It’s no secret that successful companies have established a brand with which they’re recognized with by the general public. They’ll do absolutely anything to protect that brand, because it holds some intangible value that cannot be regained if it were to be lost.
Although we can all agree that that’s true, do you even know what a ‘brand’ is?
It is certainly an ambiguous word that is used in a wide variety of ways. In its simplest definition, a brand stands for the given name of a product or service provided by a specific source. By knowing the brand, we know where the product or service came from… Does that make sense? In its most complex definition, a brand stands for what people think, feel and perceive in regards to the product or service.
With that in mind, let’s explore the idea that companies aren’t the only ones that have a brand. You see, each of us has a brand as well. Mr. & Ms. Obama are their own brand. Donald Trump is his own Brand. Each and every one of us is our own brand!
Each of us has a brand name (birth name) and a lifetime to build the image we want our brand to hold in the eyes of the public. Every decision you make impacts your brand, regardless of how small or how big it might be. You might think you’ve taken the right steps towards building your brand, but I beg to differ.
As a recent college graduate, I’ve come to face the fact that I have neglected my brand. How? Well, first off… I immersed myself in my studies instead of doing as much networking as I should have. Also, as a social media strategist for a new agency, I focused on building my company’s social media presence while simultaneously neglecting my own. Lastly, I became too tired to go out of my way to seek additional knowledge and resources that could’ve furthered my career.
Did I graduate with a 4.0 GPA? Yes… but sadly, that’s just a number. Now that I am at the stage where I’m looking for a job, I’ve come to realize that I could’ve gotten an offer from a networking event I should’ve attended. Maybe, I could’ve made some connections through LinkedIn, or met people with whom I could’ve formed my own business with.
You see, life got in the way of my brand… and now I’m suffering the consequences. I’ve had to reignite my social media presence, which is extremely difficult (as some of you marketers probably know). I’ve had to go out of my way to reach out to people I’ve never met or have any connection with in the hopes that they’ll be able to see my potential through a piece of paper. Honestly, I would have to say that the biggest danger of neglecting your brand is that both your potential and achievements won’t translate as you would like them to.
Personally, I know what I can do. I have potential. I’ve done things right, you know? I’ve gone to college, graduated with honors and interned full time while working, and yet… no one is blowing up my phone trying to offer me a job. That’s reality guys.
So, to conclude…
Do not neglect your brand. You don’t want to start building a certain image of yourself for recruiters when you are already in need for a job. You are your biggest product, so you have to sell yourself. Just like any other great product, you weren’t built overnight so make sure everyone knows how much time and effort has gone into your design.