The simplest way to understand place branding is to apply the principles on yourself. This is an outstanding exercise to illustrate the differences between sales, marketing and branding. Personal branding is not a new concept. In fact, there are a number of quality articles on the subject, and a great book authored by Tom Peters entitled “… brand you 50” that will provide a good foundation for you to start the exercise.
What you will quickly discover is that you are indeed a brand, just like a product and just like a place. People have a perception of you. It can be good, bad, or neutral. You will also find that what you believe you stand for and how others see you are not necessarily consistent. This may shock and dismay you. But, objectively understanding your personal strengths and opportunities is the first important step in the process.
Based on what you learn, you may decide to go out and begin having meetings with the important people in your life and telling them what you stand for (selling). You will quickly discover that this approach is limiting and you won’t have the capacity to reach as many people as you want to be successful.
You might then decide to participate in venues where you can reach many people at one time. You may blog, publish or speak on topics of personal importance (marketing). You will feel good because more people begin to “see” the real you. But, after a time you will come to appreciate that authenticity and consistency is necessary but not sufficient to achieve your goals.
It is at this moment you will experience an epiphany and realize the missing link is self-improvement. To achieve your full potential, you need to strengthen your strengths and neutralize your weaknesses. You need a continual improvement plan to ensure your personal relevance and competitiveness (branding).
Self-Branding Recommended Reading
- Define Your Personal Leadership Brand in Five Steps
- A Personal Branding primer
- Brand You: Turn Your Unique Talents into a Winning Formula (book available through Amazon)
- Great personal branding resource
- How to Build Your Personal Brand on Facebook
- How to Discover and Create Your Personal Brand
- 10 Free Tools to Monitor Your Personal Brand
- Fast Company - The Brand Called You
- QuintCareers.com - Building Your Personal Brand: Tactics for Successful Career Branding
- BusinessWeek - Creating Brand You
- Tom Peter’s Book - The Brand You 50
- PersonalBrandingBlog.com - Great Resource for Personal Branding Online
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- My Last Lecture at P&G – Tips on Effective Leadership