By Justin Fandino
When we think of a brand, our experiences and what we hear daily will give us our own personal connotation of that brand. Every day we continue to evolve with how we picture the things around us, it can go from positive to negative in a matter of seconds. Daily, brands are continuing to try and improve the image they present to us, so we can think of them in the best light possible. Perception is one of the most important assets to a brand. Now in a world where everyone is constantly connected, the idea of “branding” has now crossed over into people’s personal lives.
When you hear “personal brand” you might think of branding for your own company or even dismiss it as fancy marketing jargon. In reality, personal branding is something that we are undertaking on daily basis. Personal branding is not only what we write on Twitter or Facebook, or the amazing quality pictures from your recent vacation on Instagram; It’s how you act and talk on a day to day basis, both professionally and personally.
In today’s society many people have seen how personal brand plays a giant role in how goals, success, and growth will be impacted. In a world where “sameness” is inevitable, we need to find ways we can distinguish ourselves from the crowd of people and present the most reflective snapshot of our personality in a matter of seconds. That mental image will be the one you portray on a daily basis. If you are someone who is a constantly enthusiastic person, coworkers might automatically associate you with those same feelings. Conversely, someone who is late to work and disengaged with others in the office can invoke quite a different attitude.
I like to think of personal brand in the way most people might approach any other “brand.” You want to be thought of top-of-mind and in the best light when a decision is being made. Distinguishing yourself from your “competition” will play a crucial role many times in your career, specifically when promotions come around. Hardworking individuals who give off vibes of confidence and determination may have a slight edge over those who work equally as hard, but aren’t as outgoing. Stay true to your brand, but know your audience! In a world where connections and your name can make or break you, you want to be able to be in the best position at all times for any new opportunity.
If you are looking at your own personal brand and thinking “where do I start”, or that most of your personal brand is “accidental”, that’s okay! If you look at a situation that happened recently that doesn’t fit with your personal brand, make adjustments for next time. If you see flaws in your brand that could be fixed, go for it! Personal brands are constantly evolving and personal branding is a fairly new ideology even within the professional world. Some people are just beginning to adopt this model even though they have been in the industry for many years. It is never too late to make changes to your professional or personal brand!