When the late Steve Jobs would show up anywhere to speak, or even work, for that matter, you could guess what he’d be wearing: a black turtleneck and jeans. Every time. It was his go-to wardrobe for years. Why is this worth mentioning? Besides the fact that black symbolizes elegance and power in color psychology, also, this clothing style and choice were clean, minimalistic, simple.
Whether intentional or not, his personal style matched his company Ethos with exact precision. His love of simplicity in design fueled his clothing selection and of course fueled one of the most successful companies of modern times, Apple Inc. The products were also sleek, with a minimalistic design.
Apple branding and design aligned with Jobs’s personal style. And that match contributed to the company’s compelling brand story.
Do you have a personal style? Does it match and enhance your brand strategy?
We delved into personal style in the branding articles that were part of the Level Up series. Here are a few links in case you missed those: Personal Branding Tips for Leaders; Dressing the Part & Leveling Up Your Personal Style. These principles work for both business and personal brands.
This article is part of the Color Concepts series. In this series, we share color psychology tips to help you build a strong, compelling brand. Today, we’ll focus on color selection as it relates to your personal style.
Why does personal style matter?
The most effective branding strategy you can use is building a professional presence. It’s how you resonate with your audience. People are attracted to people they resonate with. Resonance and connection are what turn your audience from lookers into buyers, subscribers, and fans who raved about your offers.
Your personal style is just one element of building your professional presence. Personal style is part of the visual aspect of your branding. Your wardrobe speaks volumes about you before you even open your mouth.
What is yours saying?
It’s an opportunity to set the tone and vibe with the clients and customers you engage with, potential and current.
As mentioned above, Steve Jobs chose a black turtleneck. The color of the turtleneck may seem minor, but it matters because color is a distinguisher. It helps people differentiate you from others in the marketplace.
Your goal is always to stand out, get noticed, be remembered. This isn’t about being outlandish in your color choice. Rather, it’s about choosing a color palette that represents your brand. When you do this, your target audience will be able to pick you out of the crowd.
So, let’s dive into how you chose the right colors for your personal style.
Choosing the right colors for your personal brand
Know your customers and clients. Step one of all branding efforts is always about knowing your patrons; the people you’re communicating with. What’s their demographic? What do they align with? What are they expecting from you?
Consider your brand colors. Your personal style color scheme does not have to be an exact match to your brand colors, but it does need to align with it. For example, if your brand colors are elegant and luxurious, it would be a mismatch if your personal style color scheme was mostly fun and playful.
What’s your brand persona? Branding archetypes – or personas – are a fantastic model to follow when creating your brand. They help you establish a connection with your audience and they also help you to narrow down a color scheme that matches your brand.
What colors do you feel (and look) best in? Remember the Steve Jobs example? A black turtleneck and jeans worked well for him, but that doesn’t mean it would work for you, even if it matched your brand persona and visuals. You have to think about what you’d feel most confident in. What colors bring out your best features?
Take note of the traits described and which ones may be a match for your business and personality. You may have to start with a number of choices, and then narrow down to a few. You also may need to take time with this, trying different pieces of clothing over a period of time. The time and energy you put into this will lead you to a personal style that screams confidence and is in alignment with your brand.