Are civic leaders brands?
You’re not Nike or Facebook. Mayors are not brands.
I used to think like that. Then I meet David Avirin. David is American. David is a successful marketing expert. David thinks civic leaders are brands. At least he would if he’d heard of them.
It’s all in the mind
David would say it is impossible for them not to be brands. He says that a brand is simply the sum total of what people think about something. Whether you like it or not people think about you. The impression of you is your brand.
It doesn’t matter if you think you are above these things. Your role is a brand.
It’s about everything
Whenever you create an impression in people’s minds then you are affecting your brand.
Let me demonstrate: Here’s a photo of a mayor. It creates a brand around that role. It says traditional. It says formal. It says establishment.
Here’s another photo of a mayor. It creates a brand around the role. It says modern. It says informal. It says something completely different.
The same person creating a different impression just by a different way to dress. Everything you do creates an impression. The sum total of those impressions is your brand.
Time to get branding
Your role’s a brand, you affect it. It’s time to think about what you want it to be. Click To Tweet
Get specific about it
Let’s consider the brand you portray. Ask yourself these questions:
- What does your attitude say about your brand? Are you friendly and relaxed or formal and aloof?
- What do your clothes say about you? Do they make you seem up to date, down to earth or from a bygone era?
- How do your speeches come across? Are they light and humorous or serious and ponderous?
But more importantly do these things add up to create an overall impression? And are they consistent? Making funny speeches while wearing a morning suit probably doesn’t work.
It’s in everything you do
The impression people get from you is in everything you do. Consider things aside from the impression you create when you meet people.
- Is the tone in your letters and emails the same as when you meet people face to face?
- Do you have a different persona when you’re in the media or do you strive to be yourself?
- What about social media? Will we meet a different version of you on Facebook? Are you consistent across everything you do?
How about your office?
When your office communicates on your behalf it adds something to your brand.
- Is the experience consistent? Do you communicate the same way to your office?
- Do your stationary and website portray the image of the role that you do?
- Are you doing one thing and your office doing something else?
It’s not always easy, but is there a way you can make sure that you’re all looking to portray the same image?
Build the brand
Branding is not something that is at the forefront of your mind. But it’s worth thinking about. It’s important to have a clear idea in your head. Because if you’re not clear then no one else will be.
Think about how you want people to think of the role. Try to get as much of what you can control working towards creating that image.
You are going to make an impression. You might as well make the right one.