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Six Steps to a Brand New You!

09-21-2009

What do Oprah, Heinz, Kleenex and Tiger Woods have in common? They are all recognizable brands. They are known for inspiration, quality, reliability and tenacity.

What are you known for within your organization? If you haven't thought about your personal brand, now is the time to strategize and develop one. Why bother? Business occurs person to person - even when it is electronic. Your brand helps differentiate you, gives you reputational power, improves your perceived value - and if you don't create and communicate who you are and what you're all about - others will define you!

STEP ONE - ASK YOURSELF:

  • How have people labeled me in the past?
  • What are my past accomplishments?
  • How have I evolved as a person?
  • What new experiences should I seek; what new skills or competencies do I need to develop?

STEP TWO - ASK OTHERS:

  • Who can give you objective feedback about how you are perceived?
    Create your own focus group and ask them!
  • Who do you admire within your organization?
    Seek a mentor to help you develop your brand.

STEP THREE - DEVELOP YOUR BRAND PROFILE:

  • What is your vision statement?
    How do you see the world? What do you envision for your area of responsibility?
  • What is your mission statement?
    What role do you see yourself and your team playing to bring your vision to fruition?
  • Who are your key stakeholders?
    Who do you need to ensure knows about you?
  • What are your values?
    Select at least five values you strongly believe guide you and your actions. Do you value timeliness, orderliness, a sense of community? How are you living those values?
  • How are you packaging your brand?
    Take a careful look at yourself:
    • Does the way you look align with your desired brand image?
      Take several full length photos of yourself - front, side and back views. Does your packaging represent the brand you want to project? What adjustments to clothing, hair, posture and grooming do you need to make?
    • How do you talk with others and what is the nature and quality of what you say?
      Think about what you say: your vocabulary, your word choices, and your emotional intelligence level - these all influence what you say and how you speak. Are your conversations more "me" focused or "you" focused?
    • How effectively do you listen to others?
      Are you truly listening or are you just waiting for the breaks when others stop talking so you can start?
  • What are your "product" features and benefits?
    For example, are you a good writer? If so, how can this feature benefit your team? Is one of your features trustworthiness? The benefit will be that you will always deliver on a promise. Market that part of your brand to key decision makers.
  • What is your value proposition?
    What are your best characteristics? What skills do you possess that might qualify you as a resident "expert?" Look at the value you bring to your company now and the value you'd like to bring in the future. How can you communicate that value and what do you need to do to change? Keep your value proposition short and sweet - 10 words or fewer and create different value propositions for different stakeholder groups. Here are some qualities to consider:

Authentic
Compelling
Inspiring
Clear

Concise
Collaborative
Persuasive
Memorable

STEP FOUR - STRATEGIZE YOUR PLAN:

  • Identify your goals for the next six months, one, two and five years.
  • Create a wallet card of your plan and review it regularly.
  • Reflect on your brand for four weeks - revise & revamp as needed.
  • Take ownership and be accountable to your mentor or your focus group.

STEP FIVE - MARKET YOUR BRAND:

Consider a variety of marketing approaches - or activities - you can undertake to build your personal reputation.

  • Create your own website or blog
  • Present a workshop to peers
  • Write thought-leader or opinion pieces
  • Volunteer for a project within your organization
  • Teach a class
  • Participate in panel discussions
  • Volunteer for a charitable cause

STEP SIX - REFRESH YOUR BRAND PERIODICALLY:

Madonna is famous for reinventing herself, yet she always stays true to her essential musical icon brand. To keep your brand fresh and interesting, consider periodically reviewing your approach.

  • Change your focus to a different brand persona:
    You wear many hats within your organization: the business person, the expert, the visionary, the collaborator. If you've focused on your role as a rain maker, perhaps it is time to shift to your role as a collaborator.
  • Consider a line-extension:
    If you've recently completed work on a new type of assignment, now is the time to market that new skill set. The new assignment may also have exposed you to new people within your organization. Whenever you extend your network you extend your sphere of influence and increase your brand awareness.

Tom Peters once said that "You're not defined by your job title and you're not confined by your job description." So, ask yourself: What are you known for; who are you thought to be? If the answers aren't in line with how you want to be perceived, its time for a brand new you!

Please e-mail Exec-Comm directly to receive personal attention building a brand for you or your team. info@exec-comm.com

Best Regards,

Exec-Comm
What's your message to the world?

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