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What’s a personal brand? Do I need one?

Written by Claire Scaramanga

Personal branding is a term I use at Scaramanga Marketing to describe the effect you have on others and the impact you create, just as a product or company brand is designed to espouse specific values and create a desired emotional response in the consumer.

With a company or product brand it is relatively easy because the team in charge has the power to determine which values, messages, attributes, service levels, creative treatment etc, are to be associated with the brand.

But with a person it’s different. You already hold the values that are important to you. Your personality, attitudes and behaviours are well established, and have been since early childhood.

In that case, one might ask whether a personal brand is needed or even relevant. The answer is most definitely “yes”. In fact you already have a personal brand, whether you are aware of it or not. The real question is whether it is working for you or against you.

The personal brand development process is all about understanding who you really are – not just from your perspective, but also from that of the people who engage with you in many different ways. Then you need to set out your goals and work out which aspects of your personal brand you need to focus on and promote to help you achieve those goals.

It’s most definitely not about pretending to be something you aren’t. We can all think of people in the public eye who try to put across a persona that isn’t totally true to who they really are. Instinctively, we know there’s something “off” about them and thus distrust them.