blog personal image guillem Recolons

Personal Image and Personal branding: is it the same thing?

It is logical that confusion. When you hear someone say “that man conveys a very strong personal image”, the "party" begins.

The top of the iceberg

I usually say that personal image is one of the elements of personal communication that may have greater significance in the footprint we leave. Following the methodology of Personal Branding' Iceberg, personal image to the communication area, in the top of the iceberg.

A good personal image must be able to convey maybe not who we are, but how we are. That is the meaning, to give coherence through our gestures, tone, color and voice volume, Dress Style, way of walking, look, type of hairstyle, image sensors (jewelry, tattoos, accessories) on what we are.

Image codes disappear: We don't want to be like everyone else

Some time ago, codes were clear: a financial man could not go tattooed, a CEO had to be someone senior, an economist could not wear brightly colored, a lecturer business could not appear wearing jeans. Check out these paradoxes:

paradigms personal image

Josef Ajram, David Hernandez, Xavier Sala-Martin and Álex López

Here they are, Josef Ajram (Photo found in his site) tattooed hands up, David Hernandez (CEO of Pangea), such a centennial, Professor of Economics Sala-Martin (the picture Elisabeth Magre) looking colors and specialist of sales and social selling Álex López in a conference jeans and sneakers. A paradox is a strange or irrational idea that is opposed to common sense and to the general opinion. And that's why I like it.

In many enterprises, no matter what the business they are “dress codes” have been relaxed. I remember a few years ago Andrea Vilallonga and I gave training to Panasonic (visit her site Andrea Vilallonga) and the company staff told us that he had removed the dress codes. Tie was no longer necessary, and jacket only for salespeople. Even Japanese of Japan excuse the use of the tie when summer arrives.

Nevertheless, there are certain rules, and / professional image pros are here to ensure that these paradoxes lead to transfer consistent personal brand of its customers.

The confusion, saying “personal brand” when you mean “Personal Branding”

Some days ago, reading my Google alerts for “Personal Branding”, I found a link to the Spanish newspaper El Español, titled How to build your personal brand with autumn trends 2018. Till then, I thought that it was a serious newspaper. It is very clear that the headline should start with something like “How to enhance your personal image…”, but of course, it does not have the same impact and not so fashionable. They chose “How to Build Your Personal Brand…”.

We don't know who signs this aberration, It seems to show a certain “jaleos”. If in doubt, editorial content is, and therefore, endorsed by the newspaper brand. Let's see. If you are able to “build” your personal brand with this fall trends, What will happen when winter arrives? OMG! Too much work!

The perversion to use a word like “Personal Branding” in a place that does not belong can only obey two reasons: 1. Ignorance: The article was written by the scholarship holder (with due respect) 2. Malice: They have used the wrong term to attract idiots like me to read this load of nonsense.

Executive Branding, personal branding and personal image

During executive branding projects I use to work on the management personal branding. I usually included at the end of the process a personal image specialist so that everything results aligned. Here nonverbal language is in its broadest spectrum, nobody believes that it is limited to a personal shopper. How to speak in public, the gestures, the looks, silences… They are analyzed thoroughly and provide guidelines for improvement, while maintaining the essence of the person.

There are great professionals in this field, self Andrea, my colleague and friend Beth Borés, from a more scientific level María A. Sánchez... If there's a place the world fan of the advisory personal image is Brazil. The next 5, 6 and 7 November 2018 I will be in Sao Paulo together with Ilana Berenholc and Reinaldo Campos imparting workshop BRAVE (Brand Value Evolution) personal branding to a image consulting staff.

Have a nice week, and do not forget your personal image is part of your Personal Branding.

Cover photo by mentatdgt on


About me Guillem Recolons

Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies to better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (internal brand ambassadors programs).

Partner at Integra Personal Branding and Soymimarca, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting, AdQualis Human Results and Quifer Consultores.

As lecturer, participated in the Graduate Social Media of UPF and UVic, in various programs at IESE and ISDI, among other. Advertising man, Master en Marketing. Grade student of Humanities.

My DNA comes from advertising 20 years in agencies: BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.

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2 replies
  1. Juan Carlos Domínguez
    Juan Carlos Domínguez says:

    Very good article, It has become clear what personal branding and personal image, What it belongs to whom and which generates more impact?

    • Guillem Recolons
      Guillem Recolons says:

      Hello Juan Carlos, I'd rather not see it as something separate. Personal image does not compete but complements the personal brand. You can have a good brand plan, but if your image does not accompany, will fall. And you can offer very good image, but if there is a value proposition solid, will fall. I hope I've resolved the doubts. regards!


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