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Personal Branding Blue Paper

Personal Branding Blue Paper

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Published by 4imprint
With every brand we encounter, we have certain expectations. We base our opinions of brands on our past experiences with them, taking into account the logo, packaging and what we’ve heard others say about a brand or products and services. Subsequently, what we buy and how we use it is swayed by these brand expectations.

Businesses of all sizes take great efforts to accurately and strategically develop these expectations of themselves and their products or services in the minds of their consumers. Yet, it’s just as important for individual professionals to undertake similar efforts where their own reputations are involved. This is known as personal branding.
With every brand we encounter, we have certain expectations. We base our opinions of brands on our past experiences with them, taking into account the logo, packaging and what we’ve heard others say about a brand or products and services. Subsequently, what we buy and how we use it is swayed by these brand expectations.

Businesses of all sizes take great efforts to accurately and strategically develop these expectations of themselves and their products or services in the minds of their consumers. Yet, it’s just as important for individual professionals to undertake similar efforts where their own reputations are involved. This is known as personal branding.

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Published by: 4imprint on Oct 26, 2010
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03/01/2011

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© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
 
Personal Branding
 
© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
 
© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Branding: It’s personal
With every brand we encounter, we have certain expectations. We base ouropinions of brands on our past experiences with them, taking into account thelogo, packaging and what we’ve heard others say about a brand or products andservices. Emotions and feelings are often evoked by brands, as well. Subsequently,what we buy and how we use it is swayed by these brand expectations.Businesses of all sizes take great efforts to accurately and strategically developthese expectations of themselves and their products or services in the mindsof their consumers. Yet, it’s just as important for individual professionals toundertake similar efforts where their own reputations are involved. This is knownas personal branding.“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happento be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding,” said TomPeters when he first coined the term “personal branding” over ten years ago.“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our mostimportant job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. It’s that simple—and that hard. And that inescapable.”
1
While the concept of personal branding is not new, the landscape has changed ashas the immediacy of personal brand management. In the age of Google™ andsocial networking, it’s more important than ever for the individual to proactivelytake control of how they wish others to see them both in-person, and online.What’s more, for those looking to market themselves as professionals andthought leaders, the digital age has revealed a myriad ways for self-promotion.Personal branding has become a means to be found and heard online thatultimately can lead to job offers, business and personal relationships and newclients. If individual branding is not a priority for you, it’s likely a priority forsomeone competing with you within the industries you may work.This Blue Paper
®
will address branding from this personal perspective, offering anintroductory overview that touches on how to define your own personal brand.
Defining brand, beyond the fluff
Branding is a term that gets thrown around a lot. It’s also one of those words thathas a somewhat elusive meaning—it can mean many things to many people. For
1 Peters, Tom. “The Brand Called You.” FastCompany.com. 31 Aug. 1997. Web. 06 Sept. 2010.<http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/brandyou.html >.
 
© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
 
© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
the most part, though, a brand can be defined as a perception or emotion thatis maintained by a buyer that describes the experience related to doing businesswith an organization (and/or individual) or consuming its products and services.
2
A brand is the culmination of visual identity, experience and sense; it’s arelationship and the very embodiment of what businesses and their customersvalue. A brand is how a business tells consumers what to expect and brands thatfail are brands that say one thing, but deliver something altogether different.A personal brand is no different, except that the business is you and the productis your work, the services you provide and the ways in which you interact withothers. Personal branding is taking a stance on who you are, what value you offerto others and managing the expectations of those you interact with professionallyand personally. It is about holding yourself, your work and your communicationsto a certain standard.In addition to sharing virtually the same definition, successful business brands andpersonal brands also consist of similar factors. Factors that branding expert andpresident of Reach Personal Branding
TM
, William Arruda, defines as “The Ten Cs ofBranding:”
3
1.Competent
You can’t build a brand—personal or otherwise—around ineptitude. Just like a business’s brandshould be built on what they know best, so,too should a personal brand. No matter howwonderful the packaging or how great thewebsite, if the brand can’t deliver on promises itwill fail. Brand yourself in the areas that you knowbest.
2.Credible
It’s not simply enough to be competent. You should be believable indelivering on the promise of your brand. This often goes hand-in-handwith competency. It would hardly make sense for Gap™ clothing toexpand into auto manufacturing because they’ve only ever brandedthemselves as fashion experts. In your case, don’t say you’re a marketingexpert if you’re not.
 2 McNally, David, and Karl D. Speak. Be Your Own Brand: a Breakthrough Formula for Standing out from theCrowd. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2003. Print.3 Arruda, William. “The 10 Cs of Branding.” MarketingProfs. 19 Sept. 2006. Web. 06 Sept. 2010.<http://www.marketingprofs.com/authors/693/william-arruda>.

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