The power of self branding became a whole lot more contentious recently when Donald Trump threw his hat into the ring, accepting nomination for the USA presidential race to the White House for 2016.
Australians have their own experience with just how scathing the media can be regarding their bias when it comes to women and their obsession of what they wear. At times it seems we knew more about former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s changing hairstyles rather the substance of some very brave political policies.
Should it come down to Hilary Rodham Clinton Vs Donald Trump perhaps the style wars will gain a slightly more even playing field because the truth is that Donald and his hairstyle is the cause of media obsession at times.
The power of style and self branding plays an ever increasing role not just with our own and international political leaders but for all of us. What tips can we take home to keep front and center strategies when it comes to the power of fashion?
Here are my 6 tips to maximise your own brand power…
1. Update but don’t alienate
If we have a look at Hillary Rodham Clinton’s changing hairstyles overall there has been, to a point, a consistency with various contoured bobs, flips and fringes. During her tenure as The US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton seemed to go out of her comfort zone when it came to her hair styling. Her length gave out a very different image. More staid and seemingly less fluid. It lost the signature “ zap “ that shorter bobs in the past conveyed.
Upon her exit for a period returning to accept her second nominated run for the office of President, it took Oscar De La Renta to alert Hillary that her style, particularly with her hair, needed an update.
Taking her signature bob and pant suit power portfolio, she returned with a short sassy fuller bob and pant suits with more defined cut and colour blocking punch.
Consistency in style is as good as is a refining touch if you want to keep an image that you have taken years to portray. Of course, if your goal is to send out a major message of change of attitude, then a definite departure rather than a meek departure is vital.
2. Make a stand but don’t stand alone
Having a sense of confidence and portraying what you feel to be real for yourself is important in the overall image that you are portraying on a day to day basis,
There is as big difference between having conviction with what you feel is your look and image and being so closed off that you you are unable to be flexible and response.
Case in point, Donald’s hair. We know Donald Trump has thick skin but his must be made out of armour plated brass. The chorus of intrigue, comic relief, mountains of online photo galleries shows us that perhaps the Donald needs to take in the fact that people simply don’t get his hair.
The point here is it indicates a complete lack of flexibility and illustrates that it is his way or the highway which is an issue for a President dealing with diplomacy worldwide, daily. Donald Trump has gone to great lengths to prove his hair is real, but the truth is, in the game of Style Wars, this is a fail.
Choice of colour relative to your profession can pay big dividends when it comes to peoples perceptions of you and the delivery of your strength, inspiration and respect. Australia’s former Governor General Quenton Bryce played the colour power game with stunning and striking success, flying slightly in the face of convention, Quenton Bryce courted unexpected bright hues to indicate that the representative of the Queen, albeit traditional was very much a modern and contemporary figure.
Utilising colour in expectation reverse can work brilliantly when done with fine execution, for example, style queen Victoria Beckham is a creative and highly successful entrepreneur, her use of dark, classic colours sends out a message not only that she is classic but that there is a very grounded and non frivolous side of her that basically evolved from being Posh Spice to being a multimillion dollar designer
4. Suits that suit
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating set our Prime Ministers apart by using dashing, well fit European styling in classic with a contemporary twist suits. Supporting his reform approach to politics, Paul Keating understood better than other Australian leaders that we have had presently or in the past that refinement is not a signal or weakness but rather of well thought through strategy. Hilary Clinton has hung dearly to her pantsuit passion declaring herself a pant suit aficionado comparing her less thought through choices in the past, or what appeared to be less thought through has become a much more thought about, colour blocking and contoured fit in her tailoring.
Taking what people may not understand and making it your own specific style hero is a very good strategy as long as you are listening along the way when it doesn’t quite hit the mark.
5. Avoid the cliche costume syndrome
Perhaps in the 1980’s padded everything was the way to go and past generations were far more stringent, formula based and template attitude orientated in their attitude especially in the corporate world, former British Prime Minister Margret Thatcher personified style simplicity, reliability and consistency to the level that she became a caricature of herself in many ways, she was definitely a leader in a sea of tumultuous times and that generation supported and expected conformity and consistency without much wriggle room at all.
Having a signature look that you know is you and that you own is taking the power of power dressing and understanding its strength however throwing in unexpected colour from time to time, shapes and silhouettes is not dissimilar to having an elaborate meal and cleansing the palette with sorbet. Keep your look strong and convey your strength with the unexpected from time to time which is still within the realm of your style.
6. Brand Messaging
America’s First Lady Michelle Obama is the perfect example of the strength that style selection makes in overall image and passion for various causes, the first inaugural dress wore by Michelle Obama was striking not just in its shape, texture, colour and fit but because she chose a veritably unknown up and coming American designer.
Choosing style to make a statement can include frugality, as a conscientious effort to be responsible for the planet and society, British royal Kate Middleton has made a statement in style that is not just striking and classic but also makes a conscientious point of doing the almost unthinkable by rewiring very identifiable items of clothing again, this brought with it a tremendous respect and inspiration to others.
How do you maximise your own brand power? Tell us your tips below…