Sometimes stereotypes have a negative connotation around them, which can inadvertently reflect you, your business or your branding. This is why it’s so important to take a unique approach to your personal branding and think outside the box when it comes to corporate portraits.

Let’s look at the definition of stereotype – “A widely held, but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”

Most individuals do not like the feeling of being put in a box. And most businesses want to be seen as unique, and don’t want people to make assumptions based on what industry they are in. So why do so many in business try to conform or visually identify themselves with the stereotypical image for their industry?

The same way stereotypes in the social landscape can have negative effects on society, in business they too can be dangerous – consumers assume that all people of a certain group are exactly the same, subconsciously putting them in the same ‘box’ and negating their true identity.

This often leaves you vulnerable to being tarred with the same perceptions (albeit positive or negative) as everyone else in your industry if you continue to present yourself and your brand the same as everyone else.

In this digitally social age, personality and authenticity are the keys to creating connections, so the necessity to stand out from the crowd – rather than conform with it – is the key to not only attracting people to you, but the right people to you.

Case study

We have all had experiences with real estate agents, be it good or bad, and we have all seen the countless standard real estate snaps, where the agents are all ‘carbon copies’ of each other.

Now I am not suggesting that these images do not serve a purpose, but I think as consumers we can all get a little jaded by seeing the ‘same’ images of agents on the corflute signs and in print and digital advertising.

How does a consumer differentiate one from the other, when a lot can look quite similar? No matter how great your photo is, if you follow the same formula, unfortunately it may tie you to a stereotypical or preconceived view of what a real estate agent is.

So how refreshing it was to create a collection of images for Jason Mills of Ray White that really made a statement about who he is.

Rather than wanting to blend in with his peers, Jason wants to stand out and goes out of his way to create opportunities and experiences for his clients that are out of the box, and for this reason, he recognised the need to visually communicate this point of difference and make a great first impression with his clients.

The images speak for themselves!

Think about how you present your personal brand in print, on social media and in person, so you can make sure you avoid any negative stereotypes and appropriately represent you, your business and your branding.

PAULA BRENNAN
www.paulabrennan.com.au
(07) 5326 1668