Personal Branding

November 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Hi Coach, can you discuss more about personal branding.  I heard you partially discuss it in one of your lectures,” Jake requested.

“We know that brands are names of products, services, companies, organizations or people,” I continued, “Branding associates names with a favorable concept like, when you think of manufacturing and low-cost labor, what country do you think of?”

“China,” Jake answered.

“What comes to mind first when you think of a great coffee experience?” I asked.

“Starbucks,” again he answered.

“How about the safest car?” I pursued.

“Volvo!” he replied.

“Why do you think these names were top of mind?” I asked.

“Maybe it’s common knowledge,” Jake answered.

“You remember their names because these names have been positioned in your mind either through word of mouth, experience, PR or advertising.  The strategy of positioning it in your mind is branding,” I explained.

“Isn’t branding for cows when the owners mark them as their own?” Jake asked.

“Exactly!  Companies and their brands want to own that number one space in your mind,”  I affirmed. “They are figuratively pressing a heated metal against your mind, with their name of course.”

“So personal branding is how I position myself in the minds of my target customers,” Jake followed through, “So it is like owning their first thought.”

“Yes. People should know what you are offering and they should think of you first,” I explained. “Our lesson on differentiation comes into play here.”

“You mean people should know what makes me different from the others who offer my service so they think of me first?” Jake asked.

“It is not easy competing for the number one space in the mind if you are a new comer in the industry,” I explained, “Becoming different is a better strategy.”

“Coach, going back to personal branding, you are saying that my name should be associated by a service that is clearly differentiated from competition?” Jake asked.

“People should be saying something like, ‘if you need a speaker with substance and can make your audience laugh, you need to call Jake. You’ll get your money’s worth,” I explained.

“I just realized that many small enterprises don’t do branding at all. Most individuals do not even have the slightest idea about this. What happens to them?” Jake observed.

“The consequence of not practicing personal branding is, others will brand you. But that is often negative like, this guy is Mr. Late or she is Ms. Unreliable,” I explained.

“That is a good one Coach, if I do not brand myself, somebody else will, and it is often negative,” Jake echoed. “What are the key elements of personal branding?”

“Create your brand promise. Communicate it creatively. Deliver it consistently,” I enumerated. “What do you want your name to represent in your office, among your customers, in the community, you get the idea…”

“I know it’s time Coach. May we discuss more of this topic next week?” Jake requested.

“Of course. See you next week.”

© Eduardo R. Pilapil Jr. 2010

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