Do You Understand Your 'Brand'?
3 months ago
The idea has become increasingly popular. Here are tips on how to brand yourself.
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Based on how often the word "brand" is used nowadays, the term might as well be listed by UrbanDictionary.com.
Everyone from big-name rappers to the local barber has been throwing the word around with reckless abandon. Come to think of it, "brand" is almost the bougie equivalent of the more 'hood term "swag."
But what is meant by "brand"? According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, it is defined as a class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer.
Wikipedia defines it as a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
Notice that neither of these widely accepted definitions mention anything about a person being a brand. So does that mean that when people describe themselves as one, they don't know what they're talking about?
Yes -- and no.
"A brand is an identifiable mark often associated with a product," says publicist and brand strategist Tahira Wright of the firm Branded PR, which has worked with celebs like Ludacris and AirTran. "There has to be a proven mass appeal, and widespread recognition of the product, for it to be referred to as a brand.
"For example," Wright says, "Target is a brand . . . the red bulls-eye logo is a nationally identifiable mark. People may also be considered brands, most notably, celebrities and public figures, who likely have brand extensions that serve as a part of their overall brand. Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs is a perfect example of being a brand in and of himself, with brand extensions CIROC and Sean John."
Expert and author Dan Schwabel says that today, personal branding is one of the most important concepts in the workplace. Even if you aren't selling a tangible product, you should be looking at your talents and mere existence as a commodity.