Recently, Brooke Crittendon (Kanye West’s ex-girlfriend) was asked what she thought of his new love and soon to be mother of his child, Kim Kardashian. She said, “She fits into his brand.”
As I read her interview and the quotes within it, I kept coming back to that statement. “She fits into his brand.” First, it sounded cold and businesslike, as if we were discussing the branding fluke of the Target Neiman Marcus collection vs. the incredible partnership and branding behemoth that is Yoplait and Komen for the Cure. As I continued to think through this characterization, though, something else came to mind. Could it be, perhaps, that we should all be looking for spouses who truly fit into our brands?
It might sound at first like a ridiculous way to evaluate a potential partner, but in truth we bring our brands not just to our professional opportunities and connections, but to our personal relationships as well. If, at the heart of your brand, is a person who is strong, confident, and funny, chances are you’re going to look for a partner who will laugh at your jokes, support your success, and be glad you’re confident rather than wishing he or she could stand in the limelight instead. The right spouse for your brand will be one who will nourish your brand as well as his or her own.
Now, don’t get this confused with sameness. Not at all. Branding fit is not about opposites attract being wrong or finding someone who is just like you. On the contrary, it’s about being complementary to one another both in personality and in branding.
How Can You Look for a Spouse, Then, Who Fits Your Brand?
- Be sure the person you’re dating (and considering spending a long-term relationship with) can actually identify your brand. Does that person “get it”? If not, you might want to think about a better fit.
- If you were a corporation, and you identified one for your brand, and your partner was a corporation, and associated one with his or her brand, would those corporations work together? If your brand is Saks Fifth Avenue and your partner’s brand is Wal-Mart, you might have problems long term.
- Listen to what people around you are saying. This might be contrary to the advice of some, who would tell you it “doesn’t matter what other people think.” I beg to differ. When it comes to the right fit for a romantic relationship, you should be listening to your friends and family. They see things you simply can’t. If someone in your life says, “You just don’t seem to fit with one another” or “I really think you’re not the right person for the other,” they could be jealous or angry, but they also could be right! Listen, and hear whether or not you might accept the fact that you’re too different to be complementary.
You certainly don’t have to be the business and reality TV giants the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but maybe the fact that they’re seemingly happy together and having a baby is due in part to the fact that their personal brands complement each other. And hell, if Kim Kardashian can find happiness in her brand and her partner, so can you!