Personal Brand (3) – Dissecting Brand

Unless there’re no records of your existence, and you’re in permanent confinement on the moon, reputation will follow you wherever you go (see previous post: Personal Brand (2) – Dissecting Reputation). You acquire a reputation weather you want it or not. But your personal brand on the other hand – you create!

The ties between the two are inevitable. As for corporate brands, the individuals reputation is influenced, or can be altered, through the positioning and management of the brand.

- From Wikipedia: Personal branding is the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands.[1] While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.[1]The process is further defined as the creation of an asset that pertains to a particular person or individual; this includes but is not limited to the body, clothing, physical appearance and areas of knowledge, leading to a uniquely distinguishable, and ideally memorable, impression.”

Branding is about putting the different aspects of YOU in place; structuring, managing, and being strategic and consistent about who you are, what you do and how you do it. Personal brand management and positioning can be achieved through the deliberate actions of; package, market, broadcast. In coming posts I will delve further into these actions. I’ll explain what they mean and how you can actively utilize them. But for the time being, ponder on how you exercise these behaviors now.

- From Bloomberg Businessweek: “The image of your brand is a perception held in someone else’s mind. Personal branding entails managing this perception effectively and influencing how others perceive you and what they think of you. Building an authentic personal brand is an evolutionary and organic process that should emerge from your search for your identity and meaning in life. It is about getting clear on what you want, giving it all your positive energy, doing what you love, and improving yourself continuously.”

-Marshall Goldsmith inAuthentic Personal Branding.

 

My great-aunt, silent movie actress Laura La Plante

So, why is personal brand important? I’d like to argue that personal brand is something that should concern us all. In the passed merely a small percentage of the population was in the limelight, and public about their lives. Commonly the same people where wealthy enough, or held positions where they were able to employ PR-experts to help them manage their brands and reputation. Unlike todays ‘tagging’ – press photos where taken in studios and carefully chosen for each purpose. And unlike todays ‘status updates’ – your spokesperson would release a mindfully composed statement.

Is it discomfort that makes us shrug, or pure obliviousness?  Today we’re all more or less public figures. As they say, once on the internet, always on the internet. Which make online identity management crucial. When you use social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. you are essentially building your brand through every action, and even, in every even non-action. I’ve been studying this area during the passed year and found that many are in the dark when it comes to the affect that their digital presence has on brand and reputation.

Wake up and smell the coffee people – it’s time to start branding, and be the best that YOU can be!

Hope you found this helpful in getting a better understanding about personal branding! /BENSON

Don’t miss: If you liked this post, make sure to follow my series about Personal Brands. Please like, share and comment – you’re inputs are greatly appreciated! 

Some of the inspiration for this post: Jaqueline Kothbauer (Book (swe): Mediababe), (Blog: Mediababe), Tom Peters and Marshall Goldsmith.

 

Personal Brand (2) – Dissecting Reputation

The pervious post, Brand vs. Reputation, was my first in a series about Personal Brands. In this post I will more closely be discussing and examining reputation. I will attempt to put this word in a more modern context and point towards how it relates to brands today.

Dissecting reputation leads me to the two words, honor and respect. These are two conducts that have played an important part in building our society. Upholding honor and respect is living up to certain expectations. Norms and rules are set in the family, or in the community, and then used by members to size how well we perform in the social setting. Religion is a perfect example, one of it’s attributes being functioning as a social ‘measuring-tool’. But these types of ‘tools’ are not specific to religion, they’re also found in secular countries and individualist cultures.

So why do we continue to rely upon these seemingly ‘dated’ social rules and norms? Well, they make us feel comfortable! People generally like the feeling of being prepared, or to some extent know what to expect. We may no longer look to God for the final verdict, but judgement still takes place. Todays preferred norms and rules, our ‘religion’, is commonly influenced by one or more subcultures, such as; the company we work for, the people we hang out with, the brands that we follow, the bands we listen to and the art we enjoy etc.

By openly conveying your association, you are identifying yourself as a part of the group. You’re implying that you will abide by their rules and norms, and in further extent, committing to upholding the groups reputation through the management of your own personal brand. The personal brand is hereby assigned a higher importance, it becomes a piece of the larger than life, ‘societal brand’.

You may at this point be thinking; “heeeey, I’m my own, I stick out, I’m an individualist and that’s awesome! What the #€%&/ is this girl talking about?!”. Well, dear Gen-Y reader, I’m sorry to shatter you perceptions. But to calm your anguish I’d like to add this; it’s in community the sweet spot lies! THIS is where we create value! Whether it’s higher monetary or relational-status we seek, we’re NOTHING without the support of a ‘tribe’. Reality is that everyone, more or less, deliberate or not, engages in tribal activity every day. So, by finding YOUR ‘campfire’, with the right ‘circle of scouts’, your ability to influence will turn from a simple add/subtract equation to an exponential function.

Now, I still want to leave you with this - Don’t give up being different, being YOU! Instead, see brand management as a waltz. You are performing, rocking back and forth between conformity and individualism. The audience, your ‘tribe’, will endorse ‘good behavior’ and discourage or ignore the ‘bad’. Let’s just say… if you’re doin’ it right – you’ll notice!

Finally I’d like to share my source of inspiration for this post, watch the 10 minute YouTube clip of Dr Patrick Dixon on ‘Marketing to Tribes…’.

/BENSON for B|Social

This is the second in a series of posts discussing reputation, personal branding and Online Identity Management, so stay tuned!

 

Personal Brand (1) – Brand vs. Reputation

Your personal brand is what you put out there every day; on Facebook, in E-mails, on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, during phone calls, at meetings and in your personal relationships. Everything you do, that can be observed by a second or third party, is essentially brand building.

Our exhibitionistic lifestyles leave more impressions today than ever before. The concept of managing your personal brand may be fairly new to the ‘average Joe’, but our reputation, on the other hand, is something that has concerned us for ages. As tribal beings we are essentially wired to mind what others think of us. No surprise, when in the past, the acceptance of ‘the tribe’ was a condition for securing our survival. In ‘geek terms’, our default setting is to care about each other. And that’s a good thing! :)

How do you manage your personal brand?

So now, why personal brand instead of reputation? Brand and reputation closely resemble each other. The reason for distinction between the two is simply that reputation has more of an interpersonal aspect. A personal brand on the other side, much like corporate brands, have a second dimension including deliberate actions such as; package, market, broadcast.

Today we share our thoughts, feelings and activities openly through apps, blogs and in social media. I want to stress the importance of brand management in relation to the presence you claim. A stay at home dad writing status-updates about lattes and runny noses has less of a need to reflect on his brand than let’s say Oprah Winfrey. But I think it’s pretty safe to say, that it can do us all some good, to give our brand a thought, in this day and age. Have a plan, a strategy or at least a common manner of handling your brand in the online community, it’s called Online Identity Management (OIM).

This is the first in a series of posts discussing reputation, personal branding and OIM, so stay tuned!

/BENSON for B|Social

We are back and up and running

Been having some computer problems… I know, who has a good reason for computer problems since Apple!?!

The truth is, we are on Mac. But never the less, Mac book Airs, as many other computers prefer not being soaked in water. So, a bit of a blip after our ‘grand launch’ about a month ago, but like I said, we’re now back on track.

Make sure to follow…

Launch

Hurray!!! Today we officially launched our website at ‘bensonsocial.com’ and our Facebook page ‘B|Social’. It’s a work in progress so bare with us… ;)

The Facebook page and blog will feature posts on what’s going on in the company. We will also publish news, articles, white papers and educational material on the topics of sustainability and social media. Stay tuned!