When it comes to building a brand, business or personal, there are many elements that must be considered in order to assemble it correctly. Such elements are separated into two categories: intellectual and emotional. And while the intellectual elements should, by no means, be diminished, when you think about the power branding actively holds, it is the emotional elements that provide the connective tissue that we search for.
Think about it. The affinity and equity of any brand are deeply rooted in how a person feels. That is why it is important, in the context of your personal brand, to discuss individual elements, the sum of which comprise the emotional category of branding.
Principles mean a lot to people. Shared principles bring groups of people together to create networks and communities. The key here is being able to adhere to your principles, whatever they are. Such adherence is what builds your integrity and allows people to understand what kind of person you are. Furthermore, integrity provides the foundation on which you can stand your ground, something that we all should be able to do.
Very much connected to integrity, your reputation is an element of your brand that you hold vast control over. When it comes to building your reputation, consistency is important. Please be sure not to confuse consistency with complacency. Consistency, in this context, includes steady growth whether it is from learning more, taking on more responsibility and the like. Constructing your reputation in this way helps build this next valuable element of branding.
This should be no surprise to anyone. Trust is something that we all want -- we want to trust those that we know and want to be trusted by them. Trust breeds affinity and loyalty. Trust creates the infrastructure for the element that we all want to achieve. And that is…
We as humans naturally seek out relationships. We are social beings, so we look to acquire and retain relationships with people that are like us, that we like, that like us back and that we can trust. These relationships are part and parcel of what determines whether or not we are successful in life and it is difficult, if not impossible, to create this type of connection with someone else without integrity, reputation, and trust. Recognizing and realizing this fact will help you in your personal relationships as well as your business endeavors. It is the relationship that you build that allows you to become bigger, better, faster, or stronger.
There is a saying that has often been attributed to George Bradt, “…people don’t buy products, they buy brands,” and while this was said about business, the brand elements listed above can easily show how this quote applies to personal branding as well. It’s just that, in this case, instead of a person buying, they are buying into you. For a personal brand, especially when referring to your career, that is exactly what you are looking for.