Companies spend a lot of money to market a brand – so why wouldn’t you invest to build your personal brand? In the webinar, “Leveraging Insights from Product Branding to Enhance Your Personal Brand,” Wanda Wallace, CEO of Leadership Forum Inc., and Rebecca Fretty, Founder and CMO of Firebird Branding, show how to apply product marketing strategies to promote the most important “product” of all – ourselves.
What does being a brand really mean?
A successful brand makes a connection – between a product, service or person and a network, tribe or consumer group. Branding impacts what others say about a product or service, and helps form a positive connection. People who use similar products have shared values, and purchasing a certain brand reflects who you are. When a product or service is known only for its functional benefits, with no emotion involved, people don’t care about because it is a commodity. It’s the same with a personal brand – when applying for a job or being considered for promotion, it’s essential to have a personal brand that people care about and have a connection to, based on values, what you stand for and how you interact with teams.
What are the parts of a brand?
To translate insights from product branding and apply them to your life, you must first understand the constituents of a brand:
- Tangible benefits: What the consumer receives from the brand’s product or service, i.e., what is someone getting functionally. For example, socks make your feet warm.
- Intangible benefits: This is a subjective benefit, which is related to emotions and how it makes a person feel. For example, purchasing a certain organic dog food might make someone feel like a good “dog mom.”
The tangible and intangible benefits are what people receive. Here are other aspects that you control:
- Product contributions: These are specific elements that contribute to the functionality of a product. For example, Dove adds one-quarter moisturizing cream to its soap, which offers both cleansing and moisturizing.
- Personality & tone: These reflect how a brand showcases itself to consumers, which includes the packaging, the color, and the font – helping you form an instant connection. In personal branding, this is similar to how you present yourself.
- Discriminating essence: This is what makes a brand stand out from the pack. In personal branding, this is one sentence or an “elevator speech” that describes your uniqueness.
How does product branding translate to personal branding?
Using the product brand model described above, Wallace and Fretty drew analogies to personal branding:
- Tangible benefit: This is the business impact, or the benefits a company receives from you, or something you have which is critical to delivery. In other words, what do you bring to the table that fundamentally helps businesses?
- Intangible benefit: This is the human impact, or how people feel about working with you.
Fretty says it is essential to have a defining statement for your personal brand that highlights what you stand for. It is easy to say you are a “jack of all trades,” but that marginalizes you to a commodity. What really makes you stand out is when you say, “No, this is what I stand for, and I’m going to be the best at it.” You will be a better resource for the team and happier since you will be doing what you are meant to do.
For more of Fretty’s insights, including exercises and action items to create a compelling personal brand, listen to the on-demand recording of Leveraging Insights from Product Branding to Enhance Your Personal Brand.
As Fretty says, the goal is to come up with a winning brand comprising words or phrases that you would proudly wear on a t-shirt.
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