The word brand began simply as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. Then brand became the identity of a specific product, service or business. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity – i.e. the personality of a product, company or service.
A brand can be a business, corporation, state employee, retiree, stay at home mom, etc.
A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination, tagline, etc.
Now that you are understanding what a brand is, let’s go over the 3 key steps to branding yourself. The first step is figuring out the essence of who you are. The second step is realizing what you do best. The third step is communicating your unique brand.
Step 1 — Who are you?
This is the core essence of your brand – i.e. what makes you, YOU?
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
What do you stand for?
This is your whole personality, the whole enchilada. This is where being authentic comes into play. Just simply be yourself. If you are trying to be what others think you should be or how others think you should appear…it WON’T work.
Step 2 – What do you do best?
This is what makes your product or level of service get noticed. This is your P.O.D. (point of differentiation). It is the combination of your experiences, talents, knowledge, lessons learned all translated into results. It is your uniqueness.
Step 3 – How do you communicate who you are and what you do best?
Communicating your brand can be accomplished in an unlimited amount of ways, which brings up three very important points to communicate your brand successfully:
- You must know who you are and what you do best, inside and out.
- You must be comfortable in the communication venue. (i.e. Networking, email, phone, trade shows, online chats, etc.)
- You must never forget that you are always communicating your brand. (Even non-communication is communicating)
Here is a story from one of my recent Power up! Seminars in Phoenix about Bronston Jones, a 6’7″ comedian who is living his brand every day: “Life’s Short – I’m Not.” When he starts and finishes his comedy or seminar routine, he states: “Life’s Short – I’m Not.” During his routine, he continuously reinforces his brand by going beneath the surface to show the essence of his brand, which is: Don’t put limits on yourself, think BIG. Don’t get caught up in have to’s, should of’s and could of’s. His style of living, believing and talking continually communicate his brand. Now if he was 4’3″ this “Life’s Short, I’m Not” bit wouldn’t work very well.
Now that you understand what a brand is and the 3 steps to branding yourself, I ask: Can you brand yourself?
For those of you that said no, I’ll see you on January 21, 2011 at our next Power up! Branding Seminar.