Mar 12, 2015

Personal Brands Are Not Corporate Brands

A personal brand is not a corporate brand.

The brand building process is different. The outcomes are different. The goals are different.

And this all stems from one simple reason: you can’t compress a career and a personality into a nice shiny box.

We’re talking about your life, and you’d be selling yourself short if you tried to constrain your career with corporate branding techniques.

Corporate Brands Are Crafted

In many respects branding companies, products, and services is easier than branding people.

Companies are crafted entities. It’s not like they are born with a personality, intrinsic values or ambitions. Those traits are blown into it, shaped, and molded into something customers identify with.

And if a corporate brand hits hard times, you can change it. You can reinvent it and bring a “new brand” to market. Or abandon it and start something new.

Businesses are not people with personalities. They are made up.

People Are Messy

In school, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? How about after you graduated?

Fifteen years after graduating I am still wrestling with this question. I have a firm grasp of my career and goals, but I am constantly striving to push myself to break through barriers and discover new opportunity. The next horizon excites me, and this means my brand keeps evolving as my career develops.

This is pretty common. According to Workopolis, an average person can expect to have fifteen jobs in their career, and may change careers several times along the way.

These changes do not break your personal brand, they enhance it.

A squiggly career creates an exciting and interesting personal brand. This is in stark contrast to corporate branding. A squiggly corporate brand creates confusion and uncertainty.

You’re Measured On Output

Corporate brands are measured on revenue and profitability, personal brands are measured on output.

Ultimately your personal brand is shaped on what you create and who your work impacts. For example, an athlete’s brand is defined by their medals and rank in their sport. A writer’s brand is defined by their body of work, which can range from blog posts to books.

In every profession an individual’s work shapes their brand.

The most assured way to grow your brand is to be prolific. It opens up so many opportunities to grow your personal brand:

  • More opportunities to reach people
  • More people to influence and help
  • More opportunities to hone and develop your skills
  • More learning opportunities
  • More opportunities to be brilliant

The more you produce the more success you will find.

Give Your Brand Room to Grow

You don’t need to confine your personal brand with the constructs of corporate branding.

Give it room to breathe and grow. Give it the freedom to chase opportunities and surprise yourself.

Your personal brand is your life. Give yourself every opportunity to be successful while pursuing your dreams. Your brand will reflect the work you do along the way.

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