Branding for business has been around for a long time, Coca Cola is a good example of a company who knows how to expose and keep a long lasting brand. However, there is now a strong focus on your ‘personal’ brand, that is, how you are perceived by the outside world.
Personal brands are more fragile than a corporate brand and easier to damage due to human nature and human error.
Personal brand wasn’t much of an issue back in the day when there was limited contact with an audience via face to face or print media.
Everything would be prepared and controlled with great etiquette from speech to dress. And if well promoted, the audience would be waiting with great expectation.
Today unfortunately there has been a distinctive drop in standards, due to the fast pace and increased competition of the internet. With ‘instant’ picture and pint, there is little to no time to ‘prepare our image’.
How we speak, walk; respond etc all affects how people value us as a ‘brand’. We don’t have to own a business or work for one; we are all our own brand representative regardless.
If you are a business owner or CEO, then it is crucial that you spend just as much time (even more) on ensuring your personal brand is being perceived in the way you want it to as everything you do can be distributed globally in seconds – whether you like it or not.
If you are a local business owner, your customers are the lifeblood. They are your market and you are their first point of contact. Therefore as people can see faster than they can think, your appearance and manner are paramount, especially when you are in your local area.
Here are some tips to do a personal brand "check" and few key pointers:
· Google your name to see how you are perceived already on the web.
· How is your wardrobe/uniform? Do you need to do a clean out and refine your options?
· Review your online portals: website, Facebook and Twitter – what are you saying on there and how are people responding to you.
· With a small business maybe a short customer questionnaire with a discount offer etc wouldn’t go astray.
· Compare yourself/business with others in the same field.
· Be honest about changes needed and make them ASAP.
Keep up the good work.
This article was published in the Western Sydney Business Access magazine