Your personal brand is composed of many attributes that help to define you. These attributes are partially how you see yourself and partially how you think others see you. Your thoughts and perceptions are ratified through the people you interact with or the consumers who come in contact with Brand You.
If you think of yourself as a brand, you are no different from anyone else who believes in leaving their name as a legacy in this world. A strong personal brand must have several attributes. The combination of physical form, your qualifications and your achievements are the skeleton, the flesh, blood and muscles of Brand You. These attributes coupled with your skills, intelligence and wisdom, is your persona.
Your persona, Brand You, will define how you will be perceived by your audience and in the rest of your world.
You need to consider the following eight attributes to understand and evaluate your personal brand and to understand how Brand You measures up against each. These attributes are as applicable to the brand of your company, your product, your service as they are to your personal brand.
A strong brand must be relevant in the context of bridging customer expectations and supplier deliverables.
You need to be relevant for others if you expect them to give you a share of their already cluttered mind. How can you be relevant to someone?
Within a family or your circle of friends you could be relevant as the head of the family, the primary bread winner or a trusted member of the community. In an organisation, you could be a person who others can trust.
Consistency in a brand is seen when you communicate your message in a way that does not deviate from the core brand proposition.
While our personal brand must always be seen to convey a consistent message, we are human beings and we will bring in our personal biases in our interactions. It is important to remember that what is consistent for someone could be completely inconsistent for someone else.
Do you change dramatically between times when you are happy and stressed? Think about whether your behaviour consistent in times of stress and whether you can be relied upon especially in times of stress?
The consistency of your persona is what others look for in you.
- Proper Positioning.
A strong brand should be positioned so that it makes a place in the mind of the target audience.
Each one of us believes we understand how we are being seen or perceived by others. We are always looking for a reinforcement of these beliefs in our interactions with others. Think of all the times you have looked at your friends and family for a tacit or express approval of your actions. You need to understand why your consumers should prefer Brand You over others.
Understanding and accepting where our perceptions differ from what we see, hear and experience is necessary for us to work on making changes in the perception of our brand.
A sustainable brand drives an organization towards innovation and success. A sustainable personal brand will survive in the long run.
Your personal brand has to be sustainable and ensure the consumer remains attracted to it over time, resulting in repeat purchase or repeat contact.
You, knowingly or unknowingly, keep sending out signals and impressions about yourself to the people and the World around you. These signals are both positive and negative.
A strong brand must be credible. It needs to deliver all the attributes that it has promised.
The way you communicate your brand to your audience and your customers should be realistic. It should not fail or appear to fail to deliver what it promises. Do not exaggerate the attributes of Brand You or overstate the performance you can deliver. Your customers want to believe in the promises you make to them and do not want to be disappointed.
It is better to under promise and over deliver rather than the other way around.
A strong inspirational brand should transcend the category it is famous for.
When inspirational people speak, the audience listens with rapt attention. Their communication skills are outstanding. Many corporate leaders and political leaders are very inspirational speakers and have a very large following not just among their employees or their political parties but across boundaries of companies, parties and possibly across several countries.
The challenge most of them face on a regular basis is how to keep saying inspirational things to keep their brand value consistently high.
A strong personal brand should be unique and different from competition. It should set you apart in a clear and unambiguous manner.
It is important for you to understand all the areas where you believe you are unique before you are able to leverage your uniqueness.
A strong brand should be attractive and appealing.
Your appeal will have rational and emotional elements. There are people who talk down to you and make it known that they are superior to you. Do you find such people appealing to you in any way and would you make any effort to communicate with them?
How you choose to present your attributes will determine how your audience perceives you. Perception is what will drive the value of your brand leading to your acceptance or rejection from the community you choose to live in or be a part of.
The appealing characteristics of Brand You will always attract your audience as you work towards leaving your legacy.
The author is a Business and Executive Coach, a Storyteller and an Angel Investor. He hosts the highly successful podcast titled The Brand Called You. A keen political observer and commentator, he is also the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies. He is the author of 6 best-selling books and writes for several online newspapers.
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