A Guide to Personal Branding
You are a brand. You may not have an iconic logo, or even have a logo at all… but you ARE a brand. And personal branding is not much different from iconic branding.
The Foundation of Personal Branding
Like any other brand, your personal brand has an essence. An aroma, if you will. Your friends, family, and colleagues are able to clearly articulate what your brand represents to them. Just like they would be able to articulate the meaning, the essence, and the aroma of a brand that they admire or consume on a regular basis.
Iconic Branding and Your Personal Branding
Brands like Apple, Google, MacDonald’s, Coke, Microsoft, and Nike are recognizable brands that stand for something when people think about them or talk about them. And… when people get together anywhere in the world, they usually get very passionate about their brand preferences. Today, spirited debates erupt everywhere about Apple’s iPhone versus Samsung’s Galaxy – when, at the end of the day, they are both just smartphones that have relatively similar features, functions, and advantages.
The same holds true for you and your brand. Your brand has been built on years of familiarity and behaviour. Your values and principles make up part of your brand. The goals and ambitions do too. What you have accomplished. What you say you are going to do and what you actually do. How you behave in certain situations. Your attitude. Your results. What you wear. The service you deliver. Can you be relied upon? The list goes on and on.
Why Personal Branding is Important
The key is this: the world is full of competition, and this makes it very crowded. The one thing that will set you apart as a leader and a person is your brand and how true you are to your brand. Your brand is what will get you hired over others that have the same qualifications. It is continuing to work on and develop your unique brand, that will bring you a lifetime of employability versus being just one of the many that has the same functional skills.
Start right now. Sit down and figure out what your brand is and what you want it to be. It needs to tie in with your values and beliefs, goals, and aspirations. Then get to work on developing that brand. And, like the big brands in the world that represent billions on their balance sheets, always be true to your brand. Never burn it by going off brand, violating your values, or being untrue to yourself.
You are a brand… but what brand are you?
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
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