May 25 2017
Building the foundations of brand ‘you’

Brands are all around us; from that Starbucks coffee you picked up this morning, right down to your M&S socks. But have you stopped to think about your personal brand? Whilst you might not be on the same level as Nike, you still have your own brand which deserves attention, care, and development.

What is a personal brand?

Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands; it is an identity that stimulates precise, meaningful perceptions. It encompasses you and the qualities and values that you stand for. A personal brand goes beyond your personality as it places you as an asset and promotes key aspects of who you are.

You might think that it is a fairly modern practice, but it has actually been around since 1937. Even some of the largest companies and products are based on personal branding, such as Sainsburys, the George Foreman Grill, and WH Smiths – all of them named after high profile individuals.

You are the CEO of Me PLC, and it’s down to you to effectively market the brand called ‘You’.

Getting started – who are you?

Before you start announcing yourself as a personal brand, get yourself a pen and paper and think about your key features. What qualities and characteristics do you have? What have you done that you’re proud of? Go beyond your job title and really figure out who you are.

Maybe you frequently run marathons for charities, or perhaps you have a distinctive style; there are plenty of aspects to consider. Personality and achievements are obvious, but think through your lifestyle, friends, appearance, behaviours, and abilities.

What are the benefits of brand ‘you’?

So you know what your brand is, you’ve figured out the different elements you want to focus on, now you need to link those key features to benefits. In order for a brand to be effective, it has to have value. The customer needs to get something in exchange for buying into your personal brand, and it’s up to you to figure out what those benefits are.

Many big corporations like to take a feature-benefit model; every feature they offer in their product or service yields an identifiable and distinguishable benefit for the customer or client. For example, lots of large department stores feature personalised shopping services. The customers benefit from this by getting a feeling of being accorded individualised attention. Try applying this model to your features and benefits, and create a strong list of feature-benefits; they are the foundation for brand ‘you’.

Want to know more about developing your personal brand? Take a look at our course Developing your personal brand, or view our other courses here 

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