The title says a lot. You may be a free-lancer or work for a large corporation, it doesn’t matter to me, you are always representing your brand. You might have your logo on your shirt or your car or you might not, you are always representing your brand. You might be visiting a client or going to the grocery store on the weekend, you are always representing your brand.
Last week I was driving home from work by way of the grocery store on a major road (three lanes both ways) during rush hour. About half way to my destination, I noticed the middle lane had not started to progress after the light had changed while the left and right lanes where moving fine. As I approached the car that had stopped my first thought was, do they need help. As I pass I notice the guy is looking down, more concerned I looked closer. ARRRGGGHHH!!!! He was finishing an email or text on his Blackberry. Okay, this is a pet peeve of mine (#8,493). If you know me, you know I am a hyper connected geek. Two phones, five email accounts, social media apps and on and on, but this annoys me to no end. This guy was holding traffic because he had to send a message. I would guess 5-6 cars didn’t make the light that normally would have.
Deep breath, deep breath. I am alright, just move along, right? So I continue my journey.
I check my rear view mirror and see this car speeding towards me and I mean speeding. In a 45 he was probably doing 60, no major problem with that per se, I tend to drive faster then most. Yep, the same guy. This guy is really pissing me off at this point because he passes me and slowly cuts me off without using a turn signal (pet peeve #13). At this point, all I can hope is that he is going to the same place I am so I can let him have it. Sure enough he’s turning into the same grocery store I am. Awesome, I can’t wait.
Next, instead of driving down the parking lot lanes as every one else does, this guy cuts through the parking lot blowing through a stop sign and down the wrong way of a lane. Finally he parks his car in the opposite direction and I know he’ll be pulling straight out and going the wrong way again. REALLY!?! I am thinking, how could any one be so inconsiderate.
So I park my car and scurry in his direction and as I get closer I recognize him. Its a technology sales guy who has been trying to get a foot in the door of my day job (IT Manager for an architecture firm, if you didn’t know) for years. So I just continued on into the store. Too funny, huh? This guy didn’t have a company car with a logo, no branded shirt, nothing to distinguish him as an employee, but I am pretty sure any chance he had of doing business with me is gone. Is that fair? Probably not, but is it true? Ummmmm….YEP!
I know some of you are saying, maybe he had a bad day. Maybe he was rushing to the pharmacy to get his medication. Sure, maybe, but I know every time I think of him (or his business) I will be thinking of that day. Fair, not fair, it doesn’t matter. You are ALWAYS representing your brand.