How often do you say?
- Please bring me a Kleenex? (In place of tissue)
- Google It (meaning search it)
- I need a Starbuck’s…(in place of coffee)
- I wore my Nikes. (in place of any athletic shoe)
- I stopped for a Coke. (in place of soda)
- It was a Pixar film. (in place of animated)
These are companies which have won the branding war. Their name comes to mind in place of the generic on a daily basis, and in today’s marketplace individuals are to think of themselves as a BRAND. The study of personal branding has become an art and has culminated in success for many individuals. It is possible to position yourself away from your competition, but there are some key points you will need to consider. Let’s illustrate with the acronym CAP…so you think of a covering for Personal Branding Success.
C…Consistent Messaging. Branding is much more than a logo or company visuals. Branding is personal. Write a definition of who you are…what you do better than anyone else and how does it apply to the career path you desire. You must constantly and consistently be communicating this message on all of your social media, personal communications, and in your actions. If you are known by employers for your diligence, then stay diligent and do not let any temptation to be lazy take that from you. Consistent actions are noticed and are key to your branding. Branding is the ability to make an emotional connection with an audience whether you are branding you or the company where you work.
A…Authentic Voice. Do not attempt to be someone you are not. Be authentic, real, and humble. Do not overpromise. Honesty and authenticity are highly valued in our present world. So many brands from Bill Cosby, Blue Belle Ice Cream, and Chipotle have lost highly valued trust with bad decisions. Just ask Martha Stewart how difficult it is to come back…possible, but difficult. Protect your authentic personal brand. Be unique, position yourself away from competitors, but remain authentic.
P…Be purposeful and persistent with every decision. Personal branding requires persistent, purposeful, diligent work. A successful branded professional has been smart about all decisions with their career. They know what well branded career women say “no” to is as important as saying ”yes.” They have worked long hours to know and understand the competition. They have guarded their reputation and character. They have taken notice of each decision form the outside to their inside.
If you are struggling with understanding personal branding or perhaps an employer has said, you need to work on your brand, then study PERSONAL BRANDING FOR DUMMIES, by Susan Chritton, M.Ed. It takes work, but can result in career success.
By Pamela Lutrell