I am typing and writing this article on google docs, using my windows laptop, and having my high tea in a comfy space at CCD.
All these highlighted terms are brands, i.e well-recognized company/product names.
What is a brand?
As per Wikipedia:
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer.
We all encounter various brands in our everyday lives. For example, we call an Uber or do Netflix and Chill.
When you search for something online, you say ‘let’s google it’.
Here, Google is a brand again. The only difference from their counterparts like duckduckgo, yahoo search etc. is that they’ve marketed and positioned their brand in a unique and useful way which made them seem different.
It has become a generic word now.
And what if I tell you that it’s even added in the dictionary? Check it out!
So, what is a Personal Brand?
There is yet another way of marketing specific individuals and their careers.
Let’s take a real-life example and understand this.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I write ‘Steve Jobs’?
It must be something related to technology and innovation, or maybe simply Apple/iPhone? Right?
Do you know why?
Because his personal brand related to technology and innovation.
Let’s take the example of ‘Elon Musk’.
What comes to your mind?
I’m sure it must be rockets, cars, and technology!
So, what is branding and personal branding all about?
Branding is all about crafting a story and presenting it in a manner that people are able to relate to the story and connect the product with that specific idea and the story.
Personal branding is applying the same concepts in order to craft a story around a person or self-packaging oneself and presenting it in front of the world.
You must have noticed that you create some kind of a perception towards everyone that you meet.
For example, person ‘xyz’ is extremely good at singing and has a lot of knowledge in that stream. That helps him to establish or to spread the word around more. In a way, it has turned into the main aspect of his personal brand.
Can you name these people? Or better, can you tell me what do they do to earn money?
I’m sure nobody would call ‘Kapil Sharma’ to dance particularly because that’s not the story that he has crafted for him. Rather, he has established a brand of comedy around him. He will be called for stand-ups rather.
Likewise, Sachin Tendulkar is known for his sport, Chetan Bhagat for his books, Arijit Singh for his songs.
They all have created a sense of perception about them in the minds of the people.
That is Personal Branding!
In today’s world, with the rise of the internet, to share different ideas or experiences, you really don’t need to meet different people face-to-face.
It’s just as instant as tapping your finger on the screen and sharing your story with the world.
Let’s take an example from your contacts:
Take a moment to think about whom all do you remember from your Facebook connections!
I’m sure it has a lot to do with the things that they share, the way they communicate, the manner in which they portray themselves online etc.
Because they knowingly or unknowingly are building a personal brand for themselves- because of which you remember the person for the story or their ideas that they’ve been a part of.
In ‘Be Your Own Brand’ first published in 1999, marketers David McNally and Karl Speak define personal brand this way:
“Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you.”
Some of the influential personalities that we know has developed personal branding with time.
They connect themselves with different issues, products, the things that they do and everything that they follow turn out to be a footprint or a part of their story in creating their perception among people.
Virat Kohli as a cricketer is obviously popular due to his sport. But, that’s not the only way he has communicated his story.
Today, he charges lakhs of rupees for promoting a product and is still top-notch for advertising different products.
Why is that not every cricketer charges the same as him?
Because the perception that he has created in front of the world is of a hardworking cricketer, who is just as same as a next-door boy, connects with the youth of the country, his confidence, the ability to face challenges, the way he handles his social media and there many more reasons.
The growth of the internet has given a push to this concept as people nowadays have an online identity as well.
In the virtual world, it might also differ from the perception that they create in their real lives.
Social media even expands to professional networks such as LinkedIn to industry-specific platforms such as Stack Overflow- where developers can create their online identities.
Personal Branding online is the process of deliberately creating digital footprints around domains and areas in which you want to be recognized.
Nowadays, we have YouTube celebrities also who’ve created a brand around their name.
Bhuvan Bam does not need any introduction anymore!
They keep on marketing and positioning themselves as a brand. Even popular stars can create an online brand around their name with the story they wanna create, and by that, they increase their exposure along with.
Be it politicians like Narendra Modi or Film stars like Shah Rukh Khan.
All the numbers and the reputation kept aside, it is about creating your own success.
Now, the Question is- How to create a personal brand?
Stay connected. I’ll keep this blog updated with a series of articles on how to create a successful personal brand.
Submit your email here, if you want to stay updated with my Personal Branding articles.
It is not as tough as it seems. A strategic plan and consistent efforts will keep you going.
Just remember, you can make a lot out of it and if you do it wrong, the opposite to what you’ve been aiming could also be possible.
That being said, here’s a small activity for you-
Google your name, and see where do you stand in the world of personal branding!
Looking forward to reading your views in the comments section below.
Originally published at www.dipanshurawal.com on September 29, 2018.