What Is Personal Branding?

Stand out with branding

And why should you Care?

I’ve been doing more in depth study into the power of personal branding for a couple of reasons. The first reason to study would be to provide meaningful context for my business clients, who are making certain decisions of how they want to appear in the marketplace. For my business professional clients, it’s more important than ever to understand what their personal brand could mean to their career. The second reason to learn more is to do the groundwork for my own rebranding. Here are some of the findings became evident.

We are all affected by branding, whether we admit it or not. It has been a persuasive and pervasive force in the marketplace for a long time, lwe're talking decades. Personal branding is a powerful marketing tool that has been proven, time and again, to influence people's purchasing choices. It's designed to work alongside basic conscious and subconscious factors to affect decision making. Personal branding, if done correctly, the customer isn't even aware of this influence or impact. Some think branding is amazing, almost magical, in the way it can influence opinion and, with the added technology advances, that impact has grown exponentially.

Some branding examples

Let’s check out a few examples demonstrating the power of branding. If you were shown a picture of a stylized arch that happened to be a yellowish gold in colour, what would your first thought be? What if you heard someone say the words "golden arches"? I think it’s safe to say most people would come up with the answer, regardless of their opinion (they approved or enjoyed the products or not). How about another example.

When you hear the word “apple”, what's your first thought? What about when you see a picture of a stylized apple in silhouette with a bite taken out if it?  Each of these examples probably caused you to instantly think of the particular product or business they are associated with. You likely had no conscious choice in the matter. You read the description and you thought of the product. This connection happens even quicker, and uncontrollably, when you can see the brand. The point is, these brands do what they are supposed to do. You see and you make a connection.

Should you brand yourself?

So, why should you be branding yourself? Well, there are a number of reasons. Maybe you have a business. It's priceless to have your face be associated with that business, something I have come to appreciate and focus on. If you think about Steve Jobs and Apple or Walt Disney and the Disney Studios you can see where this comes into play. The face becomes the logo. Maybe you're offering a product or service. The way you present yourself on social media is a way for people to associate you with that product or service. If people find you likable or memorable, in any way and for any reason, they will associate that emotion with what you sell. You are your business. Why not be the brand for that business as well. Your personal brand is your business, and your professional stock-in-trade. Is this an area you need to pay more attention to? A couple of questions for you: What do you want to say about your brand - what do you want your brand to say about you? I'd love to hear your perspective on the topic of personal branding and how it affects you.