In the marketing world we talk a lot about brands and branding. So what is a brand? Here are a few definitions I found by doing a quick Google search:
- A brand is a set of perceptions and images that represent a company, product or service. While many people refer to a brand as a logo, tag line or audio jingle, a brand is actually much larger. A brand is the essence or promise of what will be delivered or experienced.
- A brand is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with, by identifying the name, logo, slogan, or design of the company who owns the idea or image.
- A brand is the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers. Strong brands elicit opinions, emotions and sometimes physiological responses from customers.
And my favourite:
- A brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
I think this can apply to business branding as well as personal branding.
At a recent conference I had the privilege of listening to Lyndon Carlson, Senior Vice-President of Marketing at Farm Credit Canada, discuss the FCC culture, which many ag companies would love to emulate. Tied to that culture, he also talked about branding, particularly the importance of personal branding. Companies and organizations dedicate a significant amount of time to developing long-standing successful brands but just as important is the personal brands of the employees. Now a days building a personal brand is more important than ever.
He emphasized that each of us has a personal brand, whether we know it or not. When we pick up the phone to call someone, or text someone, or email someone, our communication with that person elicits either a positive or negative response. When someone sees your name or number on their call display do they eagerly pick up the phone to chat or do they hesitant? And this applies to both your work and personal life.
One of my marketing colleagues recently retired and as my fellow coworkers reminisced at his retirement party, I couldn’t help but think of personal brands. While he spent much of his career building strong brands for the company, he also built a strong personal brand for himself – a personal brand that newcomers to the industry such as myself can only aspire to.
So here’s something to think about: what’s your personal brand? If you were to retire tomorrow, what would people say at your retirement party (if they were being honest)?
Let’s review that definition of brand: A brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
So your personal brand is your promise to the people around you. It tells them what they can expect from you and it differentiates you from others. Your personal brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Go build a positive personal brand that you can be proud of.