A brand is a promise. 

A good brand is a promise kept. 

Do the words of former Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent satisfy your yearning for the answer to the age-old question – what is a brand? If so, I am sure you admire the simplicity of the concept of accountability weaving into his definition. Meeting, frankly exceeding, a consumer’s expectations is really at the heart of what every service, product, and experience pursue. 

This notion of delivering expands far beyond consumer goods to a coverage area of politicians, governments, religious organizations, public services, not-for-profit sports teams, influencers, motivational experts, personal coaches, and entertainers. This list is far from exhaustive. Extending to every entity and now individuals, personal branding is proliferating. 

As we emerge or escape from this cocooned world, the concept of personal brand presents opportunities and challenges for many people. ” The Great Resignation,” or “The Great Sabbatical,” is flaming with fuel from people reevaluating their lives and professional existence. The questions Who Am I and What Do I Do? can only bring answers with a definitive examination of your brand. This discussion, self-examination, is an incredibly challenging exercise. 

Often we think of a personal brand as the public profile of a famous individual. So it makes sense that CEOs are “Promoters” of their company or politicians as “Self-Promoters.” Similarly, Advocates might be labelled “Issue Promoters,” whereas entertainers are often “Talent Promoters.”

However, most of the people reading this post are not famous—a few may be Almost Famous. Many of you have probably seen the movie and wished you were. (If you haven’t seen Almost Famous, please watch it tonight!) Being famous is far from a prerequisite to having a personal brand. Being on social media is also not a prerequisite. The simple math is that you need to have a clearly defined promise of whom you are as an individual. 

Taking this simplistic approach, imagine there are just four Personal Brand Archetypes, although there are many more. This set will allow us to ponder for a moment. The four archetypes could be 1. Connectors, 2. Mentors, 3. Ringleaders, and 4. Peace Makers. It will not take much time for you to think about your collection of friends and family to recognize who the Networker, the Supporter, the Convenor, or the Socializer in your cohort. 

To understand which one you are, ask yourself some simple questions:

  1. What do you do well unconsciously?
  2. What is your story?
  3. Whom do you serve?
  4. Do you have a unique approach?
  5. What is your impact on others?

None of these questions are scientific, nor are they exhaustive. But they will provide a window into your soul, mind, and muscles. They will help you think about who you are. Significantly they will also help you identify who you should be. 

As you navigate 2022 taking the time to understand Brand U™ will be a helpful exercise to equip you to keep the promises you are making and understand what those promises should even contain. 

P.S. for more information about personal branding check out these links below:

  1. Harvard Business Review: What’s the Point of a Personal Brand? by Harrison Monarth
  2. Forbes: Ten Golden Rules of Personal Branding by Goldie Chan
  3. Live Your Message: 13 Strong Personal Brand Examples (+ Actionable Takeaways) by Marisa Murgatroyd