Monday, March 30, 2009

Branding the Product Called You

Do you know what your most important asset is?  I found this question posted by Mike Muhney whom I’ve met online.  Mr. Muhney is the co-inventor of the ACT! software and has been recognized as a global visionary and powerful speaker worldwide.  As a motivational speaker, he covered subjects pertaining to effective business relationships such as improving the way companies do business, entrepreneurship, market creation, penetration and leadership, global expansion, and motivational speaking.

If you follow the link, you’ll find that people answered this question differently.  I can see how some identified their customers, their skills, education, people, etc. as their most important asset.  Personally, what I consider as my most valuable asset from a business and professional standpoint is my reputation of executing on decisions and delivering results.  This is what I’ve been known for and if I were a product, this is what my brand would communicate about who I am.  A strong and well-established brand can stand the test of time.  They have the capability to navigate and maneuver through tough times.  So, depending on your “brand”, you’ll have the opportunity to be well-known and carry a certain differentiation among others.  :)

The world of work has changed over the last few decades.  In the 50’s, people wore their corporate uniforms and their value was linked to their loyalty and longevity.  So long as they didn’t rock the boat or create any waves, they worked for that same company forever and retired with a pension.  Few decades later, things changed as we gained access to the internet.  This was the 80’s…  This expanded our reach as far as the world wide web can take us.  We were able to contribute more and with a more relaxed work environment, we were also able to wear the corporate uniform of casual attires.  This was no longer the era of being recognized by loyalty and longevity but more of our individuality.  Job security also declined a bit but not as much as we have in the 21st century, where things changed yet again.  In this day and age, we are pretty much judged everyday and our new corporate uniform is a suit of armor.  This armor plate IS your brand.  It will say a lot about your product.  

In our current economic climate, employable, qualified professionals should think beyond a knock-out resume and titles especially when it comes to job search or advancing their careers.  

Food for Thought:  Given the fierce competition, what makes you unique or better than a million others?  How are you different?  Did you also factor in the fact that commodities compete on price?  What is your brand?  How does your day to day support your brand?  In my opinion, saying you have the credentials and that you’re loyal, you do a great job and hard working, etc., etc. doesn’t cut it anymore.  Think about buying a car.  The tires are not extra value-added features.  They come with the car and therefore, an expected component.  :)    

 In this tough economy and highly competitive job market, can you really afford not to have a strategy, a brand for the product called, “You”?  

Interested to know the “how” of creating your brand?  Stay tuned!

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