How Your Car Can Affect Your Personal Branding

By Brian Wallace

July 5, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

personal branding

We all have a personal brand. If you think you don’t, you should probably look further into it. How you present yourself on a regular basis becomes your personal brand, like it or not. If you dress like a slob and drive a dented old rust bucket, there’s a good chance people are going to think you aren’t all that serious about your personal brand.

We all like to believe that personal appearances don’t matter, but they matter more than you can imagine. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes, so you have to pay close attention to how you are presenting yourself to the world.

Celebrities Have A Lock On Personal Branding

When you see photos of Paris Hilton in public, you’ll notice that she’s always put together. Her hair is done and her makeup looks flawless even if she’s just going to the store to pick up dog food. She knows that she will be photographed wherever she goes and that people will critique her personal appearance, so she drives around in a powder pink Bentley.

What you drive says a lot about who you are as a person.

For Hilton, her luxury ride conveys her comfort with luxury items. She also highlights her socialite status with her car’s diamond-encrusted dashboard and custom paint job.

Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey has nothing to prove to anyone and she’s out to prove it to everyone. She keeps it low-key by staying out of the tabloids. She rolls around town in a Tesla Model S.

Her car says she’s sophisticated, low-key and environmentally conscious. Her choice shows that she is thinking about everything and checking off all the boxes with one choice.

Chris Brown, on the other hand, is no stranger to controversy. His 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo is painted like an F-86 Sabre transonic fighter jet, even though he has never seen any military or even civilian service. But, Brown is more than happy to be in the news for his poor life choices, so why not have a car that is painted to look like a military fighter jet?

See Also: What Science Says About The Car You Drive

How To Enhance Your Personal Branding

enhance personal branding

What you drive can say a lot about who you are as a person. If you’re still driving your old college clunker, you may not be sending the right message about your personal branding.

If you are starting up a business, pay close attention to how you present yourself to potential clients. Rolling up to client meetings in a clunker may send the message that your startup is a total fly-by-night operation and they would be better off taking their business elsewhere.

Ask yourself what message you want your car to convey about you. After all, this is usually the first thing a potential client sees about you.

If you are running a clean energy startup but driving a gas-guzzling SUV, maybe it’s time you consider switching to an electric vehicle. If you are running an agriculture startup but driving a convertible, you might want to make the switch to a small truck.

It may just be transportation, but it has to serve your needs and send the right messages about you. Even your paint job can speak volumes. Having your company’s logo on your vehicle can show how committed you are.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness

Make Yourself Stand Out From The Crowd

If you don’t think personal branding is a thing you need to worry about, you need to reassess things.

Do you need to update your wardrobe? Get your car wrapped with some sort of mobile advertising? Redo your website and update your blog more often?

Take stock of each of the many ways potential clients might have a first interaction with you and ask yourself what impression you want to make. Once you have a personal branding goal, you can start working on them.

To learn more about what your car might be saying about you, here’s an infographic you can check out.

What You Drive Matters [Infographic]

Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.

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