Any organisation or company has a brand associated with it. A brand is more than the name and logos associated with the company. A brand is everything and anything that is associated with the company or organisation. It is the identity that the company has, the perceptions that all its stakeholder, competitors and customers have about the organisation. A brand has value tied with it; hence companies devote so much time to creating that brand and maintaining it. As individuals we also need to be personal brands. We have to have ideals, principles, virtues and values that define us at any instance.
A lot of people do not know that they are a brand to themselves. The truth undisputable is you are a brand, whether or not you make a conscious decision to be one. Failure to create and maintain a personal brand is creating a failed brand. This is because whether you are aware of it or not people are watching you and associate you with some kind of brand. I have however chosen to be a brand and deliberately create a perception with others that works for me. I have created my brand based on my strength and abilities and I strive to protect my brand and never jeopardise it in any way. When you have a strong brand, you get engaged effortlessly. People will look for you because of your brand and it ceases to be about ability only.
All the people that have managed to create strong brands have managed to do so by being consistent. They have consistent values and principles. They are not ever shifting positions and standpoints. They never speak equivocally on issues. These are people who do everything thoroughly, by that I mean that when they accept an assignment they do it to the best of their ability. It is better to pass an opportunity when you know you will not do a good job on it than to accept and tarnish your reputation. Being a brand takes a lot of discipline. Without discipline a brand is weak, this is because one can never be consistent without discipline. Like I said the best and strongest brands are the most reliable and consistent ones.
Be consistent and reliable in your dealings. Decide what you want to be identified with and stand with it. You can never be a brand when you do not know how to market yourself. Being a brand means also deliberately making people know about the brand and desiring it. Create positive hype about your brand. You want people to want to do business with you and no other person if you are a brand. Create demand for your brand. A lot of people lack this skill. You might be the best at what you do, but if people do not know your brand you have a lot of value untapped. I have seen people who don’t even have great amounts of talent but they have still made it because they have created strong brands and everyone wants to do business with them.
However you do not want to market and expose your brand before it is consistent. Wait till you have a consistent brand that is sellable then expose it. If you make a mistake of exposing a half-baked brand it might never recover and people’s perceptions about you and your brand might never shift.
Remember creating a personal brand is about making people desire to engage you and do business with you. It is about creating a positive perception about you in your daily interactions with people.
Ask yourself this question; “what kind of brand are you?”
By Glen Dhliwayo