The concept of branding is often applied to large corporations such as Pepsi-Cola, Nike, Starbucks, or Toyota. Brands communicate powerful associations to the external stakeholders and hence organizations spend millions of dollars enhancing the equity of their brands.
Some individuals take the idea of branding a step further, extending it to people as well. Consider Tiger Woods, Martha Stewart, or Emeril as prime examples of this personal branding philosophy. Tom Peters, a famous management guru, wrote a seminal article called "The Brand Called You" (Peters, 1997) urging individual professionals to think of themselves as brands and to stand out in the competitive marketplace by differentiating themselves.
The key to long-run success, Peters suggested, is to brand oneself effectively. Companies like Estee Lauder offer an in-house personal branding course. On the other hand, others believe that most individuals are not equipped to become brands because they lack the necessary qualities.
After reviewing the resources for this week, respond to the following:
•Should the personal brand concept become a part of the DNA of 21st century professionals? If so, what steps must a person work through to develop an effective personal brand? If not, what are your reasons for thinking so?
•Compare how the process of branding an individual would be similar to branding a product. How would it differ?
•Defend your answer with specific examples.