How an Old and Battered BlackBerry Can Ruin Your Personal Brand

I had lunch with a friend the other day, he wanted to see me to talk about personal branding and LinkedIn. His long-term plan is to set up his own business in the management training space so we talked about a number of things he could do right now to start marketing himself.

Blackberry vs. iPhone

Then the phone rang and I fished out my BlackBerry Pearl out of my pocket and took the brief call. When I rang off, my friend had a good look at my phone and said: “so you’re giving me advice on personal branding and you haven’t got a proper phone yourself!” he continued with “you’ve gone down in my books now!” He flipped out his iPhone and went on about how cool it is at length. Shallow as that may be, I could only agree.

The man has a point

His comments were made in jest of course but I do think he has a point. As much as I love my three year old bruised and battered BlackBerry, it’s probably not doing my brand any favours. The fact is that a new phone won’t impress people but an old one might dent your brand just a little bit. Your phone is another outer brand element, just like grooming or the clothes you wear. Malcolm Levene would say that good grooming or clothing won’t get you any more success but lack thereof can certainly stop success (and perhaps we should include telephones here!).

The way forward

So what to do? Well, I have been wanting to get the new iPhone for quite some time now BUT most people say it’s better to wait for the next one (iPhone 5 is it?) that comes out in August/September. So I’m playing the waiting game at the moment and will be more discreet with “Old Faithful”, a.k.a. my BlackBerry.

What do you think? Does a phone have any impact on your personal brand? And more importantly, what phone should I be getting?

Further tips at How To Make Your Personal Brand More Enchanting (Infographic).

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