Sunday, June 20, 2010

Personal Brand

Jennifer Aaker started this whole hoo-haa with personal branding and nowadays you are kind of perceived as a loser if you don't talk about it, either supporting or condemning. Why is it so important to be branded? We are not cows or sheep and what are the chances of us being merged with the crowd - we are unique and brilliant each in his own way.

The experts choose to differ. Lynda Gratton in her book Glow is talking about a signature. Times of best practices is over since a best practice can be replicated, but try to counterfeit someone's signature - potentially might be a huge problem. She puts it into the context of "glowing," a term she coined to indicate someone or something radiating an enormous amount of energy, which draws people to you (together with money, love, luck and lots of greedy relatives). People who do not glow end up in the areas of permanent frost and freeze to social death.

Dave Ulrich in one of his latest books Leadership Code is exploring the concept of a Leadership Brand. The following video fully covers the basic ideas (it's 12 minutes long, but trust me - it's worth it):

When so many smart people talk about the necessity of having a personal brand in one voice and all over the place, it is worthwhile to give it some thought:

  • what sets you aside from the rest of the crowd?
  • why is it difficult for others to be what you are?
  • how do you communicate your personal brand?

In conclusion, a short Pepsi commercial edifying the idea of when a personal brand can go TERRIBLY wrong. Look out for the punchline :)

Finally, if you got really interested in the idea of personal branding, you can find a lot of resources and information on this blog: Outrageously commercialized but still serves the purpose.


  1. Speaking about personal branding, I indeed thing it's a hot topic, and also inevitable given the presence of internet. It's interesting though to see how people repeatedly harm their own public images (ie, their own "brand") by posting certain pictures in FB and such. Internet can help foster reputation but can also harm it.

    Really, not blaming the internet, but the use people make of it

  2. Jacobo, you are raising an interesting point about the way we can harm our personal brand. Most publications will tell you how to build it, but only a few dwell on protecting and reinforcing it. At the same time, look at the case of Paris Hilton. It looks like prudence and common sense will only harm her personal brand, don't you agree? :)



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