Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Personal Branding - What is it and what are the benefits?

What is a Personal Brand?

A Personal Brand is a personal identity that stimulates precise, meaningful perceptions in its audience about the values and qualities that a person stands for. (Peter Montoya)

Why a century by Sachin is enjoyed more than a century by any other cricketer?
Why do we have people build temples for Amitabh Bachchan (a famous Indian film star) and not for any other equally successful movie star? Is it the sheer talent possessed by these individuals or something beyond that? Are these people consciously building their “personal brand”?

Just like companies brand their products to create some unique associations in the minds of the target consumers, personal branding also involves the creation of strong, unique and favourable associations in the minds of the people around. But unlike products that are consciously marketed to build and maintain brand values, personal brands are built unconsciously most of the times. Even if a person does not brand himself consciously, others automatically create some associations about him depending on his nature, habits, dressing, etiquettes and other elements of his image. It happens to most of us and we do the same for other people. Therefore one should play an active role in creating a brand for oneself by proactively choosing the Image that one projects.

Steve Van, author of Get Slightly Famous, points out the following
advantages of branding oneself:

·         Differentiate yourself from others/ competition
·         Position your focused message in the hearts and minds of your target
Customers or people who matter
·         Confers “top of mind” status
·         Increases authority and credence of decisions
·         Places you in a leadership role
·         Enhances prestige
·         Attracts the right people and opportunities
·         Adds perceived value to what you are selling
·         Earns recognition
·         Associates you with a trend
·         Increases earning potential


  1. How does concious Brand creation takes over the real self ? As Image conultant you may advice person to wear specific color / design but if they are not as per his/her personal liking then the confidence quotient may decrese as they walk out wearing those cloths.
    Similarly, Image branding is not one shot game, it gets build up with time and constant presence of specific elements/attitude.
    Is there a way to impact persons concious real self to behave in projected manner all the time ?

  2. Great question Puneet! First of all I must mention that Image management comprises of anything that is visible to the outside world and is not limited to dressing, grooming though that is an important element because it is the most visual part of a person. Second, Image management unlike styling is authentic to an individual where we even consider a person's personality traits, likes/dislikes, their roles, occupation and their goals. Each person is unique so at the end of the day it entails how you utilize all your resources, strengths, skills etc to create a unique image and build a personal brands!

  3. This al sounds very great and promising. But somehow I am not very convinced that a person can change their preference in terms of choice, thinking, speech etc. in order to present a specific image. Would be interesting to see someone who has been living new himself for a while & associated impacts.

  4. Personal branding/ image management does not aim at changing a person's belief and choices. The whole idea is to keep it all authentic. Only what a person and his capabilities are, is/are projected in a way to differentiate and create uniqueness. I shall be posting on "how to create a pesronal brand" soon! Also, I shall post testimonials from my client base on my website soon who have experienced the change with image solutions. To take a much simpler approach look at celebrities and see how they have changed their image and project themselves in very different ways - Saif Ali Khan, Karishma Kappoor, Sonia Gandhi.