- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘branding’
I was at the American Bar Association (ABA) annual meeting last week in San Francisco where once a year it seems all of us lawyers descend on a major city. I was having a conversation over drinks with a litigator friend/client of mine.
We were chatting about the diversity of my clients. We work on the personal brand development of clients ranging from lawyers and accountants to entertainers and rock stars. So she asked a very interesting question, wondering if the personal brand development dilemmas of lawyers and rock stars/entertainers were the same. The answer from my experience is that professionals, such as lawyers, have different personal branding issues than rock stars and other entertainers.
In the professional services world and personal brand development, we are aiming at developing, positioning and marketing a personal brand and story that resonates with clarity and consistency to as many people as possible within a target market range that’s right for you, as the professional- lawyer, accountant, CEO. The tough part is making sure you are memorable and visible, yet always credible in your substantive work. The resulting tough part is making sure your target market is aware of you at all times so you stay top of mind. After all, there are tons of lawyers and accountants!
In the entertainment world, the personal brand development has the same construct, but plays out differently given what entertainers do. For example in developing the personal brand of a rock star (take for example Adam Lambert), we are still aiming to develop, position and market a personal brand and story that resonates with clarity and consistency the real Adam Lambert.
However, our main concern and issue is not to make sure the entertainer is visible and top of mind to his/her target audience. When the entertainer is known, his/her target market is aware of them at all times. There is only one Adam Lambert.
The problem for rock stars and singers often times becomes having too broad an audience and fan base. This is often because the messaging of the rock star and who he/she is gets diluted, thus capturing too many fans who now expect (and want!) different things from the star. This creates a marketing nightmare and an inconsistent personal brand because there is lack of clarity about who the star really is and what his/her story really is/should be to the best audience for him/her.
So this may be the only time you see an article comparing lawyers and rock stars. As humorous as it may be, remember whether you are a lawyer or a rock star, you still have a personal brand to develop and own! Enjoy the process.
I write this results “part deux” to the initial case study I did last week after the concert in San Diego. I’ve never had a sequel to a case study. But I found it was necessary after the responses and findings last week.
Thank you to the thousands and thousand of Glamberts who read the case study. Thanks to the many, many of you who commented. Your comments schooled me on the fantastic world of Adam’s fans. And yes, I now realize even thirteen-year old girls are aware of Adam’s sexual orientation and could care less! Moreover, your comments also gave critical personal branding insight into Adam’s current fan base.
In my line of work (I hate to call it “work” because, I much like you Adam, LOVE what I am blessed and fortunate to do for a living as it is natural for me, too) adjectives are so important. So I took in all the Glamberts’ comments using adjectives for describing Adam’s personal brand. Some key words included: “smart”, “gracious”, “open”, “happy”, “joyful”, “honest”, “expressed”, “funny”, “tolerant”, “gorgeous” and “innocent”.
The conclusion is that all these adjectives make for a very strong and wonderful personal brand for you, Adam. Couple that with your fantastic voice and you should be golden with a very successful future of entertaining us for many years to come.
However, I also appreciated the many Glambert comments regarding the diverse fan base. As several fans put it, there is a “marketing complexity/problem” involved here. This fact shouldn’t take away from the fun and awe of seeing Adam in concert. But, as an expert in this area, it does concern me.
While all of us fans go to see Adam for his fabulous voice and presence, let’s not forget there’s an industry and business involved here guys. Adam needs to make sure his fan base grows and records get cut, so that he can keep entertaining us with his fabulous voice and presence.
Given I’ve become such a fan as of late, it would be my pleasure to make sure someone with such fabulous personal branding adjectives touches even more fans and finds even more success.
I have the solutions to reach an even larger fan base. Adam, call me (949-274-6423).
Making the decision to change careers and then taking the big plunge to actually change careers is hard enough. I know what it is like. I remember it all too well. Sometimes I look back and wonder where I ever got the nerve or the courage. I have even asked myself if I would do it all over again, knowing what I know now. The answer is always a resounding “yes”.
