers.

What are doing to keep your brand fresh?

Wendy Marx • Public Relations/Marketing Communications • President, Marx Communications, Inc. •

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