Image is Everything

HOW MARKETING HAS GOT UNDER OUR SKIN | More Intelligent Life.

This is a really interesting article about how we are in the hey-day of “personal branding”.  No, not like a the cows.  It is obvious in most of the industries in the country that image really is everything.  People are judgy and bitchy.  If you are a public figure, everything you wear, say, do, will be blogged about, photographed, and of course publicly commented upon.  I’m sure I’ve done it with this blog.  I’m normal, sue me.

But now there is a trend of personal branding and image consultants for the regular people:  average everyday mid-level executive, the kid coming out of college, a random person on the street.  It’s kind of bizarre really.  You can (expensively, mind you) hire a consultant to tell you how to have a better “online image’ – i.e. they’ll write your facebook profile and tell you how to send out tweets that represent you well in whatever light or image you’re going for.  (?!?).   You can hire someone to make you appear more cultured.  To teach you how to be whoever you want to be.  It’s not enough to be yourself in this day and age apparently.   You have to be more, better.

Really, what all this says to me is that we are not different than any other product on the market.  We have to look snazzy and shiny and appealing to get whatever it is we’re looking for.  We have to sell ourselves.  I mean, this isn’t anything new (nor, as it turns out, based on this article, is the whole concept of personal image branding and consulting), but it just seems so weird to me that you can hire someone to tell you what art shows to see, what movies to watch, or what books to read.  It seems like you’re just becoming a clone of what that consultant wants, along with all of the rest of their clients molding themselves to turn out the same.  If you’ve seen Weeds (see old post on how I heart Weeds), the beginning song and credit talks about all the people living in their little boxes, going to the university, and coming out all the same.  Seems like this is where this is going.  Does we not value individuality anymore?  By individuality, mind you, I mean the organic kind, the kind that is real, the kind that you don’t have to hire a consultant to obtain.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Image is Everything

  1. A.J.

    I miss that song! Also I’m not sold on the “personal branding” expert, but a key point a few discuss is authenticity (just like in sales, dating, and networking). Authenticity leads to accessibility, which leads to page views.

    The key, the hope, is to know yourself SOMEWHAT before you chose to use one of these consultants. Or get a consultant who truly knows how to promote the best of you.

    Otherwise you’re right, you’ll come off as a clone, which won’t increase page views.

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