Those of us who watch ‘The Apprentice’ will have marmited Stuart Baggs ‘the brand’. Like or loathe, he has picked up on something that is increasingly doing the rounds – personal branding.

In the past we might have considered certain famous people, such as the Beckhams, as a brand. Not many of us ‘normal’ folk have a perfume or clothing range with our name attached. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t a ‘brand’.

But before we delve any further, let’s get one thing straight – a logo is not a brand. I was with the ‘marketing director’ of a design company recently and even he kept using the two terms interchangeably. Wrong.

A logo is a symbol that an organisation uses to make it or a product recognisable. What you think when you see that logo is ‘brand’. For example, the infamous yellow arches over a McDonald’s ‘restaurant’ – same big yellow logo but to a child it might mean a happy meal (in the true sense of the word). To an adult it might mean unhealthy food and lousy service.

The brand perception is entirely different even though the logo is exactly the same.

When it comes to personal branding, your face is your logo. And what people think when they see that logo is your brand.

A company with a clear brand strategy is doing their best to be perceived in a particular and consistent way by all their stakeholders – internal, external and potential customers. It increases their value, ability to influence and protects against competition – all the things that a good personal brand strategy will also do.

In the next post we’ll look at a short video that presents a really useful way to think about personal branding and its benefits.

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