Thursday, April 2, 2015

Brand ID

By Photo: Andreas Praefcke [GFDL
or CC BY 3.0
via Wikimedia Commons
In the old days, cattle ranchers used their brand to lay claim to their cows, putting a mark that would differentiate their cattle from those of other ranchers. Today, brands differentiate much more than livestock. Brands differentiate companies and their missions. Corporations pay millions to marketing and development firms to create just the right brand image, making sure their logo, public presence, customer service, and overall corporate perception matches with their mission statement, goals, and objectives.

In today's internet world, we get inundated with discussion about personal brands. Your personal brand may not be as complex as a platform of websites and social media accounts and speaking engagements, but it is still made up of the public perception of you.

In 2006, ExecuNet published survey results that indicated that 77% of employers Googled applicants to identify any red flags that might indicate the person could be a problematic employee. Now, nine years later, that trend may be changing, particularly as younger generations enter the workforce with an ever growing web of social media sites and personal data collected online. Still, have you Googled yourself lately? What would a potential employer find? Is it better or worse than the next applicant?

But even if you don't have an extensive (positive or negative) online presence, you should still be aware of your personal brand. When you meet someone, write an email, have a phone conversation, or submit a resume, be mindful of what brand you portray and how you will be perceived.