The grey area for most, that is ‘Personal Branding’. What is it? Where is it used? And how can one prosper from its digital implementation? Using classical advertising analysis I will briefly take you through the key steps to fully understand why personal branding is important in today’s Digital Era. Next week, we will take a look into how we can start making an impact online. But first, the fundamentals. ‘Branding’ alone, according to the business
The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.”
So let’s view ourselves as a product – something we want others to buy into. This where the essence of personal branding begins. Branding overall encompasses a large area of advertising, whether it be personal or corporate based, each product essentially has the same purpose. To be bought. We can then understand how to pass through similar processes as commercial products to ensure we are in some respect consumed, from our image to our ideas and areas of expertise. All of which are somewhat easily digested if executed correctly. Breaking it down – let’s take one of Coca Cola’s advertising campaigns as an example. The promotion of their new drink, sub-titled ‘LIfe’ then captioned “Sweetness from Natural Sources” and “Lower calorie” – generally all have very positive connotations, whereas the reality is that the product is still not really healthy at all. But it does appear to be. Sorry if Pepsi if your preference – but lets take it that we are Coca Cola ‘Life’. We cannot change what we are but we can change the way we brand and advertise ourselves. We can change the way our information is presented – to ultimately be received in a better light. How is this executed? Everything from the use of green, which has strong connotations of earth and nature,
complemented by the word ‘natural’, all the way to the use of typography, to the glow within the bottle to signify the ‘Life’ each bottle so strongly suggest contains. These are the basic conventions of advertising. Projecting positive and powerful connotations. Any advert can be picked-apart like this, from the images and the colours used to see what what ideas and intentions are being projected. But how can we do this for ourselves? I am not suggesting we should lay in a field of grass to then endure a series of snaps taken by a semi-professional photographer. However, I am suggesting we should take into consideration the way we present ourselves and think about the type of message we are projecting. What do we want people to think and see? From the images we put online to the fine detail of our social profiles, everything should be taken into consideration. Where would we advertise? In this digital era, the transfer of information has never been more powerful. If somebody wanted to find out more information about something or somebody, they would simply have to carry out a Google search. There is an estimate of 5.5 BILLION Google searches carried out every day. I myself like to think that significantly contribute to this statistic, as I pretty much Google everything for validation. So to answer this question, we are essentially digitally advertised everywhere. With just a handful of examples being our Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook profiles right down to our activity on Youtube, people can easily access this information through a search engine. They say you never get a second chance at a first impression. So, if it’s digital, let’s make sure its a good one.