If Life was a Supermarket what Brand of Chocolate do you think you would be?
Rather if Life was a Mall, what Brand of Shoes would you be?
Even better, if Life was a Race, what Brand of Car would you be?
Answer each of these questions, and answer once again, WHY?
The BIG Q
Now the Most important Question, have you ever wondered to Yourself:
‘To Brand ME or not to Brand ME?’
Seldom, people fail to realize, that indeed this is a moot question; and yet they ponder over it for the best years of their Life, sometimes, till it too late to take the leap of faith.
You, are of course, a Human being not some pretty packaged candy bar being sold for a dime a dozen in your local super market; or a pair of gorgeous stilettos being envied by all-but who flaunts them; or a Fantastic set of four wheels that take your life from 0 to 100 in less than 5! You are not a commodity, or a product or a service by any means which can be defined and dealt with. The conventional rules of 4Ps of Marketing do not apply to YOU, as You are Unique and Rare, as Rare as you could possibly be.
But You do have one thing that is noteworthy of all these aforementioned categories of items I mentioned: REPUTATION. You as a Professional, and more importantly a Human, have Reputation to Protect, Nurture & Build; just like any of the Brands of Candies or Shoes or Cars. Each of these products are valued and consumed only and only for the Reputation they have built & sustained in the Industry over their life-cycle; which now puts them on the top of your preference List. It is this Reputation that distinguishes You from the rest of your colleagues and competition. It is this Reputation that attracts the Best of the opportunities in Life, your way. Whether it’s the Business battlefield your ascents up the Corporate Ladder. Your Reputation precedes you, and defines your Success Story.
Now, Now, if you do have a reputation, than Life has just got a LOT simpler for you. You have now, this very moment realized that YOU are a BRAND; with a Reputation to Protect, Nurture & Build. Congratulations!!!
So, I am a Brand: What Next?
So now, that you know you are a Brand, what do you intend to do with it? You have three options:
What does Brand ME Need?
Your Personal Brand is nothing but the Reputation that you carry in the hearts & minds of your Brand Community-which comprises of ALL the People you know.
Your Brand= Your Reputation (in the World)
If it sounds intimidating, worry not, I am now going to tell you the exact course of action you need to adopt to Protect, Nurture & Build the Brand YOU.
Protect: What are you trying to Protect? Your Reputation, right? But unless you really know what your Reputation is RIGHT NOW, How do you plan to Protect it?
Step 1: Discover your Personal Brand Reputation, with a Personal Brand Assessment Tool, to know what the World thinks of your Brand before you start building it. You need to know where you are before you begin your Journey, right?
Step 2: Once, you are well-aware of your current Brand Reputation in the Industry; you must now overcome any discrepancies in your perceived Self-Reputation and the one that you have discovered from the external feedback about your Brand. You need to formulate a sound strategy to minimize the variance between these two, with the help of a Professional Personal Brand Strategist.
These 2 steps will ensure that you are now doing all that is required to Protect your Reputation in the Industry.
Nurture: The Step 2 of the Protect phase is only the beginning of caring for your Reputation. Now, it is vital for you to nurture your Personal Reputation to grow it, the way you desire it to shape up.
Step 1: This is the most exciting step of your Personal Branding process, as you now indulge into introspection about what makes you: YOU. You discover, the major driver and boosters of your Brand like your Passions, Values, Visions, Goals, Strengths, Motivated Skills, to name a few. This is complemented with a detailed analysis of the existing Brand Community that you exist in and these things fuel the next step of unearthing your Uniqueness!
Step 2: You now discover your Unique Value Proposition that is the SOUL of your Personal Brand, which differentiates you from the world, and is the instrumental factor in building your Brand.
Build: This is the master-plan of the Brand YOU; which dictates on how you will Talk your Brand & Walk your Brand.
With the aid of your Strategist, you will formulate a customized Brand Action Plan, to Communicate (Talk your Brand) & Live (Walk your Brand), so as to maintain the 3C’s of your Brand: Clarity, Constancy & Consistency, in your Brand Experience.
Use these 3 Simple Steps to start working on building the Reputation of the Brand YOU; and Remember, it is not what you say your Brand is; it is what your Reputation says it is.