14 December 2018

Once upon a time, branding consisted of a name, slogan, logo or a combination of the three. While these elements are still vital for a successful brand, an expanding global marketing horizon has made the concept of branding much more complex. Essentially, your brand is a culmination of your experiences; it’s your reputation. One of my favourite quotes, which I’ve taken on as a life mantra after reading it early in my career is ‘your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room’ by Jeff Bezos. For those of you who may not know, Jeff Bezos is the Founder and CEO of Amazon, as well as an inspiring entrepreneur and philanthropist. I came across this quote at the start of my career, while the company I was working for was undergoing a rebrand. I was given the job of brand advocate, so it was my job to keep the marketing team up-to-date and how changes would impact us. In researching ways in which I could deliver brand updates in an innovative and exciting way I came across this quote and have never looked back. No matter who you are, people talk, and judgements are made. If you take away nothing else, remember that while you can’t control what people say about you when you’re not around, you can influence what they say and think about you as a result of your actions; your actions define your brand to a large extent.

Bearing all of this in mind, to be a success in your business environment, it is critical that you are aware of your personal brand and have a plan to create the brand that you want to own. After all, a good brand doesn’t evolve overnight; it requires strategic brand planning.

Your personal brand is who you are, who you want to be and who your audience perceives you to be. If you’re still not convinced, here are my top 5 reasons why maintaining and protecting your personal brand in a work environment is important:

  1. It tells a story

    How you promote your personal brand (your promise) tells a story about you. Are you the person your colleagues go to for problem-solving, or conflict resolution advice? Promoting a healthy personal brand adds value to you, and the experiences that stem from interactions with you.

  2. It promotes recognition

    Maintaining a consistent personal brand helps people in knowing what to expect from every interaction with you. In the work sphere, it’s normal that you opt to spend time with certain people over others. For example, if you want to get someone’s opinion on a certain type of work issue, you’ll have your go-to. Likewise, if there’s a specific job you’d like done, you’d go to a certain member of your team over another. All of these decisions that you make either consciously or subconsciously are made based on your perception and recognition of that person’s brand.

  3. It increases standard and credibility

    Building a healthy personal brand eventually results in a rise of standard. You no longer work amongst the crowd, as you outperform the crowd. Success in this adds credibility to your work, you become a leader in the field and a figure of trust.

  4. It builds connections

    Naturally, we humans are social creatures; we love to tell others about the things we love whether it be food, clothing or computing related. This also expands into people. Building a positive personal brand will help you in networking and growing connections; even beyond the digital world! If you’re a leader with a strong brand, the likelihood is that your team will want to follow you and be inspired too.

  5. It allows you to reach for bigger opportunities

    Establishing and refining a successful personal brand and gaining a strong presence and audience can help you further your career and identify opportunities that you may have otherwise missed. Owning a refined personal brand will attract the right people and opportunities. Being an expert in your field will allow you to stand out from the pack, and there’s no better way to do this than with a strong personal brand behind you to back you up.

It doesn’t matter where you stand on the ladder, investing time in building your personal brand is vital when the sea of bland competitors has become overcrowded. While a compelling brand will take time to implement and execute when you start delivering your promise you will see successful results.

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