One of the most true tests of really good branding is if it LASTS. If the person loves it and if it really speaks to who they are at a core (soul) level, it will still fit them years later. Sure styles change and evolve, but at the heart is still the same person. If the branding connects with the heart, the core foundation of the brand will remain constant no matter the colors, styles, or trends.
For a good example, look at Apple. The apple represents the heart of their brand. No matter the color or styling, it still fits great:
In November 2009 I had the great privilege of helping my brother-in-law, Alan, with her personal style. This is such a great example of the power of finding your own style. The following is a post about Alan’s makeover, written Nov. 30, 2009 on a blog I sold years ago so I decided to repost here for your benefit:
My brother-in-law, Alan, has been wearing the same, old, worn-out clothes he’s had since high school (5+ years) and decided he wanted to buy a whole new wardrobe. But, he was slightly intimidated by the entire buying process. I told him I’d love to help him and told him to go online and find some images of the kind of style he was looking for and then we could take that and find clothing based around that style. I didn’t really give him any pointers, but from talking to him prior I suggested he Google “irish punk fashion.” Alan is an artist, so no matter what style he decided on, I knew we’d be wanting to find pieces and accessories that fit his eclectic personality and lifestyle.
Alan’s typical wardrobe “look” before we went shopping looked like this (above). He wore baggy, wrinkly jeans with torn hems that were generally a few sizes too big for him. He also wore baggy, thread-bare t-shirts.
Alan cracked me up because the very first place he found in his online search was GQ. Of all places to start, let’s start at the epitome of men’s fashion. Rock on. He emailed me all the images he liked from GQ and we went shopping on Black Friday, primarily at Macy’s, coming home with some screamin’ deals (at Macy’s alone his total savings was $1000!!). Below I have a few of the GQ images and what we pulled together from our shopping trip (yes, I agree: Alan does have a future in male modeling – wink!).
Both the hat and vest were already natural accessories for Alan. He’s been wearing those already a lot. In this picture he’s wearing one of the four vests he bought (apparently, you can never have too many vests). Although he would love wearing a vibrant, bright tie, he chose a solid staple for his skinny tie purchase so that it could go with everything he bought (sidenote: I’m loving the skinny tie look, now. I used to think it was goofy, but I think it’s evolved to look really chic and professional).
This was such an interesting combo. Who would have thought to put a thin hoodie shirt with a sports jacket? Well, this designer obviously did. Alan loved this look so we found him a fab deal on a thin hoodie to wear with his new, super-rad jacket (sidenote: although Alan does have a hat to wear over the hoodie, we both thought it looked stupid, even on the model; just our humble opinions).
Our combo doesn’t look exactly like this pic, but the “look” is similar in that Alan is sporting a funky v-neck sweater (not as deep of a v-neck as the GQ pic) with a collared shirt underneath. While shopping, I kept trying to find new pieces that were stylish, but comfortable. We replaced his old, sloppy hoodies with this more-tailored version. And check out his jeans! They fit!!!
Here’s an example of where we took the “GQ look” and personalized it more towards Alan’s style. The funky light-washed jeans with the bright shirts and jacket really fit Alan’s creative side while giving him a nice, tailored look.
Of all the fun things we found on our shopping excursion, though, these shoes were my favorite. They’re a funky, cowboy-style loafer that can go with pretty much any outfit to dress it up a little. They look just as good with jeans as they do his dress-pants.
I think it’s quite obvious that I had the TIME OF MY LIFE helping find Alan his new wardrobe. Isn’t that most girls’ dream to give someone a “makeover?” Alan was a peach, too, about it all. I really think Alan is fabulous for how easy-going he is, as well as his spontaneity in trying new things. This is a big change for him, but we both feel like it’s going to help him to continue on his path to success.
More info about Alan: freelance artist/illustrator with a killer sense of humor who enjoys gaming, funny movies, playing football, strumming his guitar and singing random Disney songs at the top of his lungs.
UPDATE: Now Alan is an artist for EA Games and is happily married to the woman of his dreams and is also the father to the daughter of his dreams. I love happy endings/beginnings. 🙂 Alan is still rockin’ this style now 4 years later! In fact, his style is so clear that his wife bought clothing for him while dating and even now that fit his style perfectly.