Whether you’re the founder of an emerging company, an executive at a mature brand, or climbing the corporate ladder, there’s one inexorable truth: in today’s “me” culture, the brand is you. The Neil St. Clair brand? Not wearing socks for five years (yes, even in the cold Northeast winters). As such, I can attest to the power of lacking hosiery, and its upside in life and business. And it’s not for the 15 seconds it saves me in my morning ritual-but rather because this little idiosyncrasy has established my personal brand, one that’s helped my companies’ bottom lines.

Now removing my tongue from my cheek (or is it removing sock from shoe in this case?), there is a serious lesson here. Think of some truly iconic figures-with little doubt, you can almost instantaneously recall something about them that stood out: Steve Jobs had his turtlenecks, Larry King his suspenders, Mark Zuckerburg his hoodies, Teddy Roosevelt his pince-nez spectacles, Albert Einstein his hair. The list goes on. …


Neil St. Clair

Respected social entrepreneur, journalist, and philanthropist. (and a forthcoming author)

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