There are heaps of definitions of what ‘brand’ means, such as Seth Godin’s “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another”. Click here for the full post.
And when it comes to personal branding, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” is hard to beat (click here for more in the same vein).
Which got me thinking, why don’t we ask them anyway, while they’re in the room? OK, so our nearest and dearest will balance kindness with, er, honesty. But others may surprise us.
One of the most powerful experiences I’ve had as a participant on a course was to contact several people and ask them to describe me in a few words. Wowser. It’s a pretty humbling exercise just listening to other people answer that question, going along with the request to ‘please be honest: I’m doing this for a course’.
So why not try it? Contact a few people you trust to be completely honest (and that says something about their personal brand right there) and ask them to:
- describe you in a few words
- tell a story about you that they think sums you up
You’ll not only find out what these people think about you, you’ll start to get the picture about your personal brand. Why should you bother? For the same reason it can be useful to get any other kind of feedback: too often we don’t have a clue about the impact of our behaviour.
And what’s more, in the context of your personal brand, you’ll be able to see why might they choose you, in Godin’s words ‘over another’.
There’s a wonderful blog post by Luc Speisser, Landor Associates’ Managing Director, about explaining branding to a child – enjoy.