Coke. Southwest Airlines. You.
I’ve always thought there should be one simple, common sense way to value a corporate brand. It would be something like, “If everything burned down, what could we go to the bank and borrow based on owning the brand name?” In other words, what are the rights to the brand worth, irrespective of its real assets?
Of course, that’s not a perfect formula. Rights that survive a calamity encompass more than the brand name. These would include contracts, customers, systems, know-how and other key factors like intellectual property.
For example, Coke’s stashed its secret formula in an Atlanta bank vault, so presumably the ingredients list survives the ashen assets. A company like Southwest Airlines might have futures contracts on commodities like fuel, which would be used for coming decades.
In October, Interbrand estimated Coke’s brand value at $77.8 billion, up 8% from its 2011 valuation. Coke is the number one most recognized brand in the world, and has been number one on Interbrand’s top brands list for over 13 years.
In September 2011, Southwest Airlines – the number one US domestic airline and Fortune Magazine’s 4th most admired company – was valued in total, including all assets, at about half a billion dollars.
Odds are you are more like Southwest Airlines than Coke.
That is, you are inextricably tied to your measurable assets, your hard and soft skill-sets. Skills would be the “meat” of your personal brand. You probably don’t have a surfeit of sizzle that smokes the competition. Sizzle is the charismatic quality that the homecoming queen, senior class president, and anyone who wins anything by popular vote has in abundance.
The common sense way I like to value your personal brand is simply the answer to this question:
“What will we pay you beyond the commodity value of your skill-set, to get you to come work for us?”
The more your sizzle-charisma are worth, the more you will be paid. That is why will we pay you more than your education, experience and skills are worth.
If you are looking to be paid better than average for work you really want to do, increasing the value of your brand is pretty straightforward.
1. Polish your delivery and presentation skills – online and on-ground.
Get ready to be a public person, spokesperson or advocate. Learn good manners and practice them. Use a structured style guide to introduce yourself, your topic and your delivery of material, written and verbal.
2. Do the work to become an expert in your industry or sector.
Produce original content, aggregate important secondary source material, participate in associations or conferences that allow you to demonstrate your expertise, and hold small study groups on important topics and publish the findings. Put it online in places that would attract attention and engage your tribe.
3. Reach out to your audience or tribe before you need anything.
The worst time to introduce yourself is when you need us to take action on your behalf (like hire you). Get in the ether. Start answering those LinkedIn discussion questions and invite members of your groups to link in. Write an article or blog post and ask industry experts to weigh in. Provide insightful comments on YouTube and other public forums.
The Pay-off on Personal Branding
For every year you work in your field, the cash value of your personal brand should be worth 10-25% more than what we would pay on average for someone else with your skills to do what you do.
Give yourself a raise: get branding.
Want a tactical plan for polishing your delivery and presentation skills? Email me at [email protected]. Subject line: presentation skills.