There is a lot of literature out there already on building “the brand called you,” so I won’t go into why it’s important, if not critical in this over-hyped world to diligently if not intentionally build, nurture, package, market, and protect your brand. I do want to remind you that brand equity is simply your brand promises, delivered! In essence, that which I perceive your unique value-add to be, by whatever means you’ve positioned yourself (your resume, website, business card, past results, repute, etc.) must match the experiences that I have with you.
Whether that’s the two of us working on a project together, me buying something from you, or some other exchange of value between us, the signals I’ve heard, internalized, resonated with me, etc. all must match what I actually feel in our interpersonal interactions. So, here are a handful of questions of you:
1. What personal brand do you want to establish for yourself? How do you want others to describe you, or (hopefully in a positive sense) talk about you when you’re not in the room? What promises are you proposing to deliver in terms of output or value for others? This is simply too important to leave it to chance. Pick 5 attributes now, write them down, print them, and put them in front of you to see them each and every day!
2. What are you doing to live those attributes? If you want to be known as the “go-to-guy,” what are you doing to consistently demonstrate that you’re dependable, that people can call you in times of need, and even if you don’t have the answer, you can help them find the answer?
3. How are you innovating and marketing your brand? Drucker said that there are two fundamental aspects of every business (you are after all the CEO of your own brand): Innovation and Marketing! So, what are you doing to innovate your brand, nurture, feed it, grow it, scale it, and constantly re-invent it? And, equally important, how are you packaging it, getting it in front of the people who matter, adding value constantly, and reminding them of your unique proposition?
4. Does your brand help them connect the dots between what they need and what you offer? Several years ago, a great client who hired me for a speaking engagement on social media, hired someone else to help them with their growth strategy!! It was my fault for not educating them on my core strengths (expert first, speaker second!) and leaving it up to them to connect the dots between my speech and their business needs. Big mistake!
5. Are you building brand preference for your technical skills and insistence on the manner in which you build relationships? There are several stages in how we feel about a brand – from rejection (some brands we just don’t like) to association (neutral) to preference and insistence. Ideally, you build brand preference for your technical competencies (what you know) and insistence: “Get me Nancy to lead this project,” for the manner in which you build and nurture relationships!
Your name is your biggest brand. Become more intentional in how you package and position it. By the way, never forget that performance trumps all. For any brand to capitalize on its equity, it actually has to deliver what it promises!
Make it a great week,