Practice before you preach, practice what you preach and practice even after you stop preaching! These adages and their extensions couldn’t be more significant than in these times of personal branding. I can but try and capture the essence of this nebulous or amorphous essence of the word “brand” by saying that, a brand comes into existence when it is associated with a particular image of a person/ product/service, over a period of time and which shows the same qualities consistently which are unique and singular to that person, product or service irrespective of the time, place or situation.
The key operating word here is “consistency”. And consistency brings in credibility which in turn is inextricably associated with integrity, confidence and trust, in a person, product or a service.
That’s the power of a brand!!
I want to emphasise this by quoting Peter Montoya the author of the book, “The Brand Called You” who defines personal branding as the process that takes your skills, personality and unique characteristics and packages them into a powerful identity that lifts you above the crowd of anonymous competitors.
It’s no wonder then that every person worth his or her while is queuing up to create their very own brand. Given the impact that a brand has on the minds of the consumer it is imperative that entrepreneurs seek to first create their personal brand before they do so for their product and/or service that they make and sell, or propose to sell.
I am afraid Shakespeare’s line from Romeo and Juliet, What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, would be completely anachronistic in these times, as today, what smells like a rose cannot be called anything else except a rose!
So why such a hullabaloo about having or building a personal brand?
For entrepreneurs their own personal brand speaks volumes about the product/service that they choose to create and sell to the consumers. And every time consumers either buy it or recommend it to others, they unwittingly endorse that very brand like brand ambassadors. Which means that the personal brand equates to the company, and the value that it provides.
But building a personal brand is not a shot in the dark. Rather it is a lifelong, well thought out, planned, endeavour for the entrepreneur, from the time its idea is mooted, carefully cultivated and nurtured till it is established. It follows a step by step design which finally projects the persona of the entrepreneur to the world which includes, the customers, the investors and the employees.
A strong personal brand begins with a personal mission statement which resonates with that of the company’s. To that effect one needs to do some soul searching to make a mission statement that talks convincingly about the “authentic you”, the real you, as in “yourself”. You need to discover the language and the words that best represent your spirit and your core values. The personal mission statement also defines your goals and the pathways to realize those goals.