If you grew up watching the Animaniacs (The Warner brothers and their Warner sister, Dot), you’ll know exactly who The Goodfeathers are and exactly who they’re meant to be a parody of.

Parodies work because of pigeon holes or ‘stereotypes’.

Stereotyping happens to the best of us and can mean all the difference between a successful venture and a failing one .

Can a potential customer see from the public face of your business whether it is the kind of company it would want to work with or buy from?

People stereotype people. As a rule, our first impressions of a person (or a business) are based on their appearance and our previously held beliefs or experience with people who adhere to a similar aesthetic.

Picture a well groomed woman in a pencil skirt, knitted cardigan, a silk blouse, and sensible court shoes who wore her hair pinned up, and glasses perched on the end of her nose. If I were to ask you where she worked, you’d probably have a strong idea in your head even though I’ve not told you anything about what she does nor given you any insight into her personality.

This, my friends, is the power of personal branding. It builds upon common (mis)conceptions and as time goes on, either affirms one’s beliefs or conflicts with them.

Your mission for today is to figure out how people have stereotyped you and your business (brand audit) then make a plan to correct the stereotype if you feel it is incorrect (public relations) – Let me know if you need help with either of these.

Feel free to share your findings and your plans to correct course in the comments below.