Monday, April 25, 2011

Brand You

Your name is a brand name.  It represents the kind of experience you offer. Whether you intend to or not, you have a brand. In the same way that the products and services you avail of have brands, so do you. Some brands are more well known than others. Some are preferred more than others because they are known for delivering on their promise.

When you avail of products or services you consider value for money depending on your need. Do you want high quality, low price,  prestige, overall experience? You look at product/service reputation to guide you in choosing.  When you experience a product or service, you form an opinion on whether or not it is worth your time and money. In this day and age of easy access to massive communication media, you can shout out to the world about your experience with a certain brand. Others pick up the information and use it as reference for making their own choices.

Now, think about potential employers or clients. They have the same privilage of choice as you have.  Now that information is so easy to access, they have the best opportunity of knowing about your brand more than people have in the past. They can check out available information  about you on the web or talk to people you know with or without you knowing. And in the principle of "better to err on the side being too careful", their decision to avail of your product or service will be affected by what other people say about their own experience with your brand. The phrase "your reputation precedes you" has never been more true than now. It is for this reason that you need to take care of your own brand.

How to do it? It takes more than posting a good CV online or watching what you say on facebook although I must say that they help a lot. What you write online that people pick up are advertisements. If you advertise well, you will attract a lot of attention. However, having experienced "untruth in advertising" people are now more wary of just believing what you say. They look for confirmation and they have a way of doing that. Now, what people say about you carry more weight than what you say about yourself.

A highly saleable product or service is very seldom a result of well schemed advertising. If they can't stand for what they promise, consumers call them overrated hypes and move on. Customer loyalty is a result of collectively positive brand experience. Take this to heart as you mind your own brand. Everyday is an opportunity to  offer a positive brand experience with your customers, co-employees, boss, friends and even strangers as we don't know when these strangers will turn out to be one of the aforementioned relationships.

To sum these all up, be the brand you want to build, watch what you say because words can build or damage your brand reputation and lastly, strive to offer positive brand experience with others. Remember, it's brand You.

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