9/09/2007

Branding You

We are surrounded by the myriad of brands in the marketplace today. Even the most natural substance, water, has fallen prey to the phenomenon of branding. Branding is how companies chose to separate themselves from the rest. Branding is why we pay a little more for one product over another. Most of us have only thought of branding the in corporate sense. But a new era is emerging, the dawn of the personal branding era.

Whether you realize it or not, you already have your own personal brand. A brand is how a product is recognized. Your branding is what you are known for. You have already created an image of what you represent. But most of us do not consciously think of how we are constantly defining ourselves. We consistently send out messages to everyone at all times, the key is to define our ideal image we want to brand and to effectively demonstrate image to the world. So how do you create or fine tune your brand?

1. Your uniqueness-Your brand relies heavily on your unique attributes. Take time to list your most valuable and unique assets. These are the traits that others notice about you as well. Once you have identified your strengths, accentuate them. Speak on them, place them on your personal card. Make it a part of your personal mission statement. Think of a slogan that best defines you and play it in your head over and over again.

2. Know your audience-What does your audience expect from you? Are consistently delivering above their expectations? If you take the time to understand their needs, you can effectively demonstrate to them how your unique attributes will provide solutions for those needs.

3. Be consistent-When you pay extra for a certain brand, you expect the same level of quality every time you purchase it. The same idea applies to your personal branding. You should work diligently to make sure that you continue providing the same level of excellence that your audience has come to expect. The consistently will reinforce your brand more than anything else you can do to define yourself.

Have fun creating your personal brand. Remember that the word personal is crucial in establishing your brand. Do not create a brand based solely on what you see others doing. Be innovative. If you seek out to emulate another individual's attributes, you liken yourself to the store brand. The quality may be comparable, but most customers prefer the brand name product. Reinvent yourself if your current brand is not what you desire it to be. Look for ways to separate yourself from the rest. It's time for a brand new you.

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