Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have probably missed the latest buzz word which would be “Branding”. I was at a seminar recently where HR professionals were encouraged to “Brand” themselves as “Partners”. Organizations develop brands and even people are now a “Brand within a Brand”.
What does that mean? Is branding marketing? Or is it advertising? All of the above? None of the above?
“Marketing is what you do, Branding is who you are” your brand works itself into people’s mind and can alter their behavior and attitude towards something. It can influence how people think and how they buy.
Your brand is the essence of your enterprise. It is your best face to the world. It is your name equity and your reputation. It is the result of each and every contact people have with you, every promise kept and every expectation that has been met or surpassed. Every major brand knows the importance of keeping content relevant and relatable, and your business is no different.
Technology has leveled the playing field. Your brand strategically marketed can have a tremendous impact on the wealth and health of your business. The challenge becomes one in which going directly to the consumer can have catastrophic results if not given proper thought or without having a proper strategy. Who is involved in a successful branding campaign? How do you begin?
You will need a branding team, be it 1 or 10 individuals. Brands grow from the top down and from the inside out. Great brands continually monitor their impact and perception as they must be in direct alignment with the brand owner’s aspirations to be truly successful. Organization leaders are the primary brand champion, and so are all internal stakeholders. Internal branding is as important as external branding.
A successful brand campaign will help encourage someone to buy a product, and it will directly support whatever sales or marketing activities are in play. A successful brand does not explicitly say “buy me.” Instead, it says “This is what I am. This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.”
This is all well and good if you are an organization, but as a person? Yes, your personal brand is extremely important professionally. Sites like linked-in, tweeter or even personal web-sites can help develop personal reputations. “They differentiate individuals by creating awareness of who they are, what they stand for, what they do best, and how they contribute to the world around them” (Chiaravalle & Findlay-Schenk 2007)
By developing a personal brand you can establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can enhance your visibility and reputation within your community or industry. This is very important as it allows you to differentiate yourself from competitors based on your unique style and talents. It can also help gain influence in social or business arenas!
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Carolina M. Billings is an executive with 15+ year’s leadership experience in the fields of Business Development, Human Resources and Finance. As CFO-CHRO of a multi-million business conglomerate, she performs a truly interdisciplinary role within a portfolio of diverse industries ranging from Supply Chain, Logistics & Distribution, Wealth Management, Furniture Import, Sales & Distribution as well as Interior Design. She champions leadership initiatives as well as empowering and coaching/mentoring others to lead. Developing a hybrid of Finance and Human Resources has enable her to become leading business partner. Her great ability to influence and engage others in the pursuit of goals and objectives makes her a true innovator and change agent. Carolina is currently pursuing her Masters in Interdisciplinary studies with Royal Roads University, She holds Graduate Certificates from Cornell University and Queen’s University in the fields of Change Management and Leadership. She is a Co-Active Professional coach currently doing her practicum towards Certification with ICF. She holds a CHRL designation and a High Honor’s HRM Graduate Certificate.
Carolina is the founder of Big Fish Coaching a private practice specializing in personal leadership, career coaching, conflict resolutions and life change management.
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