Have you ever noticed how you are drawn to beautifully packaged and branded products? I wondered at this phenomenon recently, and questioned myself as to the real reason behind why companies are always re-branding and re-packaging their products. And upon reflection, there were several things that occurred to me:

1. Quality: the reason why most people choose branded products are because of the ‘inferred’ superior quality of the product.
2. The ability to stand out from the rest: The eye-catching branding immediately creates a desire to want to try it out.
3. Confidence: There is a implied confidence that if that company went through the effort of branding the product in such a deliberate manner, then surely the company has confidence in their product.

It highlights the importance that we as individuals, or leaders, or small business owners need to be aware of our own personal brand, and deliberate work at creating a brand that truly reflects who we are.

Let’s look at the definition of ‘personal branding’, for some people; it is a description of the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands. It has been noted that while previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.

Whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not: everything that you do and say, or not say, the way you behave, interact, relate, do business, whether you’re punctual, polite, political, persistent, positive or professional, all speaks to the most important position in business today – head of marketing for brand You.

It doesn’t matter where we are in business, how long we’ve been there, how old we are, how many times we’ve been round the block, unless we understand the importance of branding, we’re going to get left behind.

Let’s take a website as an example. Anyone can have a website. And because anyone can, anyone does. So how do you know which websites to go back to time and time again? You go back to the ones that you can trust because they offer you value. Therefore, a brand is a promise of the value you’ll receive.

So starting today, you’re going to think of yourself differently. You’re not a small business owner, or a photographer or an events manager. You’re not defined by your job title and you’re not confined by your job description.

Starting today, you’re a promise of the value you offer to the world around you. Starting today, you are a brand. Personal branding is not something to create, or become, or manufacture. Personal branding is quite simply, the permission to be you.

It’s about detecting your authenticity, discovering the benefits you offer and then communicating that to the world around you. It’s about being known for making the most significant contribution to your particular area.

So what is that that one area in which you add value, are confident about, and stand out from the rest?

Source: Tom Peters ; Debbie Allen; Dr John Demartini

Author's Bio: 

Robyn Young is a marketing and personal branding strategist. Driven by the need to be authentic in her work Robyn founded Brandheart in 2009, working with small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to market their authentic voice.
Email robyn@brandheart.co.za or visit www.brandheart.co.za for more information.

Racheal Govender is an Executive Coach and Industrial Psychologist, specializing in developing and inspiring leaders. She works with leaders within Corporate as well as entrepreneurs who want to develop leadership and creative skills and live smarter more fulfilling and authentic lives.
For more information contact Racheal on: dynamique@mwebbiz.co.za or check out her website: www.dynamique@mwebbiz.co.za