My friend Valeria Maltoni has a great article on personal branding at The Blog Herald. She reminds us of the “The Brand Called You” article by Tom Peters from the August/September 1997 FastCompany magazine.
Valeria’s article continues by asking and framing questions about: What Makes You Different? What’s Your Pitch? Why Is It Important? Valeria will lead you through a wonderful introspective exercise about your own brand.
Some additional questions from me:
HOW DO PEOPLE EXPERIENCE YOUR BRAND?
We may have a good idea of what our brand IS, but what about how that is received? Example: I may see myself as incredibly creative, and learn that I am received by my team as being too ’strategic’ and not focused on execution. A few ways to learn about this perception are the 360 feedback process, working with a mentor, or asking trusted colleagues (see the We All Need More Simon Cowell post from April).
DO YOU OWN YOUR BRAND OR RENT IT?
Who controls your brand: how you represent yourself? Do you change personal brands as often as your socks? Do you hold a hard line and haven’t changed since high school? Great brands grow and change over time – but are still true to their brand promise. Example: General Electric. From “We Bring Good Things To Life” to “Imagination at Work” to “Eco-magination” – the brand promise remains faithful.
WHAT IS YOUR BRAND PROMISE?
This is the output or experience someone is guaranteed to get when they interact with you. This could be your financial acumen, your project management skills, your marketing insights, your sense of humor.
The ability to have awareness of our personal brand, nurturing it and using it to strengthen our relationships is one of the most powerful tools in business today.
Bonus: finding your own brand name in a fun way (thanks again Valeria!): The Design Conspiracy.