Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake, Personal Brand

I love a slice of fresh fruit pie as much as the next person. If it’s rhubarb and there is a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on it, so much the better. It gives you that warm, homely feeling, like something you know well. By the way, did you know Fortinos the grocers do baked half pies? Which would be different of course from half-baked pies! How cool is that? But I digress!!

Interestingly there is a connection between baking pies and personal branding that started in the late 1600’s.

One of the books I am currently reading is “How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times” by Roy Peter Clark. It’s written to help you become more concise and succinct with your messaging which in these easily distracted times is becoming more important. At the end of each chapter are some writing exercises (or what the author calls Grace Notes). A recent one was researching a childhood nursery rhyme or song and finding out about its origin. That was an interesting exercise in itself, finding how far back many of them go.

The rhyme/song I chose was “Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake”. Do you remember acting out the words and hand movements? It turns out that this was thought to originate from the late 1600’s with a published version being in 1698.  The words have changed a little over time, yet the story remains the same.

In those times many people did not have their own ovens, so they took their freshly made pies to the local baker’s to get them baked. But of course, the baker was running a business, so they would not fire up the oven for one pie and therefore they waited until there were enough pies to fill the oven. In order to find your pie once they were ready, you, or the baker, made a pastry letter or symbol in the pie crust so that you knew that pie was yours. As the rhyme goes please mark it with a ‘T’ and put it in the oven for Tommy and me!

Quite possibly one of the earliest examples of personal (pie) branding!

What about the personal brand that you are baking? How do people feel when they come into contact or exposure to it? Do they get that warm and homely feeling? Do they know you well enough yet to trigger those emotions?

There will be a number of reasons why people will want to buy from you, work with you, hire you or work for you.

Some of those they expect because they are the minimum for what you do. These are termed the rational attributes and skills. But there is another set that are not necessary or critical to do what you do.

These are your differentiators. The reasons why they will choose you over someone else who does and says they do exactly what you do or they offer the same as you.

Identifying the rational should be relatively easy for you to do.

It’s the emotional areas that are more difficult. If you are struggling with this then you will want to take some time considering the various components of your personal brand in order to get clear on both the rational AND emotional elements of your personal brand.

Here are three main considerations;

  1. What do you stand for? Identify your values, the moral compass that drives you. You can take the personal brand exercise The EvalYOUation here   What is your vision, what do you want to see happen and what is your purpose in making that a reality?  Consider your personality style and how you interact with others.
  1. How do you operate? What are your key strengths and skills, what do you think they are, what do others think they are? What are your statements of intent, your mantras that direct and determine your brand?
  1. How are you unique? What are your passions and how can these be more a part of your life, especially being able to include them in what you do? How is your brand packaged? And what are you doing to communicate and promote that brand to the right people?

The clearer you can get on these core elements the more you will attract the right people who like what they see, hear, and ultimately feel. They will warm to you like a great slice of rhubarb pie and probably want the whipped cream too!

What is your favourite type of pie? Comment below, I would love to know!

P.S. A shout out to one fantastic marketing writer, Jim Connolly from my old country, England, who first mentioned Roy Peter Clark in one of his blog posts that prompted me to get the book. Check out the blog article and while you are there sign up for Jim’s newsletter. You will not be disappointed.

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