This past Saturday I was in a ballet class and noticed the tattoo on the dancer in front of me. Nicole had a large butterfly tattoo on her back. For me, this was a branding moment. I don’t know Nicole that well, but I do know that butterflies are so meaningful to her that she wants one on her back for the rest of her life.
According to a 2012 Harris Poll, one in five American adults has at least one tattoo, which is up dramatically from polls conducted in 2003 and 2008.
Tattoos are much more than body adornment, but have become a powerful expression of your individual brand. In fact, tattoos are the ultimate branding statement. What better way to define who you are than to permanently mark your body with a sign, symbol or words that matter most to you?
Business people, bankers, creative professionals, engineers, authors, actors, academics, models, dancers government workers, retail sales clerks, and scientists— everyone is wearing tattoos, For some, a tattoo is a hidden mark that can only be seen by privately. Others sport huge and visible marks to tell the world what matters to them. Sometimes, one tattoo begets another and people do not stop at one. These people are so covered in tattoos, one running into another, that you can no longer see a real person and instead you see a walking spectacle. You become unsure of where their humanity begins and why they have chosen to flamboyantly cover their entire body to the point that the tone of their flesh can no longer be seen.
While tattoos are powerful expressions of personal brand, the corporate world expresses frank disapproval of any personal symbols and prefers a staid uniform of the outré conservative. For tattoo lovers pursuing the corporate track, it is best to be discreet about any form of personal expression, including what you say, what you do, and most of all, showing your tattoo!