Celebrities, cars & chemical companies do it; how about you?


Madonna keeps doing it… Miley Cyrus just started doing it… Tom Cruise decided to do it… Hyundai has been doing it… And, of course, BP and Toyota strive to do it…

What exactly is it?

They all have embarked on re-branding missions…

One of the things that helped make her famous and keep her relevant was Madonna’s ability to continuously reinvent herself and her public image. Whether it’s her look, her music or lifestyle choices, she has been in the limelight consistently since the early 80s.

Miley Cyrus in her attempts to rapidly shed her squeaky clean Disney persona has gone to drastic measures to reveal her risqué side. While the majority of her actions have been awkward and not exactly age-appropriate, she has managed to get attention. And, any publicity after all is a big plus in the entertainment world.

After the backlash and bashing from a few over-the-top displays of extreme weirdness and egomania, Tom Cruise recently regained positive notoriety for playing a different “out-of-character” character, Les Grossman. Some are saying this quirky role was a sly, calculated career move.

During the 80s when Hyundai arrived in the US, their vehicles had a reputation for low quality and inconsistent performance. Flash forward to present and they have become one of the strongest and fastest selling automotive brands. In part this is due to the way Hyundai attacked criticism head on by offering unheard of warranty plans, solid quality upgrades and sleek, competitive marketing campaigns. They have essentially erased any memory of their previous “joke-mobile” status.

Distressed brands that remain in the “to be determined” category are BP and Toyota. Time will tell whether they are able to redirect attention toward the positive aspects of their businesses.

Now, on to the real people – what lessons can be taken from the above examples? Is it time for your professional brand or career reinvention tour?

Are you a one of kind innovator and envelope pusher like Madonna?
Are you expressing your grown-up, independent side, Miley style?
Are you a versatile, adaptable chameleon such as Tom Cruise?
Are you capable of transformation from lackluster to industry buster in Hyundai fashion?

Or, are you too preoccupied with damage control mode, similar to BP and Toyota, to focus your attention on creating the image you deserve?

Article by Kelly Blokdijk of TalentTalks
TalentTalks partners with job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies and compelling professional branding materials to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative and customized human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts job market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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