Where Business & Marketing Collide with Human Nature

Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, linchpins, over-achievers, and those who feel a little weird and don't fit in.  
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Business Success Tip PB1 What is Personal Branding?

Ever hear this?  "Build your personal brand" or "Personal Branding is the key to business success" and "Twitter will help you build your personal brand".  What the heck? Is this about a business marketing idea?  Or what?

Do you really care?  (And did the word really come from cowboys?)

Thought I would do a test.. .just to see if anyone does care.

Walk with me... OK?

Thought I would check it out.  Who is searching to know "what is personal branding?" (Now I am now keyword genius, so don't be too critical)

According to Google Keyword tool... take a look.

What is Personal Branding


Not enough data for the phrase to show.

There seems to be some action though on just "personal branding" and of course the words "brand" and "branding" are big.

But it seems everyone knows what "Personal Branding" means?  Am I right?

Gave "how to build personal brand" a search.. no data.

Maybe because everyone goes to Wikipedia for answers?  Do they go to my How To Websites page? Probably went direct to Wikipedia about Personal Branding for the answer.

Here is what Wikipedia says:

Personal branding is the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands (Lair, Sullivan & Cheney 2005). It has been noted that while previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging (Lair, Sullivan & Cheney 2005). Further defined as the creation of an asset that pertains to a particular person or individual; this includes but is not limited to the body, clothing, appearance and knowledge contained within, leading to an indelible impression that is uniquely distinguishable.[1] The term is thought to have been first used and discussed in an 1997 article by Tom Peters.[2]


Maybe few are looking for what is "personal brand" on Google because Wikipedia is doing such a good job with the definition.

Stan recently told me that the term "brand" came from when the cowboys would brand their cattle and horses (and sheep) with a hot metal object. 

Do you wonder if that is true?  According to graphiknatur it seems the word brand came about thus:

"The word brand comes from the Old Norse word brandr, meaning to burn, and is of Anglo-Saxon origin. The Etruscans, Romans and Greeks used to claim their ownership by stamping their pottery with the visuals of the fish, star or cross. Brand has its roots in cattle ranching and farming, when farmers used to brand the cattle to claim their ownership over a specific herd of cattle. more on branding

Maybe I got the dates wrong from skim listening.

The fact remains... that everything you do is building a brand.

If you are your company, and offer only yourself, your services, and nothing else....then even your smile will add to your brand. 

A product, product line, or a service can be a brand.  Or it can have an identity by which it is not only recognized but known by.  When you think of  roto-rooter, what comes to mind?

If you are a plumber offering services, do you build your own personal brand or the company you own (even though you are your company)?

Wouldn't you focus on why people are calling you?  Plumbing. Emergencies.  Fix-it.  No cracks in plumber pants?  No crazy prices?  

Then when you go to sell the company, wouldn't it be easier to do so because it has its own brand?  What is the value of owning a company that is directly tied to you later down the road?  The same could be said for this website www.michaelhartzell.com.  It is me.  A vanity name. Not worth much except to the other 95 other Michael Hartzell's found on the last post when I gave you a restaurant marketing idea.

On the other hand such sites like sitefling.com or clicknews.com could be sold down the road because the name is not tied to their owners Justin and Lynn respectively. A tough situation for a potential buyer since the reason both sites are successful is because of the personal brand they have developed.

Maybe... build business brand....yes.  Build personal brand.... yes.   Do both.  People get to know who you are and what you stand for and whether to trust you with their hard earned dollars or not. 

Whether offline or online, while you may not be looking for  "what is personal brand" both a personal brand and business brand exists in either your customer's minds or your potential customer's mind.  Is it there because of what you tell them to think?  Or is it there because of what they know about you to be as true as the mark on the Cattle's behind?

Question #1:  Is your identity in the mind of customers (and potential customers) the result of what you tell them or what you do?  Who is your business?  Is it what you say?  Or the execution and follow up?

Question #2:  Is it more important to first create an outstanding system to execute the BEST to build a foundation of happy customers and testimonials?  Or is it better to create the appearance of "great", promise to do be best, and try in the process?  

Reputation is built on..... ?  Trust is based on .......?

Topics: Business Marketing Definition Business Success Tips