Changing careers is scary because there are so many unknowns. We ask ourselves all sorts of questions, including:
– Will I like my new career better than my current career?
– Will I be a success?
– Will I make enough money to live comfortably?/ Can I pay the bills to survive?
Part of the difficulty in changing careers is the unsettling notion we have about how we can conform who we are, as individuals, to the new job. The problem is that most of us identify ourselves with our careers and jobs. If you asked me 15 years ago who I was, I would have told you I was a lawyer.
Clients often say to me that they do not know how to represent themselves (ie, position their personal brands) in networking events, on business cards and in front of others in general. For example, one client practiced as a CPA for twenty years before switching careers to go into the mortgage industry. Not only did she have a challenge with what to verbally say as she introduced herself and her new career, but she also had reservations around her visual brand- how does a mortgage industry specialist show up in public? Is it the same as a CPA or not? More conservative or less? The list was endless, understandably.
The hesitation and confusion is understandable. There is a very real loss of self followed by self-discovery in this process. You have to go through the journey of figuring out how to distinguish yourself and your new personal brand within the context of the your new industry and career. This requires you to know your uniqueness and your story around it. Then you need to find the overlap in your uniqueness, talents and story between your two careers.
So ask yourself: 1) are you ready for a change? 2) would a new career make you happier possibly in the long run? 3) do you have a contribution to society that fuels your passion and purpose? 4) where are the commonalities and differences in your two careers and your skill-set and offerings- ie, where are YOU the same in each career?
So many of us expend tons of energy daily in an effort to build a successful business brand or be an effective employee in order to build a successful business brand. The end result is that we are putting our valuable energy toward an end result without a plan for how to get there. Even worse, we are often tired, angry and bitter- wondering why all our effort is not working and never stopping to take a breath.
In personal brand management, I’m always talking about creating an intentional brand. Your business brand success or your position as an employee starts with YOU and YOUR personal brand. Without having an idea of why you do what you do or what plan you have for how you want to be perceived, nothing else works. You cannot build a house without a foundation. Just the same, you need to first have a personal brand (along with your personal branding goals, etc) so that you have an intentional trajectory from which your business brand and your job success grows and builds.
In many ways, an intentional brand means you allow a recovery period so you can rest, rejuvenate and reflect. In this way, you are more creative and have time to just “be” still.
So stop and think about:
– WHY you get up each morning?
– What do you want others to perceive of you each day?
-Are you projecting out a brand that gets you seen and heard in a good way? If not, what can you change?
I’ve seen a nasty progression of events for many entrepreneurs. The bigger the business gets the more diluted and dissipated the brand messaging gets. That goes for the personal brand messaging of the owner and employees, as well as for the business brand. This happens for products and services.
It’s almost as if the business gets away from the owner/CEO- among all the product and service lines, price points, prospecting, hiring/firing, etc., the brand message fails because the “two Cs”- clarity and consistency go out the window. Part of the reason this happens is that: 1) there has been no “intentional brand” development of the CEO/Owner 2) the employees’ personal brands have not been developed and 3) there has been no meeting of the minds on how the employees’ personal brands will integrate to represent the business brand well. As a result, employees are all over the place “marketing” the business brand based on their own methods/ideas. Various employees represent/misrepresent their personal brand and the business brand differently- lacking congruity, causing dilution.
All of this would have been cured had their been a deep inhale at the top followed by some awareness and recognition of the brand and how it should be positioned and disseminated to the market. All this would likely have been facilitated by hiring an outside expert, ideally.
So stop and think:
– Do you have an “intentional personal brand”?
– Do your employees have an intentional personal brand?
– Is everyone aware of the business brand and how their personal brand integrates into the business brand?
– Got a strategy to position all brands effectively and with maximum reach/minimum dilution?