Build Your Best Brand

The word brand began simply as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. Related to business a brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key constituencies: Customers, Staff, Partners, Investors etc.A brand begins to exist when a business or individual has something to offer to the world-values, services, or products. Branding articulates the unique attributes of the business and communicates them in the right way, to the right people. A brand is not what a business says it is. It’s what the consumer perceives it to be. You are creating a brand even if you have not been doing it consciously.A brand is one of the most valuable elements of a strategic public relations plan. Your brand should communicate the right message to the right people. A brand should clearly demonstrate what is being offered in the marketplace.Remember, you are already creating a brand, even if you have not been doing it consciously. How people feel when they think of your product or service, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and so on that become linked to the brand.The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management.Brand management done correctly will make your product or services relevant to the target market.Take some time to begin looking at the things you have been doing to build your best brand, Find out from your key clients how they would describe you and your brand. If you do not like what you hear, make some changes. If you like what you hear make a conscious effort to do more of what you heard. Having a good professional reputation is an obvious key to success, but many people don’t take the time to nurture it. I find it helpful to think about a reputation as a personal brand. Developing your own unique brand is essential for success.I have discovered that there is a DNA that makes up a good brand. DNA. Dependability. Novelty. Attitude.Dependability
A good brand is consistent. With a good brand, there are never any unpleasant surprises. You can count on a brand to help you quickly sort through an unlimited list of options to identify “a sure thing.”
When applied to you, the question becomes:
What can others — your customers, employer, and colleagues — depend on you for?
What kind of “sure thing” are you exactly?
Whatever you decide distinguishes you in the marketplace of talent, make sure consistency is the bedrock of your brand.Novelty
OK, so what makes you different?
It’s not enough to be as dependable as everyone or anyone else. Brands always have identifiable differences — perceptually if not in fact — in the mind of the marketplace.
What makes you different (or better)?
For a difference to be valuable to the brand, it must be valuable to the customer.Attitude
This is the most nebulous part of a brand. It is more than a combination of novelty and dependability. I call it the brand’s predisposition to the world. It is about the vibe a brand puts out. It’s about the demeanor and flavor and orientation.
Attitude is how the brand — “you, inc.” or “organization, inc.” — presents itself to the world. I believe that all brands have a boldness about them. Even if a brand is quiet, dependable, and safe, those attributes are expressed to the marketplace boldly and definitively.What is your attitude? Have you considered it and identified it? Is the attitude of your brand something that draws others to it, or puts them off?DNA. Dependability. Novelty. Attitude. As a first step toward marketing yourself better, take some time soon to write out the DNA of your brand.

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