Branding seems to be a popular word in the English language these days. According to the dictionary, branding is the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. There are numerous branding experts that can assist you in finding your special voice in the marketplace. I’m not a branding expert, but there’re a couple things that seem fairly common sense to me.
YOU are your brand. Your brand is the culmination of every move you make and every action that you take during your day. It is the total sum of every word that comes out of your mouth and the emotion that others are left feeling after you’ve exited the building. If you truly want to positively stand out from the crowd, then you need to take this seriously. Are you putting your best foot forward on a daily basis? The following are a couple tips to help you decide whether you and your personal brand is on target.
Be certain that your audience is receiving your intended message. Most people focus on the words that they use to sell their concept or product, but the unintended non-verbal message is much more revealing. For example, if you were branding yourself as a successful financial wizard, you would be best served to dress in accordance with your message. If you’re marketing yourself as a health expert, you should definitely look the part. If you present as someone that is listless, tired and hasn’t hit the gym for 6 monthes, I doubt you’ll be credible. Often, we focus so intensely on the details, that we miss what’s right in front of our eyes.
Make sure you are sending one consistent message into the universe. When I say consistent, I mean your appearance, demeanor, and affect have to send your intended message every single time you’re out in public. But let’s take it one step further. When I say consistent, I mean that you (your brand) have to come through in every single move you make in life. For example, if you’re branding yourself as an advocate for women, you would be smart to communicate with every single woman you come across in your daily travels with the same level of respect— from the cashier in the Walgreens to the store owner where you’re buying your new dress.
Not only is your public presence important, but give thought to every time you represent YOU in email, social media etc. If you are an avid Facebook poster, think long and hard before you post anything that will personify you and your brand. I SAID ANYTHING! Every single word you use is an extension of YOU. I have witnessed numerous people that destroy their brand daily by not thinking before they post. I agree that you have the right to your personal page and you should feel free to talk to your friends about numerous topics. However, keep in mind that every single time you type words that are read by others, you will be conveying your BRAND. Is what you’re posting with your personal friends congruent with the image that you want to convey? If you are serious about growing your brand, you will think twice before discussing some personal or controversial topics that might not appeal to potential clients, friends etc.
I hope you take a few minutes and give thought to your current daily demonstration of your own brand. Make the needed changes and keep moving forward.