Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Personal Branding


On the last post I talked about us being the brand rather than trying to sell a brand.  As follow up, I want us to look together at the subject matter of Personal Branding in detail to discover together the importance of us as brands and what makes us a great brand.  


Your brand is who people say you are.  It is both a portrayal of who you say you are and an acceptance of same.  Personal branding cannot happen until you are sure.  A brand is a collection of perceptions in the mind of a consumer.

To be able to identify your personal brand there is a need to know:

a.     Who you are.  Define who you are by taking time to find your strengths and weaknesses, and how they affect your personality.

b.     Know your value system.  That is an ability to articulate what is important to you at any point in time.

c.     What unique change do I want to make in the world?  Never forget that big picture thinking separates the boys from the men.

Definitions are the foundation of success and whoever you define yourself and values as, will go a long way to determine what level of success you will have.

The following are qualities every great brand must possess.


1.       BE GENUINE:  This is of course driven by what your set of core values are.  But basically being genuine is to be who you say you are.  What this means is that people can tell that the person you claim to be, is the person you really are. The value of your brand is determined by what is valuable to you. Purpose and excellence are valuable to me so all my activities somehow center on purpose and are executed with excellence. I naturally gravitate towards teaching and leading others towards these two virtues or values.


2.       DEPENDABLE:  This means for me, that people can rely on you.  That is to say that the things you claim you will do, are the things that you do.  It is terrible reputation to say one thing and do another.  If you must renege on your promise you better make sure that your reason is cogent and tenable.


3.       CONSISTENT:  Let your talk and your action be in sync.  That is to say that what you say and what you do, do not in anyway differ.  Consistency is extremely important to the branding process.  If you went and bought soap under with the promise that it washes clean and upon using it, you find it actually stains your clothes, there is a gap between the promise and the result.  You cannot afford to be seen in this way.


4.       RESPONSIBLE: Personal branding is a great deal about taking responsibility.  What this means simply is that when you claim that your value system revolves around a particular quality, one day that quality will be put to test.  On that day you are expected to be able to rise to the occasion and take responsibility.  (This is what you guys will call manning up) If you claim that good leadership is important to you for instance, the day you have the responsibility to lead, you must be able to give good leadership.

A strong personal brand is dependent on the PROMISE of quality.   People buy into your promise to deliver good quality.

Why your brand as an individual is so important is because whatever your vision is, it is usually an extension of your personality, and even though we form teams and expect that each team member brings some value to the table, the team leader must be able to chart the course that the team will follow.  If not, the team may quickly chart another course far from the leader’s Vision or Value system.

Why you need to know what your three words are therefore, is to ascertain for yourself, if your value system is strong enough to birth and nurture your vision.

Till the next post when I will take some of the three words I have received to determine the strength of their brand, remember that people are watching you, and what you say is not as important as who you really are.  I know you will make it, NeverTheLess.



Sistar B

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Be The Brand

Charisma may draw people to you but it gives them no reason to trust you. With character you build trust with others each time you choose integrity over image, truth over convenience or honour over personal gain.
John C. Maxwell


Welcome to a brand new month.  In the past one month we have looked at how to constitute a team and how to ensure that your team works.

This month, I feel we should share a little more on the qualities of a great Leader and ‘Visioneer’.  And I will be dwelling on the subject of being ‘the brand’, rather than the product or service that you are selling or pushing.

Businesses are fast moving away from just manufacturing products and rendering services to building lasting brands and enduring legacies.  In my opinion, your Vision as a brand and legacy will begin with who you are as a brand.

If you remember, when I posted about Vision, I had mentioned that your ability to sell your Vision and get others to buy in will go a long way in determining your success or otherwise, because as you know, no one man can work a dream and succeed alone.  There is always a place for the team.

Now this is the issue, people are no longer buying into Visions or dreams because you asked them to, people now buy into Visions because they believe in the individual and have become influenced by them.  That is why you need to be the brand.  Let people know who you are and what you have on offer, they will therefore choose to follow you because of who you are in character rather than what you claim to be.

Leadership according to John C. Maxwell is influence and to be able to influence someone, they must believe in you and should trust you considerably.  Not by your words but by your lifestyle.

When I started out in business a dear friend told me something I am never going to forget.  He said to be “Bidemi, you have to be ready to be the brand, let the magazine be an expression of who you are, and you will get the followership that you desire.” Wise words, for a green horn like me then.  Now, as I go around trying to run with my dream, I never forget that after all is said and done, I am the brand.

When I talk to people about branding, I always tell them to begin from choosing three words that describe them.  My own words as you may know are Purpose, Integrity and Excellence.  The fact is I am not hundred percent living these words right now, but they are the words that inspire and motivate me, and I am working on making them words that people can easily describe me with.

As I continue to work on branding myself or becoming ‘the brand’, I am constantly hoping that my clients and customers will begin to see that these words form the foundational core of my business.  I want them to be able to say, we know that doing business with Verbatim, or Effectual, means there is a guarantee that our purpose will be pushed.  To trust that they will be treated with integrity and whatever we say to them they can believe, and finally, that whenever they entrust something into our hands we will deliver excellently according to our ability.

All these because in my personal dealings with them, I am living these three words!  From the next post, we will be looking at a whole number of words and how we can use them to brand ourselves and by extension our businesses.  Maybe you can do something for me in the interim; can you post on the comment section your own three words?

Till the next post, always remember, that if you strive to be ‘the brand’ rather than get a PR company, to work on imaging for you, your Vision will become a legacy, NeverTheLess.


Sistar B