A Revisionist History of Branding – Part 2

Personal branding is a combination of marketing and promotional activities you do to influence how others see you.

In my last post, I wrote about the history of branding from a cattle rancher’s perspective. Here’s an example of how one woman used a combination of marketing activities to influence how others see her. Rose is a lobbyist and well-known advocate for low-income housing in her state. She wanted to establish connections with state legislators and their staff with the goal of passing legislation to assist low-income families seeking affordable housing. In order to achieve her goal, she wanted to be seen as the go-to person in the state for any issue related to low-income housing.  She wanted key legislative decision makers to associate her name with low-income housing.

How did Rose initiate the personal branding process? First, she wrote a series of white papers based on her research on low-income housing. Second, she scheduled short, in person briefings with individual legislators and their staff to discuss key policy issues regarding low-income housing. Third, she started blogging. This was very easy to do because Rose would blog about different aspects of her research. She had tons of content to share.

What’s the difference between what Rose did to brand herself and what she did to promote her services? Nothing.  It’s the same thing. Don’t get trapped into thinking that branding is some mystery panacea for your business wows. Call it what you want, I’ll call it establishing and maintaining connections with customers as a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Rose was successful in helping pass critical legislation that funded low-cost housing by:

  1. Having data to support her position and sharing it with key decision makers
  2. Blogging on a regular basis
  3. Cultivating and maintaining relationships in the state legislature

Good work, Rose.

I encourage you to read books and/or articles specifically related to personal branding. Don’t be shocked, you’ll find hundreds of them.