Commonly known as salt, sodium chloride is an essential household item but it is cheap and plentiful in many parts of the world. Because of this, salt is a commodity. Very often, you don’t care which brand of salt you buy. They serve the same purpose. You can substitute one brand for another and nobody would be able to tell the difference.
But you do not want to be like common salt. You do not want to be a commodity. If you are, you’re the next nondescript worker in the office or the next candidate in a promotion. You want to stand out. You want to be perceived as “one of a kind” and so valuable that people will invest or pay more in the brand called “YOU”.
Corporations benefit from strong branding in many ways. They can charge a premium for their products or services, disproportionately increase their market valuation and thrive during economic downturns. But branding isn’t just for giant corporations anymore. Today, everything is a brand. Individuals also need to develop a brand for themselves and YOU already have a brand!
According to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, “A brand is what people say about you when you leave the room”. Personal Branding isn’t optional. With social media comes misinformation, semi-permanent cyber records and it is hard not to leave a mark. This is about managing your name even if you don’t own a business. It is about your image and your reputation – the way you are perceived by the external world.
Communicating your brand effectiveness therefore, is essential to building relationships and ensuring professional success.
Before Apples, there was Steve Jobs.
We know people around us who just stand out. What makes them stand out is usually not because of the family they come from or the school they went to, neither the years of experience they have. It is something more genuine, more intrinsic. It is always about what they believe in and what they are passionate about.
In the new economy, there is no iron rice bowl to ensure work continuity. Gone are the days where your value to your company or clients comes from just your area of expertise. You need to take ownership of your skills and talents. You need to get ahead of the pack. Once you can differentiate yourself from your peers or competitors in related fields, you will stand out.