Over the course of the past semester, students in a public relations strategies in tactics class at the University of Southern Mississippi have been defining their personal brand within their research and analysis.
I’m one of those students, and let me be the first to say, figuring out who you are and what you represent is harder than it sounds.
Branding is important because it leaves people with a visual representation of a person, a public figure, a campaign, an organization or a product.
Nike’s check mark, Gap’s blue box and that little girl named Wendy who feeds us square hamburgers are all successful logos that represent corporate brands Americans consume everyday. Oftentimes, a branding campaign can make or break a company.
When trying to define my personal brand, I immediately thought it would be a piece of cake. “Just look at my Twitter bio,” I told my class. But is that everything that represents me? Am I just a Coastie who loves social media, CrossFit, and Miley Cyrus? What about fashion? I love clothes. What about food? I love Taco Bell. What about karaoke? I can slay “Mr. Brightside” and “Drunk In Love.” How can I incorporate all of this into one little square with some color and maybe one image? How is that possible?
Then there’s Sia. We don’t see her face much anymore, but I bet most who listen to the radio and keep up with pop music could pick out her haircut. In the last three music videos she’s released, we don’t see the artist at all– just “Dance Moms” veteran Maddie Ziegler in a wig cut to emulate the singer’s hairstyle. In the videos to “Chandelier,” “Elastic Heart,” and “Big Girls Cry,” there are no extras or extravagant story lines. There are no special effects and no green screens. Sia represents herself through Ziegler in the videos. We see through lyrics and dance the inner linings of her struggles, her heartbreak and her recovery.
Although we never see Sia’s face, her hair has become her logo in her developing brand. I even stopped seeing Maddie Ziegler as that girl from “Dance Moms” and started thinking of her as the dancer in the Sia music videos.
I’m not sure what my brand is yet–but I’ll be reflecting upon Sia’s aesthetic as I figure it out.