Your Personal Leadership Brand is Your Calling Card

A brand is a name or concept that has over time come to represent the meaning of something to another person. When we think about brands we often think about well-known products that consumers purchase because there is some special association attached to that particular brand that is meaningful to the consumer. Some of the better known global brands include Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Disney, Coke-a Cola, McDonald’s, Amazon, Virgin, American Express, HSBC and Starbucks. You may choose one brand over another because of perceived or actual quality, style, or price differences. For example, you may buy an Apple computer instead of another brand of PC because of the iconic design and styling of apple products and ease of use. You may drink Coke instead of Pepsi because you think Coke tastes better. And you may have an American Express card instead of a Visa or MasterCard because of the perceived consistent and high quality global service and coverage American Express has compared to the other two. There are literally hundreds of thousands of brands out there all with a special meaning to the people that buy those products or services.

Although we mostly associate brands with tangible products or services, it’s important to remember that a person can also have a brand. You may or may not be aware of it, but your brand represents everything about you to other people around you. It is how you are perceived by those people and in some ways, the more familiar manifestation of your personal brand is known as your reputation. And even though you may think of yourself in one way, or have your personal view of what your reputation is, your brand is about what, and how other people perceive you to be more than your own self-perception.

When was the last time you stopped to think about your own brand? For most people, thinking about their brand is not on the usual list of routines they must complete on a regular basis. Businesses hire teams of people to maintain their brand because it takes a lot of work. The difference between business brands and you is that you don’t need to rely on anyone else to build your brand except for yourself. You have full control and accountability for your brand and how it is maintained and protected. This is incredibly empowering, but it can also be incredibly daunting because if anything goes wrong, you’ll only have yourself to blame. No one is perfect and you are bound to make a few mistakes along the way while building your own personal brand. Just accept it and make sure that when you do make a mistake, reflect on the situation and make sure to learn from the experience.

So how are you going to set about building your brand? One activity I have found very useful to use with many people is a short brand building exercise that requires you to first define the brand you want to create for yourself, and then break down the various things you need to do on a consistent basis to establish and build your brand, and protect your brand for as long as you like. To learn how you can start to build your own personal brand please read my next post or click on  to download a short personal brand building exercise.