Personal Brands: Stick It

266346_swirlIf you were a bumper sticker, what would you say for all the world to see, as we drive by you stuck on a fender?

Would you tell us to give peace a chance? 

Would you tell us you’re a fan of mixed martial arts?

Would you boast your kid made honor roll?

Would you boast your kid beat up a kid on honor roll?

During my first week in training at The Coca-Cola Company, I got a mega dose of what big brands know best, and pass on to the people who represent them.

Memorable brand messages are brief, bold and brilliant.  Seven words or less pretty much covers everything they want us to remember. Volvo = safety. Disneyland= happy. Coke: the pause that refreshes (and a litany of other vitality-oriented slogans).

We are connected to these brands and the values they embody – the qualities of an ideal life they promise comes with purchase.

Like the toy in Cracker Jack or the mood ring in Lucky Charms, a brand personality may feel as real as something we hold in our hands. That’s why we welcome brands into our lives. And, why we proudly wear their insignias and logos.

We believe that joy, security, freedom, peace of mind, creativity or success comes with the product – or whatever desirable state of mind we can’t get on our own.

Personal brands: how do you know how we feel about you?

If you blog, and we like your personal brand: we happily subscribe to your missives. We hit “share,” sending out your message like we are sending a gift via email.

We look for you as we duck in and out of our Facebook page. We throw a glance at Tweetdeck zillions of times a day, and hope you pop up with something pithy that we might retweet. If you put in a subject line that is meaningful, we are motivated to open your email.

As personal brands, perhaps attached to bigger brands, we are both consumers and promoters. Unlike mass-marketed brands, personal brands don’t act like there is a one-way mirror. We rely on the porous relationship we have with our audiences.

The audiences we compete for are besieged with communication clutter, and at the same time are besotted with messages that are crisp, clear and relentless.

Are you successful in the trafficking of messages?

The world is driving by you all the time. Consider what’s sticking about you.

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2 Responses to “Personal Brands: Stick It”

  1. Jeff Meade says:

    Great post Nance. I think the other key to knowing what your personal brand would say is also knowing your audience. Our bumper sticker could be loaded with jargon and slang to appeal to just our clique. For instance, I may say “large up to my Montserrat massive.” Means nothing to most of your readers, but it will put a smile on the face of most folks from the Caribbean.

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