Your Name is a Business
When reimagining brands for our clients, we often like to ask the question: “If your brand were a real person, who would they be? Describe that person to us.” At first, this may seem like a strange question to ask. How can a brand be a person? How does this question help with the design process?
Believe it or not, this very question yields tons of valuable information about the brand and the company it represents. By describing their brand as a person, we begin to understand the values, company culture, style and mission of our client’s company. We begin to understand the true identity of their brand.
However, this post is not about brand identity. This post is about you being your own personal brand, and representing yourself accordingly.
The question we would like to pose to you is:
“If you were a brand, how would you describe yourself?”
Your Name is Your Brand
What do people immediately think about when they hear your name? Successful? Lazy? Kind? Arrogant? Go-getter? Untrustworthy? Conservative? Risk-Taker? Reliable?
Your name is your brand, and like all of the major world brands, you must work hard to build the reputation of your brand. Companies invest significant time and large amounts of money in shaping their brand reputation and connecting certain characteristics and qualities to their brand name.
- Dove = Beauty
- Ford = Tough
- Coca Cola = Happiness
In a similar fashion, you should be intentionally shaping your personal brand to match the characteristics and qualities you want your name to stand for. If you want to be known for punctuality, make sure you are arriving to meetings early. If you want to be known for great communication, don’t wait a week before responding to emails. Do you want to be viewed as a professional? Then you might want to hold off from posting all of those drunken party pictures on your social media sites.
List the attributes you want to be known for, and allow those attributes to act as the anchor in your personal code of conduct.
Your Brand Needs a Tagline
All the awesome brands have a solid tagline:
- Nike = Just Do It
- Apple = Think Different
- Olay = Love the skin you’re in
- Under Armour = I Will
- YouTube = Broadcast yourself
What is your tagline? According to 10 Tips for a Remarkable Tagline, a good tagline should communicate a story and what you stand for in just a few words. Creating a good tagline for yourself helps you stay centered and focused. It becomes your own personal mantra that you live by. It helps you define your personal brand.
Check out this quote by Albert Einstein:
In other words, if you don’t truly know yourself, you may have some trouble crafting an accurate tagline. If you can’t explain who you are and what you stand for, how are you supposed to promote yourself to the professional world? How are you supposed to position yourself for success?
Take some time to come up with a few drafts of what your tagline might be. Need some help? Involve your friends, family and colleagues. You might receive some valuable feedback on how others currently view your personal brand.
Operate Like a Business
Learn how to operate like a business when it comes to your personal brand. Know your core values, base your decisions on how it would effect your brand, strategically present yourself on social media, and be mindful of how you conduct yourself in social settings. Your personal brand is ALWAYS in motion and is constantly under observation. Make your brand work for you.
This excellent infographic designed by Beehooved illustrates the elements of treating your personal brand as a business:
Design the Story of Your Brand
Every brand needs a story and you are a master storyteller. Be conscious and intentional in designing the story of your brand.
“A brand is really nothing more than the sum of conversations being had about it.”
The ultimate goal is to design a brand for yourself that you are proud of. However, it won’t happen overnight, it’s a process. True to the design process, you will have to constantly prototype and refine. Be open to feedback and modify accordingly. Embrace failure and learn from it. And please remember, just like any relevant world brand, you can evolve and enhance over time.
(Call to Action)
If you’re interested in reimagining your own personal brand and need some help designing it, please click below (insert bitly link that directs to our contacts page)
– Written by Gabriel Lomeli, Jr.