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James Bond: International Super-Spy and Master of Personal Branding

Published on October 3, 2019, at 10:40 p.m.
by Gabrielle Sirois.

007. MI6 secret agent. International man of intrigue. That’s right, I’m talking about the most famous spy of all time, James Bond. This iconic character, created in 1953 by Ian Fleming, has captivated audiences for over 60 years. Bond, and the universe in which he lives, has inspired 56 books, short stories and graphic novels, and 24 films with the 25th premiering next year. Now you might be thinking, “What does James Bond have to do with public relations?” There are actually a lot of lessons that PR students and professionals can take from 007, specifically when it comes to personal branding.

Bond is a master of personal branding, making himself the leading man in a franchise that has grossed over $16 billion. He is a man you won’t quickly forget, and there is a reason that so many brands are eager to work with him. Here are five lessons that you can take from Bond to help enhance your personal brand.

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Tip #1: Make them remember your name.
While I’m not suggesting that you introduce yourself like you are James Bond, you do want your name to be as memorable as his. When it comes to your personal brand, your name is what sets you apart. Always lead with your name and be confident when speaking it. Make sure it is at the forefront of everything — your résumé, your business card and your website.

Tip #2: Develop your personal style and make it sharp.
Bond is known for his sleek, black tuxedo and bowtie. Obviously you don’t have to be this formal, but you do want to look snappy and make a statement with your style. Find clothing you like that makes you feel good, because research has shown that the clothes you wear affect your confidence. You’ve probably heard this saying a hundred times before, but, dress for the job you want, not the job you have, because you never know who you will run into.

Tip #3: Find something to be your “signature thing.”
You will never find Bond ordering anything at the bar beside his signature vodka martini “shaken not stirred.” While this is a drink that many people order, it has become largely associated with Bond because he was able to make it his “thing.” Find something that you can make your unique “thing” and run with it. Whether it be a specific color or phrase, having a “signature thing” will give people something distinct to remember you by.

Courtesy of James Bond

Tip #4: Learn to adapt to the times.
It’s no easy feat to create a brand that can endure for over 60 years. Bond has been able to achieve this by evolving and changing to keep up with the times. Eight different actors have played Bond since “Dr. No” premiered in 1962. It is important for everyone to keep their personal brands fresh. Make updates and changes as needed and remember that there is always room for growth. New trends come up every day, and adapting to these keeps your personal brand relevant and desirable.

Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Bond is a regular at the casino tables. He bets high, and he rarely loses. Don’t be afraid to take risks and do something daring. As long as you act with confidence, it will most likely pay off in some way. Now I’m not saying you will come out with a £66 million win like Bond does in “Casino Royale,” but you might just gain a new client or job.

Now that you have your own arsenal full of personal branding tools that rivals even Bond’s high-tech collection of gadgets, there’s nothing stopping you from taking your brand to the next level. So go get out there and turn your brand into something that captivates the world, just like Bond has.

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