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Everyone has a Brand and so do You

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Write your own brand story, don't let others control the narrative
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Brands have long been considered important and valuable for big businesses and Apple is consistently ranked as the world’s most valuable global brand, over 30 years on from their 1988 “Think Different” advertising campaign.

Brand Value

For a business, using Interbrand’s valuation methodology, the brand value is the Net Present Value (NPV) or today's value of the earnings the brand is expected to generate in the future.

Sources: Interbrand (Brand Valuations) and TheRankings YouTube Channel (Animated infograph)

I have no idea if the brand values in this infographic from TheRankings YouTube channel and calculated by Interbrand are correct. Apple at more than $200 billion is a truly impressive number, but what is clear is that there is a tangible value that the companies derive from these intangible assets.

Think of the most successful or admired companies and you will be thinking of their brand. A company’s brand represents people’s perception of a company from its reputation for quality and customer service through to how innovative it is or its impact on the environment. A strong brand will not only increase the value of the company by helping it gain new customers, or retain loyal customers, it will also provide employees with direction and motivation by telling the story and the mission of the company. As Rebecca Robins of Interbrand says

“Brands are created by people for people.”

Personal Brands

If brands are created by people for people, then do we also have our own personal brands? I think the answer is yes and believe there is a tangible value (to one’s professional career) from looking after our brand. Like a corporate brand, a personal brand will have an NPV from its contribution to your future career earnings.

It is important to realise that whether we like it or not we have a brand already. If we allow others to control the narrative, then it’s their assumptions, opinions and perceptions that decide what the brand is. Ask the question,

“What words do people associate with me when they think of my name?”

If stuck, useful sources to help are trusted peers or past feedback that you have received either on recent projects, courses or an annual 360 appraisal. These words will form the core of your current brand.

A business places value in their brand for a host of reasons centred around influencing clients and customers when they make purchasing decisions regarding their products or services. Some of the more relevant reasons that we should all consider for personal branding are:

Brand values and benefits for a career
Brand values and benefits for your career

Write your own story

Now ask the question again, but with a small change:

“What words do you wish for people to associate with me when they think of my name?”

This is the opportunity to exert more control over your story to decide what your brand values are. Think carefully about your desired brand values, they need to be consistent with who you are, what you stand for and your actions.

Record each word and self-assess yourself: where does each of your brand values currently reside on a LOW to HIGH scale? Next, where realistically would you like it to be in one year’s time? Mark that point next to each brand value on the same LOW to HIGH scale. You now have a list of brand values and your gaps between current performance and desired potential i.e. the target level within 12 months. What actions can you take to build each of these values and close the gaps?

Your brand can be an effective tool in helping to expand your influence and impact and hence your leadership. Be true to yourself, don’t record values such as "inspirational" unless this is consistent with your beliefs and your actions. Consistently applying yourself to reinforce what you stand for will anchor these values and build your brand and help you stand out. Inconsistency is a rapid way to undo your great work. If one of your brand values is “reliable” then you have to be there for the people that come to rely upon you, always delivering for them, in the good or bad times.


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