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For years, branding has been a buzzword, but not much has been written about Branding for People™. The same principles of branding apply for both products and people.  

1. Being distinctive: You need to have a certain something that sets you apart from the competition.
2. Garnering a position of trust: Building relationships and maintaining a high degree of credibility.
3. Maintaining a position of professionalism: Using only quality products and services and standing behind them at all times. Mediocre products rarely become brands. Ordinary-looking people rarely become brands.  

Product branding and personal branding share many similarities, but they part company when it comes to time and money expended. Product branding is often a lengthy and costly endeavor. Along the way, a relationship is built and trust and credibility are established. Fortunately, personal branding is neither a lengthy nor a costly process.  

The primary investment is instruction in the arena of image skills in order to insure a persona that is judged to be above average. At a single glance, your image must invoke trust and credibility. It must also be state of the art, so that it will be assumed that your products and services are the same.  

You must also be distinctive or special in some way. Corporate giants, such as McDonald's and Nike, are aware that their customers are not buying products, they're buying the experience. They know that brands exist in your heart, not in your head. Branding is about how products and people make us feel. When it comes to people, we want to be able to point proudly to our "expert" and brag, "That's my banker." Or, "That's my car salesman," or whomever.  

Consciously or subconsciously, we choose our bankers, brokers, car salespeople and other professionals the same way we choose our soul mates:  it is emotionally-based love at first sight. Something about the way they look not only emits trust and credibility, but also certain specialness.  

Branding yourself – crafting your image – is similar to the way a professional speaker crafts a signature speech. To brand yourself, it is necessary to craft your unique "signature image." You may be surprised to hear that the most dynamic and natural-sounding speeches are the ones that have taken months, even years, to perfect - often with the help of a coach.  

Maintaining consistency with your signature image is a must. In both corporate branding and branding for individuals, trust and consistency go hand in hand. Product inconsistency has killed many a brand.

For individuals, consistency means that, from head to toe, your image or persona evokes instant trust and gives you high credibility. In plain language, it means that all of the components of your appearance are in sync. If your hairstyle or clothing looks dated, it will be presumed that your products or services are also dated. Even in casual attire, at the company golf match for instance, you must look like you just left the polo match, not like you're ready to clean out the garage.  

Brands have power, but it is power that has been earned. If your image is not on a par with your products or services, you may be playing Russian roulette with your future. At the very least, your credibility will be diminished.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 18, 2009
    • Sandy this is very good and very much food for thought espcially if you have your own business - you do have to have a USP (unique selling point) about yourself



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Mar 18, 2009
    • This is great information. I’ve been working on branding and finally deciding exactly the image I want for my chocolates and myself since I find that people are not just buying my chocolates, they‘re buying me.

      Thank you for a very informative blog.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Allsinglesmeet wrote Mar 19, 2009
    • I understand the concept but I just haven’t reached that point with my site. I am not viral yet and it is oh so frustrating. If you have any ideas, I would truly appreciate them!
      Great post!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandy Dumont wrote Mar 19, 2009
    • Hi Chocolatier,
      Don’t forget, they are buying the experience  most of all. Chocolate has always been comfort food, but with the new “gourmet” chocolates, we are pampering ourselves and saying that we are tuned in to the finer things in life. Pampering ourselves with luxury, taste titillating chocolate goodies can’t be beat! We pamper ourselves, have comfort food and it doesn’t break the bank.

      And last but not least, the packaging and display of your chocolates has got to be sublime. That’s part of the experience. It’s the reason we pay four times the price for Lancome lipstick than for L‘Oreal lipstick - when it’s all literally the same company.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandy Dumont wrote Mar 19, 2009
    • Hi All Singles,
      Going viral isn’t easy. If you want to get high search engine rankings, you’ve got to use tactics to drive people to your website. One quick way is to make a great video on You Tube. You can make it with a $100 Flip camera and upload it quickly.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Mar 20, 2009
    • You’ve helped me alot with this posting. :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bluerose wrote Mar 21, 2009
    • Sandy -

      Let me start first by thanking you.  I can’t remember how I came across your website, but I ended up signing up for your newsletters.  This was about a year ago.  What an eye opener they were for me!  I started to follow your tips & yes, just as you predicted I immediately started to get treated differently.  Around that same time, there was a weight loss contest at work.  Lost around 20 lbs.  Shopped for new clothes for work.  Now I really feel a difference!  This past summer I got a new hairstylist who totally understands my hair.  So here we are, a year later:

      2 dress sizes smaller
      New hairdo
      Dressing smarter
      Feeling like a million bucks!!  (A year ago I might have felt like a hundred bucks!)

      As an added bonus ... it was YOUR website that lead me to this Fab40 haven.

      So hail to the Image Consultant!

      BlueRose (aka Marie)

      PS - I even finally traded in my beloved 14 year old sports car for a convertible.  You thought I was hot before!  You should see me now!!  LOL



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Allsinglesmeet wrote Mar 21, 2009
    • I have thought about it. Question.. anyone can make a video.. how do I drive people to the video?? Thanks!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandy Dumont wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Hi Marie,
      Thank you so much for your wonderful news and feedback. I’m very happy that you’ve made so many powerful changes. Congratulations.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kelly Robertson wrote Mar 24, 2009
    • Great post, Sandy. I’ve always said that my customer service is really my customer experience and that’s what keeps ‘em coming back. Thanks for your pearls of wisdom and I’m definitely going to say, “YES” to the opportunity of YOU and sign up for your eblasts.
      love, kelly



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sneech wrote Jan 26, 2010
    • Hi I am new to Fab40 and am happily checking out advice from the experts. Excellent very helpful blogs, thank u!



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