According to the book Brand: It Ain’t the Logo by Ted Matthews, “A Brand is the sum total impression and memory of every remarkable, every so-so and every negative experience with any and all touchpoints of an organization. A Brand is the personality of a company, product or service and is judged and assessed a value by everyone it touches, whether inside the company (your employees) or outside (your customers, industry partners, suppliers, shareholders and other stakeholders). These perceptions of value may, or may not, be what you want them to be. Which suggests a fact that may surprise you: your Brand isn’t really yours. You don’t own it – all the people thinking about you do.”
The same principle applies in personal branding. A Personal Brand is the totality of what people know, see, and believe to be who you are as a person and as a professional. It dictates your image and how people see you but the image is personal to the beholder and does not really reflect what you wish your brand to be.
This is because your personal brand has both an external manifestation and an internal intent and process. The personal intent and the internal process do not necessarily come through to the outside world for two possible reasons. In most instances, the internal process is neither thought through nor conscious. There is no particular image that we intend people to see and no rational process to make it happen. Sometimes, however, what we intend for people to see and know about us do not come through as we intended.
Thus, we go back and forth, as we respond to how other people treat us, either positively or negatively. We make some modifications on our action and behavior as we respond to how people react to us, either reinforcing the old one or creating new ones, hoping that we create a positive picture of ourselves to others. Overall, it becomes a trial and error thing.
How would it serve you to be able to take charge of your personal brand by knowing the internal and external process? Will it help you to take charge of these processes, create an intentional process in place, and manage your personal brand? What is the value of self-promotion in your future success?
The internal process of defining your brand is the key to identifying your unique value proposition. Knowing your unique value proposition (UVP) is an inward process of being clear about your core purpose, personal vision and mission, and personal values. Looking back at you past accomplishments, work history, and personal achievements is important. Sometimes, but not always, they reflect your core purpose. A visit to your future self and defining a personal vision is a better way to start.
UVP is what you offer to the world that no else can and does. It reflects your passion, your abilities and potentials, your skills and competencies. This is how you intend to make a difference in the world. As Aristotle said; “Where your talents and world needs cross, there lies your vocation.” Thus, your UVP is the intersecting point between your talent and the needs of the world that you, and only you, can fill. It sounds noble and aspirational, but put trust in that even the littlest thing you do on a daily basis is added on to the sum of the value that you put into to the world. As Mother Teresa aptly put it, “there are no great things, only small things done with great love.”