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JY&A Consulting

Dan Schawbel
Personal Branding Blog

Personal branding: changing the game

The key to great branding in the opening years of the 21st century may well be the self, says Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel
As a marketing specialist for EMC² Corp., Dan Schawbel has driven results by assisting in the launch of six new EMC solutions and services, leading a Six Sigma high-performing team, and developing the current eService offerings. Dan has six years of experience as a marketing consultant, business owner, web designer, and market strategist, at age 23. Prior to EMC² in 2006, he served in several marketing positions in companies such as Reebok, Lycos, LoJack, and TechTarget, where his experience in marketing diversified. He has owned a web design business, GlobalSportsVillage.com and continues to be an entrepreneur with his current interest in personal branding.

In 2006, $1·4 trillion was spent on branding worldwide. Why is all this capital being spent on branding might you ask?
   Eighty per cent of a corporation's net value is comprised of branding. That means that branding is the dominant force in the purchasing process and factors into the amount of annual revenue earned. Branding, by definition, is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from other of other sellers (AMA). The value of a brand is directly correlated to the perceived value by the target audience. A brand can either be for a corporate entity or distinct product, but what about an individual.
   Individuals have names, are identified by a symbol (their face) and are bid on by hiring companies. The idea of having people become brands is revolutionary and important in our society today. The web has transformed into a community building blogosphere and user-driven network. People are more involved than ever in letting their voices be heard and sharing ideas. Since every person is distinct in various ways, there is differentiation, just like in a corporate brand. The power of creating a personal brand is more relevant than ever before and people should take advantage of this.
   A personal brand is composed of the following elements: appearance, personality, competencies and “the differentiator”. When these four elements are integrated, they become a personal value statement or a core message for that individual. When this core message is communicated to an audience, the person is more prone to be noticed and acquire a job. People have so much technology at their fingertips to communicate this message, such as the web, in person, on the phone or through email.
   Personal brands evolve over time and build as someone grows and develops. Just as products have product lifecycles, people do as well, in terms of introduction, growth, maturity and decline.
   Another personal branding concept I would like to introduce is the ‘4 Ps of marketing applied to a person’. Person (formerly product) is the product the audience judges, based on their perception of the four elements. Place is the location where the person is applying for a job or seeks employment. This area is one of which a person should establish or network into the community. Price is the total perceived value of the person or candidate, with respect to the four elements. Your goal should be to align compensation with value. The stronger your value statement is, the more willing a company will be to compensate you at a higher bracket. Promotion is your channel to communicate your core message and the communication vehicles you use to get your point across to your target audience.
   Personal branding will become a determinant of the recruitment process. Jump on board now and reap the benefits of setting yourself apart from the millions of applicants out there!

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CAP Online 2003 Engeseth: One: a Consumer Revolution for Business. London: Cyan 2005, 224 pp.
CAP Online Ind (ed.): Beyond Branding: How the New Values of Transparency and Integrity Are Changing the World of Brands. London: Kogan Page 2005, 254 pp. (paperback). Buy from Amazon.co.uk
CAP Online Anholt: Brand America: the Mother of All Brands. London: Cyan Communications 2005, 192 pp.

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