The Creation of Your Personal Brand
Looking out into the world today, it’s easy to see why brands are more important now than at any time in the past 100 years. Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Products have life cycles. Brands outlive products. Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. Brands are valuable. Many companies put the value of their brand on their balance sheet.
Everyone has a brand. Your personal brand is a perception held in others' mind, and it has evolved through their interactions with you. Through repeated contacts between you and another person, his or her perception of you sharpens and your brand in that person's mind becomes clearer.
People are constantly observing who you are, what you do, and how you do it.
How strong is your personal brand?
The authors of Be Your Own Brand, Karl Speak and David McNally, explain that the strength of your brand grows or weakens depending upon the consistent impact (positive or negative) you are making on other individuals.
Their approach advocates introspection:
A personal brand is not a result of a contrived image, colorful clothing, snappy slogan. Rather, a strong personal brand describes a person who chooses to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others and who builds trusting relationships.
They answer the question: What constitutes a weak brand? A person whose attributes and perceived qualities lack clarity, and more importantly, someone who is not perceived to extend himself or herself to make a difference for other people.
Speak and McNally address that fact that anyone can be a strong brand and ask three questions to begin down the path of a strong personal brand that will make a difference in the lives of others:
- Do the people you know perceive qualities in you that are truly distinctive?
- Do they believe that you make those qualities relevant to them and their needs?
- Are you convinced that you will demonstrate those qualities consistently.
Practical steps to branding:
Step One. Develop your personal brand that will be consistent with your values, your distinctiveness, and the needs that you can meet in the world around you.
Step Two. Integrate these elements into your business brand. This will bring congruence between your personal and business brand.
Step Three. Enjoy the process of designing your brand that makes a difference in people's lives!
Content from Be Your Own Brand is used by permission.