Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 2707
, Published on 02 November 2011
How can one define a Brand and Personal Brand?
Brand actually is the collection of perceptions in the mind of a consumer that is born out of experience and reflects reputation. None of the organizations treat their brand as an afterthought but instead serves as a key differentiator. This is the case of consumer brands similarly a human being has a personal brand.
When a person comes in contact of the society, it ‘brands’ or ‘typecasts’ the person based on the projection of one’s image. Personal Brands allow individuals to differentiate themselves by consistently articulating and leveraging their USP. Thus we can say that we are all brands and even if we don’t brand ourselves then we have to be assured that others are going to this for us.
There is a lot of importance of Personal Branding. As such –
1. Personal Brand is one’s reputation and it is very important for one to have good reputation.
2. If one doesn’t brand himself or herself, others will create one for him/her. The image created could not be considered flattering or helpful because they may have a negative agenda, lack branding expertise, or have a natural inclination to compete with the person concerned by highlighting his/her weaknesses’.
3. To be successful one needs to project the image that fills the need of target audience, which typically includes a group one wants to join/ a prospective employer/ or an audience one wants to sell to. If one’ key fit lock of target audience, he/she will reap the rewards.
4. Since this is the era of competition with many others, having a personal brand always gives a competitive edge over others in the race.
HOW TO CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND
Building lasting effective personal brand takes time and there is no one such accepted process across the globe that suits the need of all. Still it is considered to keep a ‘personal brand’, one need to keep in mind some considerations. As such-
1. Identify Target Audience - Identifying target audience vis-à-vis their needs & wants, is important for personal branding.
2. Determine the Image Being Projected – One should determine what image he/ she projects before others. For the very purpose, one could seek help of the trusted persons who are the real well-wishers of the concerned person.
3. Determine whether the Image Matches the Expectations or not and Make Adjustments Accordingly – If the ‘personal brand’ is not working then one should make changes in the branding elements viz. appearance, behavior, personal symbol, etc.
4. Create Branding Elements – One should develop branding elements to create and reinforce one wants to project before the target audience.
5. Execute the Performance – A bad performance undermines ‘personal branding exercise’.
6. Measure Results & Take Corrective Actions
PHASES OF PERSONAL BRANDING EXERCISE
There are four phases involved in personal branding exercise. They are –
1. Determine Brand Attributes – One needs to understand the special skills and attributes he/ she has that he/ she could utilize in the market.
2. Develop Brand & Brand Platform – One needs to think how to summarize the brand attributes in a brief phase to create a unique value (USP) before the target audience.
3. Deploy brand – One has to attempt to make others aware about his/ her existence in the marketplace.
4. Maintaining Brand – One needs to monitor and maintain ‘personal brand’ and take corrective actions, if necessary.
CHALLENEGES BEFORE PERSONAL BRANDING EXERCISE
Developing a strong personal brand poses a lot of obstacles who attempts to do it completely on their own. This includes some as such –
1. Objectivity – It is very difficult for anyone to be objective about oneself. That’s the reason so many people who start trying to brand themselves on their own failed.
2. Branding Process – Developing a viable brand and brand identity is quiet challenging. It involves design, psychology and a solid foundation in marketing particular in-bound marketing. The process includes:
a. Discovering one’s strongest brand attribute
b. Developing and maintain the brand itself
c. Deploying the brand effectively (using social media, and other promotional tools)
3. Communication – Developing a robust brand is one thing, deploying it effectively is quiet another. So one has to perform both the task effectively to beat up the rising challenging.
4. Consistency – One has to keep the target audience informed consistently using different modes conveying the brand message.
5. Paradigm Shift – Here an individual has to given others a reason to keep themselves connected to the concerned person.
OTHER IMPORTANT POINTS TO BE KEPT IN MIND FOR PERSONAL BRANDING
1. One has to be generous and gracious. One has to get rid of his/ her ego for the purpose.
2. One has to help others first and most.
3. One has to be personable without being too personal.
4. One has to be omnipresent in order to take advantage of the cross-posting automation.
5. One has to be a nerd and keep on tracking and measuring everything.
6. One has to maintain consistency. He/ she has to be himself/ herself.
7. One has to be kind to himself/ herself allowing for mistakes to be done.
8. One has to be generous with responses and comments.
9. One has to make himself/ herself findable.
10. One has to develop and maintain relationships with peers, friends, competitors, etc.
Last but not the least Do Follow the Following, very wisely said by
TOM PETERS –
“We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”