As all members of Generation LMNOP know, the only path to success is through branding. And success is only truly attained once you have the holy triumvirate: apartment, lover, job. Without a solid brand identity, you will never get a job or an apartment, and you will probably die alone. Seriously. If you don’t have a pre-packaged dating persona, any love-life at all becomes an impossible dream. And let’s face it, a resume is really just one long ad. Furthermore, what kind of landlord would be willing to rent to some unknowable cypher from craigslist? No, in today’s world, people are products, and if you want to sell yourself for a good price you need to follow my patented 3-step guide to better personal branding.
Step 1: Blatantly appeal to the superficiality and soullessness of our society
We are visual people and as such, based 97.4% of our initial impressions on basic external beauty. And this does not just apply to dating. Statistically, people who possess a certain level of attractiveness attain greater wealth and professional achievement (and therefore better apartments). But of course, as any savvy marketer will tell you, good skin and killer abs aren’t enough. You must supplement your hotness with some kind of easily identifiable trait like, for example, Lady Gaga’s meat dress, Lana del Ray’s freakishly (and unevenly) surgically enhanced lips, or Vladimir Putin’s mischievous smirk and reluctance to wear shirts during presidential photo-ops. (And while we’re at it, if your future plans involve the semi-dictatorship of an Eastern European country you might as well get a head start practicing tactics to crush the hopes and dreams of your opponents. And by “opponents” I mean everyday citizens. And by “tactics” I mean killing journalists and annexing parts of Ukraine. Or something along those lines, but with your own personal flair.)
Step 2: Spice up that origin story and then elevator-pitch the hell out of it
A good origin story can accomplish many feats. For the geeky and the gangly it can add rustic charm and virility. Sure, everybody thought Abraham Lincoln was cool in an overly-intellectual, morally upright kind of way, but it wasn’t until the nation learned that he’d grown up fighting vampires in log cabins that Honest Abe finally secured the support of gun-toting Republicans and Twi-hard Soccer Moms. For the mentally unstable an origin story can provide authenticity and panache. I mean let’s face it, Tom Cruise is really just a mediocre aging actor with some very questionable (and creepy) dating habits, but thanks to his early affiliation with L. Ron Hubbard the world sees him as a Level 12 Something-or-Other determined to rid the human race of its insidious alien parasites. But still with questionable (and crazy) dating habits. Okay, maybe the Honest Abe model is a better bet, but if you find that you need to mitigate/explain away some serious weirdness you’re going to want to get yourself a copy of Dianetics.
Step 3: Craft a jingle so catchy it will be maddeningly impossible to forget
There is not a single person left in the world who mistakes anything from McDonald’s for actual food. At worst, it’s unidentifiable sludge. At best, toxic waste. And yet, God help me, I’m lovin’ it. Is it the racially diverse hipsters they’ve taken to featuring in their ads? Or that their food-like items are brilliantly satisfying when either drunk or hungover? (A niche market, yes, but an important one.) No, it’s the Pavlovian response to the synthesized “bu-duh-bu-bu-bah!” The mere echo of that refrain makes me long for the sweet, salty embrace of those golden arches. But this phenomenon is not limited to fast food. It paid big dividends for Seinfeld’s George Costanza, quite possibly the least attractive character on any sitcom during the 90’s. (Co-Stanza!) And to this day I remain absolutely convinced that at Home Depot low prices are, in fact, just the beginning.
So there you have it. If you follow my step-by-step instructions for creating a stellar personal brand identity you will dominate pretty much any arena, be it musical, political, sexual, or gastronomical. And after that you can probably get any apartment or job that you want. In fact, you could most likely just buy yourself a boyfriend if necessary. Or a girlfriend. Or a person of whatever gender Putin currently deems acceptable for sexual congress. But seriously folks, be careful. He’s watching. And he knows.
Don’t piss off the big guy.