Making a Difference with Brand Identity

By Mac M. Martirossian, CPA

At a recent networking event at a posh hotel, a man introduced himself rather hurriedly, transitioned the conversation multiple times and handed me a business card with a name, an e-mail address and a phone number.

The next day I attempted to follow up with the individual, because I could not remember a thing this person had said (and no, it was not due to my alcohol consumption at the event, because they served no alcohol).  When I pulled out the business card out, the paper stock was and the printing were of such poor quality that the numbers had been smudged together.  Needless to say, I never made the call.

How often does your Brand get lost in the smudge?

Three non-negotiable rules to live by when working an event, whether you are employed, unemployed or underemployed:

  • Rehearse your message. Networking events are distracting.  You are competing for “ear” time.  Be clear and don’t expect full comprehension by your listener; just enough to get the person to call you post-event.
  • Take a look in the mirror. Appearance matters.  People will forget your words, but will remember your clothes….and your breath.  Dress consistent with your Brand, even if it is in contrast to the event.  Pack a tin of mints in your car and pop a few before you walk in.
  • Invest in business cards. The card is your Brand leave behind.  Skip a couple of weeks of Grande Lattes, and buy a quality business card that matches your Brand.

People will remember personalities, shoes and body “fragrance”.  Few, if any will remember words.

I know you are thinking; this is pretty basic stuff.  I thought the same, until I was reminded, once again, at how people forget the basic principles.

Protect your Brand, so your message is not lost.  At this event, I counted at least half a dozen people whose Brands were damaged because they failed to read a piece like this before attending.

Be memorable, with grace and class.  Sometimes, it is wiser to skip an event, stay at home and polish the Brand identity than to lose it in an instance.

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