Before you begin to examine your personal brand you need to make certain that you know what you mean by a personal brand. Have a think. What brands do you like? What do you wear, drive, eat, drink and where do you shop? What do they tell you about yourself?
Look beyond aspirational designer brands to everyday brands in your life. People who shop in saver stores like Lidl or Penneys are saying something about themselves, especially when they lie to others about it.
Brands are emotional
I notice that when my friends talk about brands they do so with emotion, “I love my Audi”, “I only wear Jo Malone perfume”, “Guinness is the only beer worth drinking”. Brands depend on and exploit your emotional engagement with the very idea of their brand. When pressed to explain this emotional attachment you find yourself starting off rationally and then you dig down to the emotion. I love it, I enjoy it, I like being seen in it, or I always buy it because I trust it.
Now step back from your favourite brands and keep that mind set as you begin to look at your personal brand. You have this effect on others! Heard of the marmite effect? I hear about it every day with my clients. They either love or hate, moderate views have been replaced as we become more stressed.
Your personal brand is what others say it is
Remember one important principle; your personal brand is not what you say it is. It’s what others say about you. My definition of a personal brand is “what they say about you when you leave the room”. Usually the description is short, pointed and deadly accurate.
Listen well the next time you hear the side comments after a meeting, especially when someone has been upset. Whatever the phrase, the message is clear, others are capable of summing your personal brand up in one phrase.
The conclusion is that people always think something about you and it is rooted in their emotions. The power of understanding what your personal brand is, is that you become aware of it and can do something about it.
Do you know what your personal brand is, do you think it may be damaged, or in decline? Are you aware of how you are perceived and is this the perception you want?
Everyone has a personal brand, it is vital that you are aware of yours and that you are intentionally controlling the impressions you are making on others.Everyone has a personal brand, it is vital that you are aware of yours. Learn more with our Career Direction Mentoring programme