We’re all curious. What scarf is Dr. Birx going to wear today? What’s the brand? Is it Hermes, Pucci, or Anne Hand?
Not to seem superficial but we’re surrounded by disturbing data and dreary messages, it’s so wonderful to have a diversion. I don’t know whether Dr. Birx thinks in terms of personal branding or not, but she must because that’s what she’s done – she’s a brand.
Her scarves are the power accessory of the moment. They add a bit of brightness, a cheery note to a solemn occasion,
Fans are covering her scarves on social media. Now we have @deborahbirxscarves, @deborah birxscarfqueen, #drbirxscarves to name a few.
Well-known brands like Twitter with its blue bird have long tapped into the power of visual images, logos, color and design to imprint their brand identity into the minds of customers.
Savvy leaders and people in the news can use a distinctive visual identity, too. Women can have an advantage in building a distinct visual identity since men tend to wear a uniform to work with a dark suit and contrasting tie.
Women have a lot more opportunities to brand through accessories, clothing, hairstyle and the like. Madeleine Albright has her pins, Ruth Bader Ginzberg has her collars, and now Dr. Birx has her scarves. Hermes, perhaps the most favored brand in her collection names their scarves like a smart brander, and her fans are quick to identify each scarf. Is it the Rocailles II with its sea shell pattern or the bucolic scenes in Retour a la Terre?.
So, while Dr. Birx may be the only woman at the podium most days, she’s made quite an impression with her scarves, calm demeanor and personal stories. Her personality comes through and it’s augmented by the scarves ans her presentation style. It’s not just the data. She often shares personal anecdotes that humanize her and us too as we try to deal with the pandemic.
It can’t be an easy job for Dr. Birx to handle the other personalities and everything that’s said on the stage at the White House briefings. But we’re counting on her serene presence and her colorful scarves.