Branding is defined as the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. And although we tend to think of companies and businesses when it comes to branding, each individual should have their own brand. Not in the sense of a product, but in differentiating themselves from other individuals. This would be Personal Branding. The process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique abilities, whether professional or personal, and then leveraging it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. This is not a process that happens overnight. Just like branding a product, one must gain acceptance from others by establishing core competencies, delivering a consistent message, and showing demonstrated abilities and expertise in a given area.
In order to create your brand, one must really have an understanding of self and what makes them tick. Some questions that can help this self-evaluation are:
- What are my strengths?
- How am I perceived?
- Are others perception of me how I view myself?
- What am I passionate about?
- What motivates me?
The answers to these questions can help one better understand themselves and help them create their personal brand.
No one has perfected the personal brand any better than Michael Jordan. Although Jordan has been retired from the NBA for 7 years now, his brand image and earning power are as strong as ever. I remember doing a research paper in college on sports marketing and learned if you could assign a dollar figure to MJ’s effect on the companies and products he endorsed, including the NBA and his salaries, that amount would be $10 billion. And this was in 1998. It is known as The Jordan Effect. Jordan’s ability to excel at basketball and essentially become a living legend has allowed him to build a brand that will surely live way beyond his lifetime.
The most important thing of building your personal brand is to be authentic. No one likes a fake and people can see right through the BS your peddling. Work on becoming a better person and excelling at what you do and your “brand” is sure to improve. Peace & Love!!!
by T. Lewis for Hearts Of Kings