company inc_slogan starts herepepsi2We’re not products, we’re people. But brand is image, and both products and people have images. An image can just happen, haphazardly, or it can be carefully created, developed and managed. In terms of our careers, we would be wise to carefully create, develop and manage our professional brand.

Lexus roadster

2008 Lexus roadster concept car

Branding is reputation and the creation of perception about a product, or a service, or a company—or a person’s career—is based on that reputation. Think about your own professional brand. What perception are you working to create? What reputation are you developing? What “tags” or “adjectives” would someone likely attach to your professional brand to describe those things?

1980 Toyota Corolla

1980 Toyota Corolla

The most successful brands are visually distinctive from other brands in their class. What is visually distinctive about you and about the appearance of your marketing materials, i.e., your resume and samples of work you show in an interview?

company-brand-imageThe most successful brands are consistent in their presentation and delivery. How would you evaluate yourself on these aspects of your professional brand? These are the things that create first impressions, leave lasting impressions and make you competitive—or not.

The higher marks you can give yourself on these important elements of your brand, the stronger you will come across in an interview (for a job or for business development, if you’re a company “rainmaker.”)

Most aspects of a product brand can be generalized to a personal/ professional brand. I found an interesting Web site today called >The BrandBuilder<. Check it out, and see if you can come up with some other ideas from the author to create, develop and manage your own brand.

Share your ideas here, and if you know of another site that would be helpful in building a stronger brand, let us know!

Company Inc. graphic from The Marketess | A Crash Course in Branding via the Web

Chess piece graphic from via the Web