By: Andrea DiTonno
Marketing is a relevant part of your life (2 min read)
Written by Dr. Carolyn Scott, Chief Academic Officer at University of Fairfax
A brand is a mark that uniquely identifies a product as belonging to a certain company. Ranchers have been branding cattle to uniquely identify their stock for centuries. Now, with the advent of commercial packaging and advertising, we are surrounded by brands. McDonald’s golden arches, Borden’s smiling cow, and Quaker Oats’ Quaker gentleman are just a few examples of brands that have embedded themselves into our culture. Brands allow us to quickly identify our choices and to make the best one, based on our needs, wants, and desires. When we identify a product to a brand we get a sense of expected quality. Brands are successful because, like people, they carry a certain reputation.
Now let’s turn to the most crucial brand—yours. The fact is you already possess a personal brand that you have, consciously or unconsciously, built throughout your lifetime. What does your brand say about you? Is it reflective of your values and goals or have you allowed it to be shaped by your reactions to your environment and circumstances?
In their recent article, Peter and Gomez (2019) posit that building a personal brand while one is a student has a positive effect on employability. They advise students to consciously decide who they are, what they stand for, and what others can expect from them and then to behave accordingly. The authors also remind us that every brand has five crucial elements: authenticity, uniqueness, visibility, consistent delivery, and relevance. This is great advice.
Each of us has a brand, whether we want one or not. Shaping a unique, relevant personal brand with authenticity that is visible to the world is not terribly difficult. Most of us do it every day just by acting in a consistent manner, ‘being ourselves’. Others know they can count on us to get the job done right—or not. They know they can count on us to be on time—or not. We judge each other based on our expectations. The ways in which others expect us to behave are developed and spread from one person to another over time as we earn our reputations.
Marketing professionals make a living of getting their brands recognized for their positive attributes. If you are a business administration student you will learn quite a bit more about this in your marketing classes. For now, though, I challenge each of you to work toward being recognized for your positive attributes. Let your reputation precede you.
Peter, A., & Gomez, S. (2019). Building your personal brand: A tool for employability. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 13(2), 7–20. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ufairfax.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bsh&AN=137424418&site=ehost-live&scope=site