Manage Your Own Brand

One of my professors, Corey Billington (at IMD), gave an interesting tip. Every big celebrity brand has two adjectives that we associate with them (Margaret Thatcher: Iron lady, Bill Clinton: Charismatic Democrat, Paris Hilton: Goodtime partying etc…). We should all get the two adjectives that relate to us as well.

Firstly find the two adjectives that you want associated with you (e.g. people person, IT expert, good presenter, funny, doer, creative, intelligent, charming, nice, friendly, organized etc…). Then take a guess at what people think of you. What image do people have of you in the organization? Find this out by asking people who don’t know you so well. These are people that you have “hello, hi” terms with but maybe don’t see all the time. If you can survey 30 or so of these people you will see a pattern emerging.

If there is a gap in what you want them to think of you and what they think of you than there might be an image problem. This isn’t something you can fix overnight but if you are aware of it at least you can work on it.

Once you have the adjectives it is good to be consistent with them. If you are not consistent than people are not going to know what you stand for and will find it harder to designate a certain task to you (e.g. if Walmart is low cost and sometimes it sells things that are very expensive than it is going to confuse the consumers). If you are known for being a people person and you lose your temper than its going to hurt your brand. With a consistent brand your salary might increase as people will know to call on you and rely on you when they need your type of skills.

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Amir Anzur

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