with Mark de Roo

Branding – let’s get personal

Let’s play Jeopardy! It’s “Final Jeopardy” and the category is “Business.” Alex Trebec, in his best resonant voice, announces, “And the answer is:  This man first introduced the term Employer Branding in 1990.”

You’re thinking, “Why the heck did I blow my entire wad on this category?!? But, time’s a wastin’, so I better conjure up a quick guess. Is it Bill Gates or Warren Buffett?  Oh, I don’t  know!”  So, you hastily write something down.

The well-known Jeopardy theme music tapers off and halts with those three descending notes: Bump, bump, bump. You’re second in line and it’s your turn to reveal your answer . .  “Who is Miss Piggy?”

Yeah, your answer gets a laugh and you get a red face. But if it’s any consolation, your fellow contestants don’t offer the correct answer either. Finally, Alex offers the correct answer with “Who is Simon Barrow?”  Instantly everyone shrugs their shoulders and silently mouths, “Simon who?”

I did the same when I first heard his name.  But, in certain circles, he’s a household name.  This is especially true for companies like Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, and McDonald’s. And let’s pause for a moment, for as much as these companies use branding to attract and keep customers, they’ve also crafted their brands to attract and keep employees.

In fact, a significant portion of the employees of Southwest Airlines were first exposed to the company as passengers. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for a company where the employees were having fun with each other and their customer-passengers.

What do YOU want to be known for?

This gets me to thinking, however, about a third application for branding.  And this application is about personal branding. If “branding” is essentially about “reputation,” what do I want to be known for?  What do YOU want to be known for?  What are your intangible assets that co-workers, your boss, your family, and your neighbors consistently experience with you? Are you regarded for your:

  • Quality
  • Responsiveness
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Resourcefulness
  • Positivity
  • Accuracy
  • Initiative

On the other hand, is your personal brand something less desirable? But we won’t go there.

I first became acquainted with SCN from the originator of this online resource – Tom Page.  Tom’s brand is consistent—and then some. He’s always considerate. He will always offer an example of something by weaving me or a member of my family into the scenario.  It’s pretty cool. But, he’s also humble and energetic. So, when it comes to your own personal brand, what are you known for?  What could you be even more intentional about?  What could you take to the next level? I’d love to hear from you – and so would Tom!

photos by mike burns & oldmaison