PERSONAL BRAND… got yet?
by Vo Minh Giang | s3324408
While exploring about the art of client service, we may find tons of issues that arise from the client management topic. Occasionally, we then try to study and observe as much as possible those experiences and knowledge; so that we can avoid any failures or mistakes in our future careers (especially for those in account positions). But what is the final outcome or the objective for which we are putting such effort? Some people may say that because they want to win pitches or to have strong relationships with clients. Whatever the answers are, they all seem to support one idea about us trying to become more successful; or differently addressed; increasing the values of our own personal brands.
… So what is personal brand? Why do we have to care about it? Even if we care then how can we create and develop our brands? Those will be all discussed in the following parts of this article; thanks to such practical and useful thoughts that was shared by Ms. Nguyen Thanh Thuy, who is currently marketing manager of BTA Development Investments Vietnam. As her company’s main business in Vietnam focuses on high-class residential projects as Diamond Island in HCMC; Ms. Thuy has many experiences in cooperating with a variety of PR/Advertising/Events agencies and successfully held a number of luxury events for her company’s projects.
What is personal brand?
Before answering this question, it might be better to firstly understand another related term which is personal branding. As being defined by Montoya and Vandehey (2002, p. 14), key writers within this topic, personal branding is about “creating the externally facing identity that you as a business project”. Therefore, “personal brand is your identity…is what people perceive and remember about you. That is something that distinguishes you from the other.” briefly mentioned by Thuy.
“…You may first begin your career by working for a famous company such as Intel. You are then Intel’s employee. You may also have the brand Intel. But that’s just the company brand that you have gained. In long term, when you have developed your career to a certain level; your personal brand becomes very important. That’s when people remind about you – it’s YOU – not because you are related to any companies.” Thuy explained more about the idea of personal brand.
Why is personal brand important?
“I think it’s all one word: TRUST”. Thuy calmly replied with a mysterious tone.
She then added: “I know an account person who used to work for Leo Burnett. We worked together on a big project. After that, she left Leo Burnett and now works for a different agency. However, I believe that if I have the chance to work with this account girl again, I will receive the same (or even better) expected level of customer services and work qualities; that she used to provide me. Thus, that girl, with her good personal brand, has increased the level of my trust in her working performance.”
Since people usually build their relationship with other people rather than companies or databases, “CRM is about the people and the contacts about them” (Gamble et al. 2006, p. 37). Therefore, Thuy’s idea about the important role of personal brand in increasing the trust among the clients might not something unfamiliar. However, there might be other reasons why it is a need to have a great personal brand that are also suggested by other scholars. One of them could be the top-of-mind status. According to Montoya and Vandehey (2003), top-of-mind status represents the case when clients think about a certain type of project (and we are one of the candidates); thanks to our great personal brand, our name would be the first that come out of their minds. Thus, as similarly to the result of having a top-of-mind product brand, it would be higher possibilities for us to be chosen over other competitors by the clients in a certain pitch.
How can we create great personal brands?
That seems to be a simple question but might not be easy to answer. As personal brand is about our personal identities, there would be different ways for each person to develop their own brands. However, “it is most important for anyone to acknowledge their own brands first” said Thuy.
“You must know your own uniqueness… your passions… as well as what you want other to perceive… to remember about yourself. Once you’ve done with that, you may think about trying to be authentic. But I don’t mean that you have to be totally original in everything… Maybe a little special and personal add up would be enough to make people remind about your brand.” Thuy wittily shared.
From such interesting idea that was shared by Ms. Thuy, there might be a few points about this topic that could be summarized. First, the personal brand, just like a product brand, is anything that might attach to the process of defining that person’s identity – or how other people perceive that person. Yet, it is then important for that person to have a great personal brand; so that he/she can increase other people trust in him/her. Within the client services industry, this is even more important in which it could affect such things from winning pitches to having a strong relationship with the clients. Therefore, everyone, especially the people who are working as account positions, might want to self-discovery their own brands and develop those personal brands into great ones; so that they can maximize their succeed within their careers. You want to be more successful in your future career? Create and develop your own brand now! It will be more credible if you know how to market your brand before do the same thing for clients’ brands, right?
Word count: 960
Proof of Life:
Dietrich, G 2012, ‘Personal Brand’, image, Spinsucks, 20 June, viewed 27 December 2012, <http://spinsucks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Personal-Brand.jpg >.
Gamble, PR, Stone, M, Woodcock, N & Foss, B 2006, Up Close & Personal?: Customer Relationship Marketing @ Work, Kogan Page.
Montoya, P & Vandehey, T 2002, The Personal Branding Phenomenon: Apply the Personal Branding Techniques of Oprah, Michael and Martha to Build Your Enduring Brand, Personal Branding Press.
Montoya, P & Vandehey, T 2003, The Brand Called You: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Branding and Business Development, Peter Montoya.