There is a good article in this weeks Globe & Mail written by the president of one of the large ad agency offices in Vancouver – "Enough With Follow-the-Leader Marketing" giving examples of how some successful brands have broken the traditions of what was expected in their space and subsequently been noticed.
This tactic can apply just as easily to building your personal brand.
Personal branding is about demonstrating your unique value to a hiring manager, boss, prospective client etc etc – if you are too much the same as your peers and competitors then you might not be standing out enough to get noticed.
Andrea Southcott writes "Rather than seeking incremental share, the goal should be to create an entirely new market space for the brand, expanding the role the brand plays in the lives of its stakeholders or target group." – think about your personal brand – how does this approach apply?
If you are just trying to take mini steps or advances it is too easy for others to catch you up and even leap frog over you.
First you need to identify what is the norm for your voacation, industry or business – what is expected? Part of the work we do in the personal branding process is use a brand feedback tool that identifies the attributes that others use to describe you. Some of these attributes are defined as being rational – the ones you expect for a person like you in your job, title, business, industry etc
But then there is a group of emotional attributes, real connectors to why people like you, interact with you, work for you or with you, buy from you. These can start to be the basis for really differentiating yourself in the marketplace and standing out.
Andrea goes on to say "Once these market conventions are identified, the next step is to determine how to overturn or disrupt one or more of the rules to break the mould and propel the brand or business forward."
She gives Virgin as a company and brand that apporaches this disruption all the time in building its business.
So what should you be doing to 'virginize' your own personal brand?