Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Personal Branding - A Growth Sector

Branding is all the rage.

Personal Branding as distinct from Corporate branding.

There is a cottage industry booming assisting people establish and build their personal brand.

I find myself wondering about the process of building a personal brand.

I have some knowledge about the decision-making process to establish a Corporate Brand. Lots of meetings, discussions, exchanges of opinions and then testing wit staff and via focus groups.

An organisation may want to be viewed as a good local corporate citizen in the area it operates. It may want to be viewed as a an environmentally friendly with a low emissions footprint and a commitment to using recycled products.

There may be a perceived advantage in having a youthful and energetic brand image and decide to represent this this by offering cadet and traineeships to pre graduate students.

The realities of the market place and sales and marketing programs are also factored in. It needs to be commercially viable.

The outcome is launched internally and externally. Staff buy in, or check out and in many cases, employees including Management will buy in even if they don’t believe in the Brand Image

I don’t know how personal brand consultants go about their work or what the process is.

I do know a very different process must be followed. In a corporate exercise, the outcome will be an amalgamation of many people’s thoughts and beliefs.

A personal brand is just that – personal.

As I see it, a personal brand will be the amalgamation of the experiences, circumstances and exposures a person has had throughout their life up to that precise point f time.

A personal brand should not and I would argue cannot be built from scratch to meet a desired purpose.

It needs to be based on an individual’s ethical, morale beliefs, supported by the skills and knowledge they have gathered.

If a personal branding exercise involves the extracting and exploration of each person’s belief system and then the robust testing and authentication of this, great.

If he personal branding exercise then helps prepare the person to better present what they stand for, even better.

As I said earlier, I don’t know what the process is and will research this further.

If done properly and completely based on a individuals belief system, I applaud and recommend the exercise. It would be most valuable.

If it is an exercise in creating an image to present to the world based on little or no substance, it is a waste of time and money and as such would ensure an unhappy outcome.

Perhaps like any service we seek to avail ourselves of, asking questions first and establishing the process and the outcome it will result in is essential.

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