By Samantha McKenzie
Not too long ago, when you heard the word brand in the business world, it referred primarily to the type of product or service a company produced. The word has since then evolved into something more personal. Nowadays, a brand is whatever your customers say it is when they hear of or see the name. Savvy marketers have been able to link a consumer’s emotional ties to a product or service. Simply put, they’ve figured out why we are attached to a particular brand, and go about ensuring we continue to have that same satisfying experience over and over again.
My mom’s personal brand favorite was Aquanet. The holding spray that gave hair life. Mine is Google. I can and will do all things through Google!
It’s how women feel when we see a Tiffany & Co. box. The light teal blue colored box that became so popular that people referred to it as “Tiffany blue.” The box that made us smile before we opened it, and the box that never gets thrown away.
You can probably think of countless brands that you are attracted to, for one good reason or another, that keep you coming back. Like the upgraded experience you get shopping at Target vs. Walmart, or how Nike makes you feel that you can still be like Mike. It’s how Chick-fil-la’s exceptional customer service makes you forget you’re eating fast food.
It’s the psychology of relationships. We all want to be treated well in any type of relationship. We are drawn to the people who we believe will be more thoughtful, who will go the extra mile to make us happy and who leave us with a good feeling. The business world has figured it out, but have we?
What’s your personal brand? What’s the experience that people have when they interact with you? What’s your promise to your customers, your coworkers, and your family members? And do you deliver?
Whether your relationships are with the people you see every day or the ones you associate with on social media, we are all conveying messages about who we are on a daily basis. Good or bad, we have built ourselves a reputation. We make commitments. We aim to please.
So what are people saying about you? Are you the associate who’s really good at her job, but never shows up on time? Are you the relative that only calls her family in a crisis? Do you make promises you can’t keep? And when you fall short, as we all will, do you know how to repair your relationships?
Your personal brand is about how you publicly and privately define yourself. It’s your promise to yourself first, and your promise to the people you interact with. Good brands, keep people coming back. They build trust. They allow others to invest in you. Positive personal brands open up opportunities. Bad brands create the opposite.
So who are you? Or better yet, who do you want to become?