Creating A More Cosmopolitan Personal Brand

Creating A More Cosmopolitan Personal Brand

You're not in Kansas anymore, so don't let your brand convey it.

When Marco Polo was traveling through Asia, his journey took years. He didn’t even write up an account of his travels until he returned to Italy, after spending nearly a quarter-century in what is now China. With modern technology, the Internet, and social media, we can actually track today’s explorers as they break new ground. As you make your own business journey, you cannot afford to neglect other points of views and cultures. Everyone is interconnected.

How do you want to meet the world?

“If we think back to the beginning, humankind has been globalizing,” says Carlson School of Management associate professor Carlos Torelli. “In the past, we thought people belonged to one culture. Now, people belong to multiple cultures.”

Torelli specializes in cross-cultural consumer behavior and global branding. He reminds us that “everybody has been exposed to different cultural understandings,” so they view the world through more lenses than in generations past. This plays out in ads, meeting interfaces and even ways company events are choreographed.

Cultural DNA

As you consider how to grow your professional presence, keep different cultures, countries and worldviews in mind. From a personal-brand standpoint, it equates to survival in the marketplace. Torelli believes such perceptual multiculturalism has a lot of downstream upside. “People are more creative, which helps them approach business situations from multiple vantage points.”

Real-world interplay

Having a global brand or global mindset means melding what you know and how you view things with how current and future clients and colleagues receive you. This process is bolstered by audience analysis. Take in all data points about the person or people you encounter in any setting and adjust your delivery to their needs.

Torelli suggests your method be akin to Windows, which runs in the background. “You interact with its interfaces. Culture operates in many cases in the background. You don’t think you are responding to stimuli; you do so automatically.” Ask questions about situational or geographic trends, cultural biases and nuances of interpersonal communication as you fine-tune your delivery.

Competitive advantages

In any given situation or encounter, ask how it could affect your brand. As you do audience analysis for any given communication setting, seek out information from people who understand the lenses through which you want to frame the conversation. Be intentional and thorough. Growing your brand by keeping the world at your fingertips is an exploration worth undertaking. TCB

Roshini Rajkumar is a communication coach, host of News & Views on WCCO Radio, and author of Communicate That! For additional communication tips, visit