Wikipedia define Personal branding as the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging. The process is further defined as the creation of an asset that pertains to a particular person or individual; this includes but is not limited to the body, clothing, physical appearance and areas of knowledge, leading to a uniquely distinguishable, and ideally memorable, impression. The term is thought to have been first used and discussed in a 1997 article by Tom Peters. Tom Peters state that , “…all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
Before gone through discussing on personal branding let us define brand in a different way. Usually by brand we define an image, name having unique identification. But question is whether this definition is enough to demonstrate the eternal meaning of brand or branding? To me the answer is of-course not! A brand means much bigger than this. I would like quotes the definition of Richard Branson as he define brand as, “A brand is more than a name or a logo – it is a promise and a contract with every customer with whom you are dealing.”
Based on this view of branding now we can move forward with our discussion on personal branding. Personal branding presents the theme of an individual as a brand. The Personal Brand consists of:
- A consensus about who you are
- Your reputation, public image, legend, character
- The collective opinion about you
- It’s like a Rorschach test. Somebody flashes you name. What leaps to mind?
Process of Personal Branding
A well-executed personal branding campaign creates a strong, consistent, and specific association between the individual and the perceived value they offer. Personal branding is common among entertainment, political, and sports figures. In business, individuals such as Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, and Jack Welch have created enormous personal visibility and success by actively promoting their personal brands. Donald Trump will show you how to get rich. Martha Stewart will show you how to look good. Jack Welch will show you how to manage a business.
Personal branding typically begins with establishing an inventory of core competencies, expertise, demonstrated abilities, and existing level of recognition, informed by market research or feedback. Questions to be answered revolve around who needs to know about you, what need are you best-positioned to fill, and what differentiates you from others in your field or space?
Personal Branding consists of three elements:
- Value Proposition: What do you stand for?
- Differentiation: What makes you stand out?
- Marketability: What makes you compelling?
The process of personal branding my be presented using the following diagram:
Personal branding as a corporate culture
The importance of personal branding is gaining its momentum since the corporate management are gradually increasing their concentration of the P of People to serve their customers. Branding breathes life into your career marketing documents (which are often quite “flat” and “boring”) and creates a vivid way to generate interest in you, helping you land faster and, hopefully, at a higher compensation level. If you are a small business owner or solopreneur, branding helps you narrow down the target market you want to service and develop highly differentiated messages for that audience. The following image could be helpful to demonstrate that how personal branding is becoming a corporate culture day by day.