What's your personal brand?

Wear a uniform – people will do what you tell them!

Posted on: Thursday, September 8, 2016 Category: Blog (51)
Uncategorized (59)

If you work in retail, or banking,  you probably wear a uniform. While uniforms are restrictive on personal expression, they are a branding necessity. Uniforms build brands.   They also serve to identify a person’s status, group membership, and legitimacy.

Uniforms have two functions – conformity and distinction.  A school uniform ensures a level playing field at school but ensures you stand out in a plain clothes-crowd.

A researcher in 1974 sought to explore how uniforms affect people’s decision making in response to instructions.  Random pedestrians were asked to pay for a park meter, pick up bags, and move from a no standing zone.  Men in security guard uniforms were obeyed 9 times out of 10.  Men in plain clothe were obeyed only a third of the time.   The uniform provided legitimacy – even if not legitimate.

Uniforms also influence feelings of authority. In Milgram’s famous 1963 experiment involving the use of electric shock punishment.  When asked by a person in a lab coat with clipboard, participants were willing to  administer up to 450 volts of electricity onto another person, despite such an act conflicting with their personal conscience.  The conclusion – ordinary people will set aside personal values to follow orders from an authoritative figure.

Legitimacy is empowering.  So – wear that uniform!  Increase your legitimacy.  Become a leader.  Become more authoritative.  Increase your influence.  And isn’t that what we all want.

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