4 minute read
Holly Golightly = the Queen of personal branding, before personal branding was a “thing.” Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of a party girl with impeccable joie de vivre and wardrobe is so incredibly iconic it has transcended several generations of girls, growing up in want of that LBD and teensy tiara. Holly completely owned that dress, and is forever associated with its silhouette. Her personal brand is built upon being a fun and happy gal, embracing a laid-back version of early 60’s ladylike charm and class, with beautiful clothing and a rock n’ roll lifestyle. It made men want to be around her, which fed the needs of her, ahem, business.
This week’s Movie B-School will focus on the superficial facets of building a personal brand through Miss Golightly’s example. If you missed last week’s, we focused on a look at authentic personal branding with Sleepless in Seattle.
The steps to building a personal brand aren’t difficult, but require some introspective time for deep thought. There are many, many, many articles regarding how to brand yourself, so in the interest of not making this a 5,000-word essay, I’m pulling from this specific Business Insider piece.
Step #1: ID your audience
“Determine the audience you want to target and what they want or need from you.”
For Holly, it’s easy: dudes. In your case, it may be an industry, or more narrowly, a type of person. Think deeply about this demographic and how your brand will fit within it.
Step #2: Write down the image you currently project
“Ask the people you trust to honestly tell you what image you project.”
Her racially-insensitive landlord would have been a perfect accomplice to Holly’s personal branding project, because he would have been honest with her, which is the one piece missing from Holly’s brand: Authenticity. Same goes for “Fred.” He sees her as she really is, and is later inclined to tell her the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Step #3: Is it the image you want?
“If not, you need to make changes related to your appearance, behavior, name, personal symbols, or other branding elements in a way that you are true to yourself.”
Fred concurrently goes through a crisis of image as well…he realizes his distaste for his stature as a sugar mama’s boytoy, just as Holly searches for a simple answer to rectify the complexities of her full identity. Fred understands by the end that he would like to be viewed by others as a self-sufficient and successful author, and can’t if he’s at his cougar’s beck and call.
This step happened for Holly far before the others, as she transformed from Texan farm girl Lula Mae Barnes to the lovely Miss Golightly of New York.
Step #4: Based on feedback, make necessary adjustments to your current image
“Make the adjustments necessary to project the personal brand that enables you to realize your objectives and better fill the needs of your audience.”
After Holly’s extremely sad parting of ways with Cat, and Fred’s admission of love and truth, Holly finally understands the adjustments to her current state that must be made (based on Fred’s feedback).
Step #5: Create branding elements – name, logo, slogan, hair, clothing
“You need to develop branding elements that help you to create and reinforce the image you want to project.”
For Holly, it was her wardrobe and reputation. If you’re a creative professional, it’s likely a matter of your personal website, logo, and hair/clothing style creating a cohesive picture of you and your personality.
Step #6: Execute performance
“Your product has to deliver on the promise of your personal brand.”
Holly’s brand promise is to provide fun for those around her, and as you see in the party scene, she is exceptional at it.
Step #7: Always evaluate
Holly learned that showing real emotion results in being a real bummer for those she must entertain, therefore, her corrective action was to be fun and fancy-free anytime she was in company.
Measuring and evaluating what does and doesn’t reach your objective, and then fixing those that aren’t working, is nearly as important as performing the previous six steps.
About the Author
Stephanie Norell is the Marketing Director for North by Northwest’s Boise office. She loves horror movies and Pinterest, adores the classic film Xanadu, and “enjoys” disseminating her thoughts for trolls to discuss online.