“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost.

The above words imply one rather vital feature for personal success. It clearly points out that personal branding is getting to be important and that can be done best and most effectively when you do what you love and believe in.

But before we discuss personal branding, let me tell you something about the concept of branding itself. In 2006, 1.4 trillion dollars was spent on branding worldwide. Why is all this capital being spent on branding?

80% of a corporation’s net value is comprised of branding. That means that branding is the dominant force in the purchasing process and factors into the amount of annual revenue earned. Branding, by definition, is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from other of other sellers. The value of a brand is directly correlated to the perceived value by the target audience. A brand can either be for a corporate entity or a distinct product. Is the same true for an individual? A brand is a living entity – and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures. The same is true of humans.

Individuals have names, are identified by a symbol (their face) and are bid on by hiring companies. The idea of having people become brands is revolutionary and important in our society today. The web has transformed into a community building the revolutionary blogosphere and user-driven network. People are more involved than ever in letting their voices be heard and sharing ideas. Since every person is distinct in various ways, there is differentiation, just like in a corporate brand. The power of creating a Personal Brand is more relevant than ever before and people should take advantage of this. “The primary focus of your brand message must be on how special you are, not how cheap you are.  The goal must be to sell the distinctive quality of the brand.” – Kerry Light, Brand Strategist. The same thought works even when we talk of personal branding.

A personal brand is composed of the following elements: appearance, personality, competencies and “the differentiator”. When these four elements are integrated, they become a personal value statement or a core message for that individual. When this core message is communicated to an audience, the person gets the right attention and focus. Today, technology is at one’s fingertips to communicate this personal message and includes the web, the phone, email, and even the person himself!

Personal brands evolve over time and build as someone grows and develops. Just as products have product lifecycles, people do as well, in terms of introduction, growth, maturity and decline.

Another personal branding concept is the “4 P’s of marketing applied to a person.” A person is the product the audience judges, based on their perception of the four elements. Place is the location where the person is seeking a fulfillment of his aspirations. Price is the total perceived value of the person, with respect to the four elements. Your goal should be to align compensation or results with value. The stronger your value statement is the more willingly the results will flow in. Promotion is your personalized channel to communicate your core message.

Personal Branding will become a determinant of the success process. Jump onboard now and reap the benefits of setting yourself apart from the millions of aspirants out there! Remember that a brand name is more than a word. It is the beginning of a conversation!

[Arvind Passey]
Written for PT Education