By Kay Tatyana Selisho

Gone are the days when referring to yourself as a “brand” was the in thing. While the buzz surrounding the word has died down, the underlying principles still remain.

I was honestly never a fan of using the term in reference to myself. Treating one’s self as a brand made sense, and all the big names in media, marketing and advertising were doing it, I just never got around to liking it. Instead, I preferred the idea behind developing an ethos and adhering to it.


Defined as “the characteristic spirit of a culture, era or community as manifested in its attitudes and aspirations,” an ethos can serve as the driving force behind a dream – a personal brand essence of sorts. An ethos serves as a guiding principle, a North star that one can look to whenever they are in need of a reminder; to get up and go, to keep going, to do the right thing… Whatever.



In fact, meeting and speaking to Siya Beyile all those years ago at the inaugural Levi’s Pioneer Nation event when I first heard about TTM, followed by the subsequent success of the brand are testament to the importance of having an ethos.

A mere two years after our first meeting, Siya has scored his first international speaking engagement (in New York of all places), made it on to the Forbes 2016 30 under 30 list, partnered with one of the world’s largest watch makers and helped a new alcohol brand launch their product.


If brand essence is defined as the ‘emotional heart of the brand, summed up in a few words’ , TTM is all about being the ultimate gentleman. And you thought it was only about style didn’t you?


Without character, aspirations and a winning attitude, style means nothing. And without those things, can you ever really be sure what it is that you are working towards?

Photo credits: Sourced