What I love about branding is the power and ability of being able to associate words and emotions with a product or brand. By immediately naming a few brands, you already know what to expect from them because of the inherent promise and experience you get from using the brand. What people fail to realise is that for every action and verbal confrontation with the universe (what you put in), you get a response from the universe (you get out). Your own actions ultimately influence how people will perceive you as a brand.
It is amazing the ability personal brands have to develop into “more than a promise” to an evolution or a movement. The benefits of having a strong personal brand include visibility and presence, along with credibility and trust.
Thinking of Beyonce’s unannounced album release late last year speaks to the above mentioned factors, and her solid ability to pull such a stunt is due to her high credibility in the entertainment industry and amongst her fans. To say the least her “personal branding strategy” sets her apart through differentiation, not many artists could pull that off or afford to use a “non-marketing” approach as they’re about to release an album. Developing a well-differentiated brand positioning is critical to building a strong brand and creating enduring brand value.
Meaning: Beyonce was able to release her “surprise album” without worrying about factors like marketing or PR because she is a global brand and her fans have reached a point of trust, and know what they can expect from a “Beyonce” album and even more from a “Beyonce” concert. She merely wrote, “Surprise!” to her more than 8 million Instagram followers, and the full album with 14 songs and 17 videos on it appeared for sale on iTunes.
Within 3 days Beyonce sold 828,773 copies worldwide on iTunes, which makes it the fastest selling record ever on the Apple service. It also topped the iTunes singles chart in 104 countries, including Australia. The rapid online reaction to the album’s release – according to data from Twitter mentioned by Billboard, the news generated 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours.
Other artists like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga promoted the news to their millions of followers on social media, magnifying the attention. When you become a reliable and strong brand, you gain the trust, loyalty and commitment of others.
Everyone has a brand and anyone can be a strong brand. It doesn’t involve changing your personality or character. Some of the qualities that will contribute to strong brands are being authentic, creating a lasting impression and adding value to the livelihood of others, read more here. However, I think authenticity is a good place to start, because there can only be one you, and your uniqueness will always set you apart from the rest. The key is to always be true to yourself and invest time into building a strong personal brand. Figure out whom you really are, what kind of an impression you would like to make and how you would want to be remembered- professionally and personally.