Throughout my career – as I have had the most wonderful managers who actually cared about my professional development – I have been hearing about the notion of a personal brand. We all have a personal brand. Basically, it is the world’s perception of you. However, not everyone consciously thinks about his/her brand and even fewer people actively manage their personal brand – only 15% have their personal brand defined and less than 5% actually applying that definition to their work lives.
To my surprise, recently I came across a couple of articles that insist that “personal brand” is a myth. After all, you are not a brand – you are a person. I completely agree. I am not a brand – I am a corporation. I have at least two brands that I actively manage – my professional brand (who I am at work) and my personal brand (who I am away from work on my own time). Theoretically, these products are the same thing. It is the marketing campaign that differs based on the circumstances.
First of all, my personal brand – Olga Nash, the blog writer, fashion model, clean freak, runner, domestic goddess, etc. – is what and who I am on my own time. Furthermore, this brand can be marketed in several different ways as well, for example on a date vs with family.
Second, my professional brand – Olga Nash, Miss Records Management – is who I am and what I do at my workplace, on company time, and in the company of my co-workers. Some overlap with my personal brand is possible. However, the intent of the 7 Ps of marketing for this brand is quite different.
- Product = my technical/analytical/RM/communication, etc. skills that I utilize all day long to complete the tasks that are required to excel at my job. Also includes my work ethics and moral values.
- Price = my salary plus benefit load.
- Promotion = my networking efforts, what I say about myself, what others say about me, my resume, my blog, etc.
- Place = the office locations (most of the time). This P may also includes visibility, which is why I am always in the front row.
- Packaging = my appearance (my clothes, makeup, accessories, hair, my desk, the huge CPCU plaque on it, the “in case of an earthquake” shoes under it, etc.).
- Positioning = the way I differentiate myself from others, things that make me unique, such as my thirst for knowing everything and my potential for being able to effectively apply that knowledge.
- People = the relationships that I have at work. This includes my supporters, my promoters, my mentors, my hataz, my competition for that coveted Product Management job – basically, all those who help me be the best version of myself.
This blog is an essential part of my branding – it serves as a tool to help me add definition around my brand. It has been helping me shape the mission and corporate strategy of Olga Nash, Inc. Most of the topics that I reflect on and write about are applicable to all offerings in my product line. All of them are real, but none are the reality.
Honestly, it has been an interestingly positive journey, and so far I don’t regret (most of) it. Thank you for coming along. Sometimes it’s the company that matters most.