A brand is no longer what we tell a customer it is – it’s what customers tell each other it is. – Scott Cook
Great branding has tremendous benefit. It’s how people talk about a product when it’s not in the room, so to say. And this directly applies to branding yourself as well. Do you want to be branded as trustworthy and dependable? Or maybe as a risk-taker and innovative?
Whatever your brand, in order to accurately portray your brand to others, it’s necessary to follow the 3C’s of branding. You may have already learned about them in a marketing class, but here’s a general overview of what they stand for, and how to apply them to yourself.
Strong brands are clear about who they are and who they’re not. They understand their unique promise of value, and that promise sets them apart from their competitors. By clearly differentiating themselves, a good brand is able to convince the consumer why they’re the best option in the market.
The same thing applies to branding yourself. Instead of being wishy washy on a lot of characteristics, it’s better to clearly define who you are what what you’re about. If somebody is talking about what kind of person you are, would you rather them say “Oh, he’s kind of smart and kind of dependable. Sometimes he’s funny too.” Or would you rather them say “John, yeah he’s hilarious!” Having a clearer definition of who you are is key to branding yourself.
Another necessity for a strong brand is consistency. If a brand says they are one thing, but then sometimes they aren’t, that’s not very consistent, and they’re brand won’t stick. If a company builds it’s trademark on having great, friendly service, but hires rude staff, then their brand isn’t consistent across the company.
Consistency is also key for your personal brand. Once you define your brand, be sure to stick with it to avoid confusion.
The last key to branding is to be constant and visible. If you have a great brand developed, but aren’t constantly in front of the consumer’s view, you have a good chance of being forgotten. Strong brands are constant. They’re always there for their customers and on the minds of prospective customers.
With personal branding, it’s also important to be constantly on the minds of others. Ever wonder why networking is such a great tool for personal branding? It’s so that your brand is visible to others. A great personal brand is accompanied with people knowing how to get ahold of you and where they’re likely to see you. If you’re an art fanatic, people will expect you to be at a big art show, so be there.
There are other factors that go into building and maintaining a strong (personal) brand. However, no brand can be considered strong if they don’t pass the 3Cs test.
Want to test your personal brand? Take this quiz! http://www.job-hunt.org/personal-branding/personal-branding-3-cs.shtml
Did you pass the personal brand test? Have additional personal branding tips? Comment below!
Article by Rachel D.