Let's say you pick up a box of cookies at a supermarket because the packaging catches your eye. It looks upscale, gourmet, delicious. But, when you open the package and try one of the cookies, you're disappointed. The cookies don't taste terrible, mind you, but they don't taste any better than the less expensive cookies with the average packaging. You may have fallen prey to the packaging once, but it's highly likely you'll never buy those cookies again.

What if you were to buy a car because of how it looked? You might discover that while it's beautiful on the outside, it gets lousy gas mileage and sends you repeatedly to the mechanic. It would most likely change how you feel about your beautiful, new car.

The same is true of personal branding. A great "Look" might fool someone briefly, but wearing Armani or Prada will only get you so far. If the individual underneath that Look can't deliver, it isn't going to fool anyone for long. Branding yourself has more depth than that, just like you (or, in this case, "YOU™ - The Trademarked You!)

To say that branding yourself is only about how you look and dress is a little bit like saying McDonald's is only about its golden arches, or that Starbucks is only about the mug that holds your coffee. It's just skimming the surface of what those brands are really about.

Sure, your Look is one element of your unique brand. After all, if you're trying to convey a brand of "impeccable accuracy," and you dress in a sloppy way, that Look clearly won't represent yourself well. A sloppy appearance will definitely make it more difficult for people to believe you perform with impeccable accuracy. On the other hand, if you dress impeccably but don't perform impeccably, that won't work either.

So, your personal brand extends far beyond just Look. It involves how you perform, who you are, what you can offer, and what makes you distinctive in the workplace. In short, it's all about your uniqueness, your strengths, your talents, and what you want to be known for on the job. Your personal brand is about what you do and who you are.

Real brand positioning starts with carefully defining what you want to stand for and then setting out to communicate that with laser-focused consistency. You must do the work "inside" before you can successfully communicate who you are on the "outside." And that's what leads to better job satisfaction, more trust and loyalty at work, and - ultimately - a bigger paycheck.

The bottom line is: There are many elements that have an effect on how well your personal brand is communicated. Your "Look" is only one of them.

Author's Bio: 

Brenda Bence is an internationally-recognized branding expert, certified executive coach, professional speaker, and award-winning author of the How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo personal branding book series. As President of Brand Development Associates International, Ltd. Brenda now travels the world speaking, training, and coaching individuals and companies to greater success through corporate and personal brand development.
Visit www.BrendaBence.com or www.BDA-Intl.com.