Create, manage, personal brand

Nonto Masuku

WE HAVE all come across generic or “no name” products.

-Nonto Masuku

The general perception of “no name” brands is that the products are of a lower quality, hence the reason they are less expensive. This may not be entirely true, but that is the perception.

Further, people generally buy “no name” products when they are cash-strapped or want to save money. Generic brands are generally considered as second choice.

A generic brand is defined by Investopedia as: “A type of consumer product that lacks a widely recognised name or logo because it is typically not advertised.

“Generic brands are usually less expensive than brand-name products due to the lack of promotions, which can inflate the cost of a good or service. Generic brands are designed to be substitutes for more expensive brand-name goods.”

People can be “no name” brands too.

If you fail to “advertise” or promote your positive attributes then you will not stand out from the crowd.

To become a “brand of choice”, you need to brand yourself well.

This is called personal branding.

This is essentially the process by which business people differentiate themselves by identifying and effectively articulating what differentiates them from their competitors.

Different authors have come up with various processes and methods of personal branding. In this article I will zero in on six very simple steps:

  •  Step 1: Define your overall aspirations and goals. Be specific and clearly define your professional and personal goals.
  •  Step 2: Carry out a mini research. How are those who have made it to where you want to be carrying out their personal branding efforts? What can you learn from them?
  • Step 3: Determine what you want your personal brand to portray. How do you want people to describe you (as the product) and why?
  •  Step 4: Assess how people currently perceive you. What needs to change and why?
  • Step 5: Create your strategy or game plan. How do you plan to execute your personal branding project? This should also include how you intend to brand yourself in social media eg LinkedIn and Facebook.

Think about what you need to do about your personal branding elements ie personal appearance, personality, competencies and differentiation, in order to create the right perceptions about you.

  • Step 6: Manage your brand. Proactively manage all aspects of your brand, ensuring these aspects are in sync and that they continue to reinforce your brand attributes.

In today’s competitive marketplace, it is essential to maintain control over how others perceive you at all times. Aim to be a brand of choice and not a “no name” brand.

  •  Nonto Masuku is an executive partner of a corporate image management firm.