Recently I have had a discussion with a group of friends, from different industries and professions, with regards to whether marketing is the most important factor for business’ success, and also whether marketing plays an integral role in peoples lives and decision making process. In this blog post I will be addressing the latter.
A brand is a set of ideas, images and values, one can associate with a label or organisation. In my MSc Thesis, I wrote about Nation Branding, the notion that nations can be understood and analysed as brands. For example, think of Brazil. What sort of images and feelings come to mind? That is the brand of Brazil to you. Now, if countries can be defined as brands, what about people as individuals? What about you?
We all engage in marketing activities daily whether we do so willingly or without consciously knowing so. For most people the majority of these marketing activities happen unconsciously. Let’s take YOU as an example: You wake up every morning, and spend some time to pick out your clothes. After that, straight to the mirror, whether it will be for a few minutes, or hours to prepare yourself. Who are you really preparing for? Why did you pick out those clothes? What are you preparing for? Why are you putting this amount of effort into it? Why do you care about your image?
As previously mentioned, a brand is a set of ideas, images and values one associates with a company or organisation. In this case, these ideas, values and images are associated with you. You are preparing yourself for how others will see you and perceive you.You are preparing for the message you want to convey. You are preparing for how the world will interpret you.
The way you walk, behave, talk, the people who surround you, the places you hang out are all integral parts of how you market yourself, and how you want the rest of the world to see you. You choose when and how to interact, you filter people and select the ones that best represent you to be around you. A very common saying in my country is “Show me your friend, and I will tell you who you are” (“Δείξε μου τον φίλο σου, να σου πω ποιός είσαι”).
You are and have been a marketer all of your life. It is time to own it. Own the decisions and steps you take. Turn your unconscious into conscious marketing activities and build your brand image the way you want to. Own your brand and be aware that every move you make is a building block towards your personal brand. Invest in yourself to help your brand grow the way you have imagined it and the way you picture yourself.
The more you grow and your brand resonates, the more people you can reach. The bigger and stronger your personal brand becomes, the more opportunities and people will appear and new doors will open up. This is the greatest marketing project of your life, so take ownership!
(The best ways to develop your personal brand will be featured at a future blog post)
I hope you have found this topic interesting and useful. What do you think about it? All feedback and comments are welcomed.