Interbrand, via its web site Brandchannel.com has just recently produced its 2007 Brand Marketers Report, which found that whilst the state of brands was generally good there was certainly room for improvement and there were a number of insights as to why this was – I found some real relation to this and the management of personal brands during 2007.
1. While the impact of brands is clear, most major industries remain non-branders, not proactively supporting or managing their brands. The same can be said about personal brands – most people in most industries are not doing anything to support or manage their personal brands, even though they all have one. Industries such as media, high tech and finance seem to be embracing the concept sooner and are reaping some of the benefits.
2. Many brands have rebranded recently, yet being thorough in rebranding is much more important than being frequent. Many seem to believe that tweaking one or two aspects of their external personal brand is going to be enough to be different and noticed. But being more dilligent in the early foundation work will result in a much stronger and longer lasting personal brand.
3. Strict adherence to brand standards creates brands with customer impact, but few companies are able to secure consistent compliance. People are respected more when they are able to identify what is on brand for them or off brand – better for your personal brand to be turning something away than compromising your brand standards.
4. Centrally managed brands are no more infliential with customers than decentralized ones. Do not expect all your employees to be the 'same', allowing them to be personal brands within a brand is much more powerful for the company and the individual.
5. Brands that receive adequate financial support are more influential in the customer decision process. Do not skimp on the card stock for your business cards or sign your next contract with a 30c pen – unless that's part of your personal brand.
6. Brand budgets are not expected to grow in 2007. People should be spending more on getting their personal brands credible and visible, small investments now will reap bigger rewards both financially and spiritually.
7. Metrics and brand research are generally under leveraged. Two of the most important early steps in defining your personal brand are to measure it now and then look at he improvements in 6 and 12 months and seek the imput of others, what are their perceptions of your brand?
8. Brand practitioners believe Consistency is the most important aspect of successful branding followed by Understanding the Customer/Target, Messaging/Communication Effectiveness. I could not have said it better myself.
Are you going to follow these brand rules for your personal brand this year?