Friday, 15 June 2007

Inspirations from your International Personal Consultant - "Got Brand?"- Part 2 of 5

Dependable, refreshing, trust worthy, safe, and reliable are all expressive terms associated with many of today’s products and services: such as, well known Beverage Company – Coca Cola, American life insurance agency – Liberty Mutual, and many automobile slogans. However, these are also terms associated with people: celebrities, public officials, and corporate moguls. Many products are geared towards groups with similar interest and branding association, in order to make their product more appealing to the targeted audience, such as: Starbuck’s drinkers are professional, savvy, artistic, and loyal; woman wearing a designer, Louis Vutton bag is considered wealthy, fashionable, and posh. This is branding: An identification of products and services by the development of a name, symbol or design in order to differentiate it from another.

Branding is now the strongest concept of every marketer and considered to be the most powerful idea in the commercial world. From a bar of soap to government officials, branding is what is now and what is in. It is what drives consumers to buy, remember and associate their products or services.

Consequently, it seems where ever you turn in today’s society, everything has a brand association. Even people! “During the past decade, a minor publishing and personal development industry has developed, especially in the USA, that encourages and advises individuals how to market and brand themselves”. This new industry is based on the principle of people having the same marketing and branding concepts as companies, products, and services. Personal branding seems to have no set definition or concept, however, many experts define it as the firm impression or fixed image that comes to mind when people think of you: or a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, which describes the total experience of having a relationship with you. In other words, how do people see you, know you and, remember you.

Personal Branding encompasses a person’s total package, from appearance to lifestyle. Moreover, many people have based numerous perceptions of others based on looks, communication skills, associations, and professions.

I sometimes wonder are we products, symbols or people. Like Coke and its million dollar campaigns to maintain consistent and memorable packaging, how much do we spend to make sure people perceive us in the light at which we aspire to be?

Top Recruiters and large companies, now seek a person with a brand that will represent or fit their own corporate image. However, Personal Branding has spanned beyond recruitment and career enhancement to obtaining and maintaining personal values, goals, and self-improvement.

For example, even for us serious singles, looking for a mate is more than a hott date (or at least for some), but more about finding someone with values, goals, a career, investments; in essence, a person with a strong brand. Competition is steep in the world and there is no need to think that only applies to the business environment. So making sure you have a competitive advantage against the many other thousands of singles, is key to finding and maintaining a long lasting relationship.

Recently, I came across a tips list, 'Personal Branding has become personal'. Hmm, let's take a look:

  • Be aware of your key attributes, characteristics and personality traits. These can easily become hidden when you are under pressure.

  • Get a clear understanding of your personal vision and what you feel your purpose is in life. Knowing the answers will help you make sure that you are going in the right direction.

  • Know your personal values. Your values act as your compass, and they are what you must have and honour in your life to feel fulfilled.

  • Know what and who your name is associated with. What happens if you put your name into a search engine? If you don’t have an online presence, prepare to get one.

  • Know your skills, experiences and interests; understand them inside out. Remember stories and situations and, in particular, key achievements and responsibilities you have had.
This list can be easily applied to all aspects of our lives. So, do you...Got Brand? If so, manage it, own it and build upon it personally and professionally. If not, it is time to discover it.
Personal Branding is no longer for the corporate people, but for everyone that steps foot onto the pavement of today's society.

Related Articles

Shepard, "From Coke to Cattle to Charlie"

Winder, "Branding has become Personal"

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