Packaging and Marketing yourself – ‘Brand You’ –
By Cecile Peterkin, International Career Coach
Branding is a process started by large corporations like Nike as part of a marketing strategy in the 1980’s. It is a concept which had them selling their customers an image and an idea. Soon, along with the pair of running shoes you were buying, you were also buying into the concept, and “just doing it”; and your Bell telephone service isn’t just about a tool, it’s about the way we are all connected. Advertising has become less about the product and more about the feeling the company wants you to associate with what they sell.
Branding isn’t just for companies. People in all walks of life and various career stages are starting to use self-branding to get ahead. Like a company and its product in the marketplace, self-branding means looking at yourself as a winning brand. It’s being aware of the things that set you apart from everyone else and make you memorable and unique – your skills, abilities, personality traits. Being self-aware means you become clear about what you stand for and what you have to offer. Doing a good job is no longer good enough to guarantee your career will go well.
Branding yourself means you become associated with what sets you apart from others and the added value you bring to a job, business, or situation. Self-branding demands self-awareness and communicates that you feel comfortable in your own skin. When you know what you’ve got to offer, you become powerful and intentional about how you communicate that through the quality of service you provide. You are your most important asset. Self-branding provides direction and clarity of purpose for how you work, not just what you do for a living.
Because you are self-aware and focused, the benefits of branding are many. Self-branding: A. Increases your confidence and self-motivation B. Increases your visibility and presence C. Differentiates you from your peers and colleagues As a result, you will: A. Achieve your personal and professional goals B. Increase your salary
Personal branding is the strategy behind the world’s most successful people like Oprah, Madonna, Donald Trump, Richard Branson and Bill Gates. It demands commitment to what you value, consistency in what you deliver, and the guts to market who you are. It is the difference between an ordinary career or business and an exceptional one. Get clear on the brand “You”, and be faithful to it.
For more information, check out Tom Peter’s book “The Brand You 50”. In it he creates a process in which you can empower yourself to stand out, both personally and professionally.