NJS and I have been having a lot of discussions about personal branding lately. Most of our discussions involve me ranting in pajamas while watching the morning news, or having a glass of wine before I’ve eaten dinner and ranting in work clothes. One night after the latter, I was able to boil all of my ranting down to one clear point:
A brand is a promise you’re making to your constituents. They know who you are because you tell them, “I am this.” and then you are. Brands are no good when companies don’t live up to their promises. Politicians are no good when they don’t live up to their promises. And neither are you. Whether you’re Pepsi or the President or a kid on the playground, figure out who you are and be that.
I overheard someone at work recently say that there was a negative connotation around the term “personal branding” – is there? Do you think it’s because some people connote branding with taglines and visual representation? Or that “personal branding” can manifest itself in things like overpriced personalized shoes? Do you live up to your own brand?