Marty Neumier wrote a wonderful branding book that is fresh and relevant. The Brand Gap: Expanded Edition In the book he says:
“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization.”
Google vs Coca Cola
Google has done very little advertising. They rely on the interactions and the positive environment created to generate the power of their brand.
Coca Cola has used advertising as a key element of brand distinction and growth.
Things have changed.
We are the Brands
Influential Individuals are not only brands anymore. Everyone is a brand! Social media has created micro-celebrity. Everyone has influence. The difference is this influence and chatter has become more organic. Many people contributing to an overall consensus of a niche network is the driving factor of WOM.
The idea of personal branding should fit everyone participating in today’s online communities.
Stop thinking of yourself as a person, you must consider yourself a brand. We have become more self aware and this awareness is the first step in branding. We spend countless hours interacting and developing these profiles and our brand, even if we’re not strategically aware.
The web is the opposite of mass media, the web thrives in niche and companies and individuals who are niche influencers have a responsibility to create a brand that is not only transparent but brings value to those it influences.
Being an influencer can help you get a job.
People are hiring individuals especially when they bring their network with them. People that have followers and friends and maintain micro-interaction with that network are valuable not only to organizations but to brands that wish to embed their messages into these micro-communities.
If you’re interested in using New Media
Every time you create a profile you create a story. You input content thus creating a life-stream that allows people to find and interact with you and become supportive of your brand and the stories you live, which in the age of social media, can cross over and intersect.
Many life-streams converge on a blog. Photos that are stored on Flickr and Facebook are shared through the blog. Tweets and foursquare check-ins allow for daily top of mind awareness. When these interactions converge on a blog your overall brand will flourish.
What’s amazing is how easy these accounts are created. What’s different is effectively managing these social networks. Developing a strategy that aligns with your overall brand objectives as well as your personal life values. Ask yourself, what is the goal? If you’re using Linkedin, what is the goal? Facebook, what are you trying to achieve?
Be yourself and be true to your personality and that will lead to a successful brand. This is an opportunity to create your brand the way you want it. We often Google someone’s name and even our own and it’s more so than not that we draw conclusions from what we discover. Again, new media is an opportunity to engage with the world and develop a brand that, when “Googled,” you’d be proud of.
My favorite personal brands:
Please share with me your favorite personal brands, or the steps you use to develop yours.