A Lesson In Personal Branding From Prince

A Lesson In Personal Branding From PrinceDuring the recent Saturday Night Live tribute to Prince, Jimmy Fallon said “Larger than life, fashion, music, you couldn’t take your eyes off him. I mean, he had his own color. Who has their own color? He owns purple…”

Purple was synonymous with Prince. After his passing, the Empire State Building was lit up in purple as was the Eiffel Tower, New Orleans’ Superdome, Niagara Falls, Chicago’s skyline and more.

Whether it was a conscious effort on his part or not, you could say the color purple became part of his personal brand.

What can we learn from Prince about personal branding?

Personal branding is a phrase we hear more often than not today, but did Prince think about it when he came onto the music scene in the seventies? I think not.

I’m of the opinion that Prince did what was in his heart. Expressed himself through his music, words and his fashion. And today, we call that personal branding.

It’s about who you are at your core. Being true to yourself and what you stand for. The values you hold dear to your heart.

Through the many phases of his musical career, Prince traveled his own path – even in the 90s. That’s when he changed his name from Prince to a symbol that blended the symbols for male and female and he was then referred to as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”.

“Despite everything. No one can dictate who you are to other people.” ~ Prince

In his biography on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website it says, “He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties. Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative.”

Prince marched to his own beat and it was the beat of a different drummer. It’s a lesson that we can learn from today. Jimmy Fallon said, “The guy was just amazing. He lived his music, and…it just came through him.” Rest in peace Prince.

Are you living your own music . . . being true to yourself with your personal brand? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks a million and here’s to your sweet success.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. Debra,

    The fact that he did what was in his heart made him who he was and what endeared him to so many. That he was consistent in it and his use of the color purple, he made himself stand out and become memorable. We all have something unique about us – how we act, a look, a phrase – that has become part of us. When you get others to see it consistently, you know you build a successful personal brand.

    I do love this: “He rewrote the rulebook…” 🙂
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  2. I think I’m kinda still too heartbroken to think fully about this, but yes, I think this is the quest, to live fully as yourself, and do so in your work and with your branding. I believe I do that. Hope so, anyway.

  3. As you say, living your own music! A friend who passed a free years ago decided to only purchase purple clothes the last several years of her life, and I immediately thought of her when I say this purple rose!

  4. I think this is part of what made Prince such an attractive musician to so many people—he was brazenly unique, to the point of offense, and he seemed to upset people often by his refusal to conform, but I think that’s what we loved about him most.

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