The MBET Experience

The University of Waterloo – Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Program

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Building a Personal Brand

December 8th, 2006 · 2 Comments

A few weeks ago, I went to a session called “Do You Have a Personal Brand”, put on by the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce, with Shirley Lichti from Marketing Magic. This was something I was interested in, and kind of had in mind when I launched my website.

There were a number of great takeaways from this session. One great example Shirley used was showing a slide full of images each containing a tiny slice of famous brands. The room full of people were able to identify all of them, even the Texaco brand, which hasn’t been around in Canada for over 15 years. The point there was that even from a small piece of these famous brands, you can identify them. The question was then asked: If someone took a small portion of your brand, would they know it was you? I this was a great way to think about things – how can you differentiate yourself from everyone else out there?

When we interact with people, we leave an impression, whether we are conscious of it or not. From these impressions, people form a perception of us! A great way to know what people’s perceptions of you are is to listen to how you are described when they introduct you to someone. This will allow you to see how your “brand” is perceived.

Most people do not consciously manage their “brand.” When you develop a personal brand, you take control of how people might view you. What I learned was that to develop a brand, you need to do three things:

  1. Understand Your Unique Attributes
    Who am I? What do I do really well? How do I add value?
    “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of someone else.” — Judy Garland
  2. Develop Your Position
    What do I stand for? Position happens, whether you plan it or not. Differentiate yourself!!
  3. Communicate!
    You have to tell people about your brand and what your position. You must constantly and consistently communicate this message, over and over and over.

    To get the message across, you need to live and breathe your brand!!

Overall, it was a very worthwhile session, and I’m going to try to apply some of these lessons as I develop my own “personal brand”.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shirley Lichti // Dec 8, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    Dan, glad to hear you found the session of value. I was most impressed that a few weeks after this session your recall of the material is still so high.

    All the best success as you work to develop your own unique personal brand!

  • 2 Benjamin Bach // Feb 15, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    Hey Dan
    I am shocked – SHOCKED! – that you didn’t remember how great the event’s MC was. I mean, I sort of think he stole the show from Shirley 🙂

    Awesome blog. It just made it’s way into my ‘business’ category in my google reader.

    Be Great