Sunday, February 7, 2010

Are you branded?

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago and my former hometown, Milwaukee. Seeing friends and family and sharing in the celebration of my daughter’s upcoming Spring wedding, I was struck by how, in our rapid-speed culture, the time spent with loved ones was in a word: timeless. How can that be? We all change and evolve, reinvent, recycle, and re brand ourselves, so it seems counter intuitive that we could so easily morph into timelessness and authentically connect with one another.

Moving to a new city or job, people will often reinvent themselves, yet, the core values of who they are – their personal brand – is usually unchanged. We may change roles, job titles, and professions, yet, the essence of who we are is rock solid. Visiting with my family and friends this week, highlighted this for me: we stopped time. We picked up where we left off. There was no awkwardness. Hundreds of miles away, we had all grown, and somehow managed to bring our fast-evolving selves to a place where we were different but still very much the same. Our own unique personal branding was in tact - unchanged.

So does our personal brand – that essence of who we are, ever change? I don’t think so. And how does this affect our professional and marketing lives? On Doyle Slayton’s leadership blog, he shares the following:

“The words you choose. The way you behave. The conversations you have. The card you hand out. The promises you make. The people you hire. The values you hold dear. The values you could care less about. The vendors you choose. The money you make, or don’t make. And, of course, the experience people have with the product or service you provide.
Like it or not, it all matters, because it’s the culmination of all those little things that makes “the brand.” -John Furgurson

And this:

“I’m not talking about your business here, I’m talking about YOU. We broadcast our brand through our appearance, our voice, our body language, and through our behaviors — whether we are consistent, appropriate and professional, or erratic, unreliable and unconcerned.
You are a brand. You have to deliver an authentic experience and you have a promise of value …… don’t you?” -Tessa Hood

This week: I suggest that you get in front of those who know you best; ask them to give you best descriptors of you. This is a “brand check.” Learn how others see you - your brand. Then, mindfully do the same for yourself. Perhaps you will discover if your brand is the same-old-same-old, or if you are brand new.

Mindfully Yours,


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