The short answer to that question is yes. Whether you know it or not. At a minimum you are the ambassador for your personal brand. Your words and actions create the impression you make on the people who you hang around with. You might know that but did you also know that sometimes those people talk about you with others you may have never even met? They are passing along their impressions of you. Then those people you have never met are forming an opinion of you…based on what the people you do know have said.
What you should also know it that those “second hand” first impressions are as hard to change as first hand first impressions. So it’s a good idea to ask yourself from time to time how effective a Brand Ambassador you are for your personal brand.
But you should also keep in mind that you likely represent a second brand. That is the brand of the company, firm, or organization that employs you. That’s true whether you’re self employed or work for a company that has thousands of employees. That’s true whether you hold an entry level position or you’re the head of the company.
Think of it like this. You’re out after work one night with some friends having a few sodas. You’re wearing something with your company’s logo on it. Let’s say you’re not exactly on your best behavior, especially after your 5th or 6th beverage. People could get the impression that you’re some kind of jerk.
It’s a fair assumption for other people to make that you work for the company whose logo you’re wearing. Someone may even ask you to be sure. Even if your company employs thousands of people, you may be the only person from your company that person has even interacted with. You at that point represent the entire company and every one of it’s employees.
He now believes your company hires jerks. We all “know” that if a company hires one jerk then they likely hire more than one. It’s not too much of a stretch for many people to decide, even subconsciously, that the company you work for is made up of a bunch of jerks.
And it’s entirely possible you will never know you sent that kind of message to people when you were just out having a good time.
Maybe it’s possible that you don’t care what people think of the place you work. But the place you work is made up of everyone else who works there. It’s more than possible that you’re causing them to be thought of as jerks too…you know that whole “guilt by association” thing.
So if you don’t what to be a good Brand Ambassador for your company you may want to consider being a good Brand Ambassador for your friends who work there.
On a side note, if you’re at a company event, especially in the presence of customers, and you think drinking even a little too much is a good idea then your drinking is most definitely clouding your judgment. You are absolutely killing your brand, whether anyone tells you that or not. It’s simply not acceptable these days. It shows poor judgment, a lack of discipline and a total lack of professionalism.
I don’t want to be a party pooper but I’d hate to see all your hard work during the day be discounted by one too many drinks at night.