Lately, I have noticed many articles being written on personal brand, so here is my view on it.
So how many of you are aware that the word brand come from a process of marking cattle, where an imprint was made on the live cattle with a hot iron stamp, leaving a permanent burn in the skin for cattle to be identified … Gruesome it was (thanks to RFID tagging this process is not followed anymore)! However, in today’s time Branding, in the simplest forms is giving a name … No … not so simple.
Think about it, why do we buy the product we buy? Especially when many like products are available competitively in the market. It could be for its Quality, Taste, Style, Colours, Preference, etc., for some it could be just one factor and for some it could be all of them.
According to me it’s all of them, but most importantly it’s the consistency of the above factors, delivered over time, that create that favourable experience, which makes you go back to that product.
Branding, as I define it, is nothing but “a perceived value of an individual of an organisation ©.” Meaning ; how you are perceived by another individual or a group of individuals.
So why does perception matter … or in this case brand matter?
Let me request you to do this short exercise.
Step one: Start by taking a pen and a paper and write down that one word, of how you would like to be perceived by others – adventurist, philanthropist, hardworking, multitasker, knowledgeable … etc.
Step two: Now walk up to you family members, friends, colleagues … manager/s, basically anyone who knows you or are acquainted with and ask them to write down the answer to the below question … “Write down one word that immediately comes to you mind, that best describes me?”
- You will notice that your perception in different groups / relations will be different. Eg. You may be known as a person who is lazy; however in your office you could be known as a person who is good at doing their work.
- These views may be quite different from what you have written to aspire to be.
Now this is your starting point, understanding your personal brand and how to elevate it.
We need as individuals fail to understand a basic fundamental, our perception depends on our actions, “what you think cannot be seen, but what you do is seen by everyone.” … Pick any famous personality of your choice, you will always associate them with something that they have been consistent in their actions. Let me give you a few names and you will get an idea…. Ratan Tata, Mahatma Gandhi, Donald Trump, Sania Mirza, Amitabh Bachchan and the list goes on… you can also take a few names of someone immediate in your family or in your office you perception of them will depend their actions towards you.
The most important thing that you will notice that all these individuals are highly consistent in their actions, so much so that sometime they are bound by it. (A discussion for another day).
Building your brand is not a onetime exercise, but a journey, that is created meticulously overtime, through your beliefs that translate into your actions. So next time you are looking to elevate your brand and wonder how do you want to go about it … start with Step no 1.