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Slick branding #branding

synapses used in a post about slick branding

We see slick branding everywhere these days as companies coordinate and harmonize their image across the globe. Slick branding is even practised by the young who coordinate their designer clothes and wouldn’t be seen dead in anything but their favourite brand of jeans.

Masters of Slick branding

Politicians are the masters of slick, not just harmonizing their look, but fitting in with the image expected of parliamentarians. The obligatory dark suit rules and the slickness of the image is so important they spend extraordinary amounts of money on hair cuts and hair care, so not a single hair is out of place.

This attention to detail and obsession with image extends to British boardrooms, even though women are largely  excluded. These guys wouldn’t be seen dead wearing a parka or a duffle coat. They are coordinated according to their status and so when things get a little chilly, they wear the obligatory black overcoat over their smart business suit.

While many other professions have adopted this tendency to try to fit in with the harmony of the professional style; doctors are not quite so obsessed. In a hospital, the doctors still wear suits, but can be distinguished from the style obsessive administrators.

Can slick branding help in your career of help you get a job? Maybe! It seems that slick branding can help you get a job, if you look the part. If the job entails fitting into a management environment, the obligatory dark suit might help at the interview.

There are other styles associated with slick branding. Slick branding is usually smart and stylish with attention to detail; but it can be chaotic in an organised way. Torn jeans can be part of slick branding, but they have to be torn in just the right way to look acceptable. In other spheres, the car mechanic has to wear the right overalls, the photographer carry the right kind of camera and maybe wear the right clothes. There is a gilet favoured by photographers for it’s large pockets (suitable for holding lenses). Even farmers, sailors, soldiers and hunters all dress quite practically, they are still slaves to fashion and style. The police officers uniform is a uniform style that is not only recognisable, but also offers the officers a sense of belonging,  of being well organised and of fitting in.

Slick branding is very much like the dress and identifying marks used by tribes and we are by nature tribal.  If we are dressed differently and attempt to infiltrate another tribe, we are often shunned and excluded. However, it is possible to be slicker than the other tribal members which can lead to acceptance. Adopting slick branding on a personal level can mean many things. In royal courts it can mean wearing  a crown or tiara to tell the tribe you are of higher status, but the look still has to be harmonised. One must stand out; but in

The antithesis of slick can also be regarded as a type of branding. Often people will form a kind of tribe and reject all forms of harmonization. In this attempt to break free from standardisation, the chaotic look that rock stars often try to develop in itself becomes harmonised. The long unwashed hair in itself becomes a tribal symbol.

Slick branding is about harmonising and fitting in. It’s about awareness of what we look like and the perceptions other have of us. While being obsessed with the way we look and trying to harmonise not just the look, but our behaviour to fit a particular stereotype can curtail our freedom and individuality; it can also help us bond with others and more easily develop relationships.

What does your image say about you? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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