Monday, 4 May 2015

The importance of personal branding

Chances are, if you don’t cultivate your own brand these days you won’t be noticed. Worse still, failure to manage your own brand could result in someone else determining it for you!

Branding has come a long way from its initial meaning as a mark of ownership, such as the branding mark you would find on cattle. It later became a guarantee of quality, as people would burn branding marks into boxes of wine. In the 1870’s trademark registration first came to prominence in America. As brands started to be trademarked, they began to signify quality and other functional benefits which could demand higher prices. 

With the invent of the mass media in the 1920’s, brand became more familiar with what we see today by giving products desirability and emotional attachment to build brand loyalty. In the 1980’s, the world began the process of globalisation that ushered in a new era of brand as a sense of identity. Everything can be branded, from companies to countries and even people.


Personal branding is so important in the modern world as it can help to build credibility and showcase your skills. Building a strong personal brand is also a useful way to connect with your target audience and leave your mark. It can help to distinguish yourself from your competition and focus your energy to help understand what you do best.

To build a personal brand, you might begin by considering what you are passionate about: what are you good at and what does the world need. By defining your brands purpose you can use it to focus your career and life and help it to become alive in the minds of others. Brands are so powerful because they exist in all of our minds, but they can change and evolve over time.

Once you have defined your brand purpose, you need to make it come alive. This could be visually through the clothes you wear or your physical appearance. How you present yourself online is incredibly important in the modern world in which we all live. However, even your choice of ringtone can influence what people think of you and your brand. So think carefully about how you want your brand to be represented and who you would like your brand to speak too.

The Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, believes “your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. If a gap exists between the perception of your personal brand and the image you want to represent, you may have to consider rebranding yourself to reach your desired audience. But remember, in life you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so make sure your brand says the right things about you.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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