Most of us have no problem determining how to market our companies or our products. Thinking of ourselves as a brand, however, takes a little mental adjustment. But it can be a smart way to manage a career. Find out how to brand yourself successful with the following steps: The first step is to stop thinking of yourself as an employee and start thinking of yourself as a company. Consider this:
- You have customers; your actual customers, your boss, and anyone at your company that you provide a service to.
- You have vendors; your actual vendors and those people in the office whose services you rely on.
- You have a product; you. Everything you do professionally reflects on and builds your brand value.
Basic Brand StrategyTypical brand management work would include establishing long-term goals, understanding strengths and weaknesses, knowing the competition (sounds harsh, but there are only so many jobs), and knowing the market. For our purposes we are going to focus in on the basics of branding. The four P’s: Position, Promotion, Placement, and Price.
PositionPositioning defines a product in the mind of the consumer. It is the essence of the brand. You may not need a personal tag line or logo, but you definitely need a strong position. How do you want to be seen by others? Work on your personal positioning by focusing on your strengths and figuring out what is unique about you. Knowing how to summarize what you do and how well you do it is an important part of communicating your personal position. Start by crafting a 15 second elevator pitch that answers these questions:
- What is your area of expertise:
- Bad: “I work in marketing.”
- Good: “I launch consumer brands and deal with all stages from product development to consumer advertising. But my real passion is marketing to kids.”
- When have you done it well:
- Bad: “I’ve launched lots of products.”
- Good: “One of my favorite projects was launching product X which targeted inner-city tweens.”
- What were the results:
- Bad: “It was a really successful launch.”
- Good: “Within eight months we were number three at retail in our category.”