Branding Gets Personal

…by uncorporated place

Not so long ago, brands represented companies, and individuals were able to hide behind those corporate brands.

Those days are gone, and now people within an organization are the brand.

What’s changed?
It used to take money to build a brand, and companies spoon-fed the brand to the public via the traditional media channels — newspapers, magazines and television. If a company executive said the wrong thing or made a mistake, word of it spread slowly — it could take a day or more for news organizations to hear about it and pick it up. In addition, it was difficult for people to band together and to have a voice. Communication and marketing was truly one-way.

Times have changed. The rules have changed. Technology has changed.

Communication and marketing now happens in multiple directions. Technology has changed the way we communicate.

For example: With the speed and ease of sharing news, if your employee is rude to a customer, word of it will spread to thousands in just a matter of seconds (thanks most particularly to Twitter and Facebook).

Today, an organization’s brand is only as strong as the people who represent it. Branding has gotten personal.

What are the building blocks behind your personal brand?
1)
It starts with passion for what you do and who you do it for. There are a lot of things you can fake, passion isn’t one of them. It is the difference between being average and standing out from all the other pretenders doing the “same” thing you do.

2) You need to have a personal vision (where are you headed in life?) and a mission that your personal brand positioning supports. Branding isn’t an accident.

3) To be relevant, your personal brand must be allowed to evolve. Make no mistake though, just like putting on a different shirt or pair of pants, underneath you are still the same person. Don’t let your personal brand become stale but make sure it always reflects the “true” you

4) Remember that all your thoughts/actions are perceived as your brand. You can’t slip up even once without affecting your brand’s reputation, positively or negatively. Think about that when you are at a crossroads about what you should or should not do. Someone is always watching or listening; don’t assume what you say/do won’t be heard or seen by others.

5) Communicate. Respond to emails. Return phone calls. Tweet. Write blogs. Participate in LinkedIn and Facebook discussions. Get out and meet people.

6)
Listen. Communicating is a two-way street — if you want others to care about what you have say, then you truly have care about what they have to say.

7)
Be trustworthy.

And, last but not least. Don’t let someone else define your brand. Get out there and do it yourself.

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