We worry so much about our store branding, our product branding; what about our personal branding?
What is it that successful companies have figured out—McDonalds, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts? You might answer good marketing but more specifically it’s about their brand. Branding used to be just for products, not any more. Branding is a combination of intangible and intangible characteristics and sets you apart from others. Whether you define it or not, you have a brand. Branding is your reputation; it’s what sets you apart and the value you bring to the situation. As my mom said, all you have is your reputation.You’re not defined by your job title or your job description you are defined by the value of your reputation.
AS the CEO of your own company, what you stand for is as important as what you sell. When there is a ‘disconnect’ between who you say you are and what you do, it makes people untrustworthy. Consider Tiger Woods and how he has been portrayed in the media. Over the years his agency has worked hard to portray him as a serious, focused golfer and family man. Although this may be true, the last few months have made us question his previous branding. Not that Tiger wanted to portray the other part of his life but because it’s so different than our original perception, we begin to question everything he does. When he came out and discussed his personal life the gamut of feelings were disgust and sadness. In my mind there was no reason for him to discuss his personal life. He is considered one of the finest golfers in the world; this has nothing to do with his personal life.To stand the test of time, a brand must be built from the inside out, not the outside in. Unfortunately his brand is ‘performance based’ and he is only as good as his last performance or his last win. His private life was his private life until he made it public.For the most part his brand was build on an authenticity, a hard working focused golfer.
We all have a brand. Paris Hilton’s brand was one of beautiful, fun loving, well spoken and a young woman living her life. Recently she was arrested for drug possession which changes the nature of how she is viewed.
I don’t think many of us think too much about our brands but we should. This is why your social media profile and behavior should reflect who you are. It is foolish to post anything that is not flattering to you on your social medial platform. We are all entitled to fun and a few drinks now and then but having to be driven home or forgetting your keys because you were drinking certainly takes a way from your creditability and ultimately the credibility of your business.
Okay three things to think about when building your brand:
Clarity, who are you, what you do and why it does it matter? Here we are again, building differentiation and your competitive advantage. If you know what makes you different it helps you determining a market strategy. I think you can have lots of customers you just can’t have all of them. But if you’re clear on who you are, you will get your share.
Consistency, can you be counted on to act the same way no matter what the situation? I had a boss once who was fine until about the third week of every month when the inventory was due. She became nasty, angry and just awful to be around.When the monthly figures were unveiled, her job was on the line.
The last is character. This is what makes you. This is your personality, your sense of humor your excitement for life. This is what brings you to life and make people want to connect to you. This is your gift and your “personal flair.”I know people say Lisbeth you move so fast, you have so much energy and enthusiasm; these are considered my gifts. On the other side is the Lisbeth who gets bored easily, worn out with not enough sleep and is short tempered. The better you know yourself the better you will be at connecting to your “special customers and friends.”