02 Aug 2020
We all hear a lot about branding, be it personal or as a business ( as a legal entity in itself) and it's sometimes a maze into which a few people have to walk through to reach their destination. What follows is a brief recount and just my thoughts in ink on the matter based on my experience and perhaps from that of others.
A questioned was posed to some of us in the room whilst attending an unexpected masterclass (at least it was unplanned for me). I suppose being asked about what we understood on what personal branding entails would create somewhat of a buzz amongst young visionaries especially since the question begs for a little bit of self-reflection. What sort of put me at brief brain-freeze was what happened next. After displaying the slide with numerous brands currently available in the market, what followed was a really simple question on which brand each of us preferred and why. We were given around 5 minutes to break into a mini-group discussions and in as much as it was interesting how everyone seemed to know what they like and why, it took me a little while longer to come up with an answer. Let's just say I was glad to not have been put on the spot to air out my views.
I found that the question was tricky in the sense that, answering it was pushing me to decide which brand I was most drawn/ loyal to. The truth is that it might seem that I'm quite indecisive but, I doubt I am simply because if there's one thing I'm loyal to then it's authenticity, originality, reliability and uniqueness itself. These four words have been seen to be used interchangeably and I might be inclined to believe they mean the same thing (no dictionary/ google meaning needed here, I promise) but, one like me can't help but see them exclusive to each other. One word descriptions are often attached to big brands even if it's just all of them at the same time and at times, brands doing so make the louder noise.
I envy those who can pick more than one brand and speak highly of it most times but, I'm not specific to any brand simply because I find it limitless to be able to fix brands to my tastes and not the other way around. It kind of makes me an odd duck but, I've gotten used to this reference. What works for me in one moment won't always be the same way all the time especially since a lot of market dwellers struggle with consistency. For the most part I might speak highly of a brand if it's more of service provider and not an actual tangible product and articulating the reason for this is still something I'm working on. Either way, if I manage to find an alternative or replacement for an impeding predicament I have with a brand in the market, then my loyalty will definitely shift. It's always a major and taxing exercise to decide which product/ service to go with when this happens but, it's better than accepting less than what would put my mind at ease. However, it is worth noting that my being a creature of habit in some aspects might also be mistaken for brand loyalty. The only way one would know with clarity on where I stand is to ask.
I suppose the easier of them is choosing to follow the person in a brand or the brand that is the person and, if this fails, then my goal is to become the brand I'd like to see in others. No in-between. I say so because at times, when a person links their personal brand to their business and the business ends up showing a certain level of inconsistencies that contradict the person himself, it creates a lot of doubts and second guessing.
What are your thoughts on branding?
I'm a version of an out-of-the-ordinary,accidental Jill of various trades who always tries to find ways to stay on her toes. I'm a writer, an author, an entrepreneur (making people's & businesses' work days easier), an enthusiastic devotee of growth, empathy, compassion, leadership and creativity.
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