Do You See Yourself As A Brand? You Should.
“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde
We recently facilitated a workshop for a group of professionals, entitled “Personal Branding: The Public and Private You”. Participants came from a wide range of occupations, from banking and finance to retail and the legal profession. There was even an end-of-life chaplain who comforted families through the deaths of their loved ones. We asked participants to describe themselves in terms of a “personal brand”: their mission (what they do), their vision (where they see themselves going in the future), their values (the principles which define their lives). It was not an easy assignment; the participants struggled with their answers.
Most of us do not see ourselves as a “brand”. Products and services like Apple, Google, Nike, and YMCA, are brands. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Oprah, and Lebron James are brands. But the truth is, we are all brands. We are unique entities that stand for something and make a “promise”, and we live our lives to deliver upon it.
At Marketing Matters, we are branding experts. We do serious research, thinking, strategizing and messaging to help our clients build their brands. We clearly define their mission, vision, and values. We articulate their unique positioning in the competitive landscape. We help them express a carefully crafted brand identity across all aspects of their organization.
Marketing Matters builds marketing plans that leverage a brand’s unique attributes to connect with target audiences. At every “touchpoint”, whether on websites, in social media, in stores, on the phone, in advertising, with board communications, even with how employees dress and act, consistency is critical. Consistency communicates integrity, authenticity, and builds trust. Everyone knows what you stand for, and that you will deliver upon your promise. That’s what makes a successful brand.
What Marketing Matters does for our clients is also applicable for personal branding. If you see yourself as a “brand”, then your effectiveness in your work life and your private life will be significantly enhanced. When you understand yourself from the perspective of how others see and interact with you, then you can begin to integrate all aspects of yourself into a consistent, authentic “you”. Those around you will know what you stand for, what you “promise”, and that you deliver upon that promise. That’s a successful personal brand. And as Oscar Wilde says, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”