Your personal brand always accompanies you

Throughout our lives, We will work for many projects, for many brands. But only one brand will always accompany us. Ours. Our first and last name.

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Are you now aware of the importance of your personal brand??

This is one of the phrases I often use to introduce a class or lecture on personal branding or its management process, personal branding.

I think it's a Insight, A Truth, that few people are really aware of, And it's very interesting as an appetizer, to whet the appetite before talking about the topic and generate some interest for the rest of the presentation, class or lecture.

Today I speak in the key of a story (storytelling, if you prefer) Personal. But if you don't want to read on, I warn you that the moral of the story is already in the title: Your personal brand Always accompanies you.

If you want to see a summary in a minute of video, Here you have it:

If you prefer to listen to it, Here's the episode 144 of the podcast Everything leaves a mark on iVoox, Apple Podcast, Spotify., Amazon Music And Google Podcast.

My Time as a Publicist

I started young. To my 14 Years, what would become the EGB today was over (Basic General Education, A concept that only boomers will remember). 

At the beginning of the BUP (Unified Polyvalent Baccalaureate), that lasted three years, I decided to take it in the afternoons, which left me a space in the mornings that allowed me my first work forays in.

Oh my God, At that time, She had created a baby fashion brand, and he also sold scarves from the Spanish 1st division football teams. These scarves were manufactured in a plant in Badalona, A somewhat gloomy place, piloted by a certain Manolo.

My mother came up with the brilliant idea of sending me there as a helper or, rather, as an assistant to the assistant. My role was to supervise that the weaving machine, A gigantic piece of junk, didn't have a malfunction. In your case, He had to stop the machine immediately and warn the operator. That was it, And I could also see from time to time giant rats walking around the industrial building.

What did I learn?? The Discipline of a Work Schedule, The Authority, and that I would never work as an operator in a factory of any kind.

From the 14, I am financially independent from my parents.

Mass Media Marketing & Advertising, First steps to becoming passionate about a profession.

The rat thing was short-lived. You couldn't learn much, It was repetitive, And it wasn't very well paid either.

Thus, Than pulling the family thread, An uncle called me, Jordi Argenter, To ask me if I could be a messenger (It was then called an errand boy) during the Christmas campaign.

Mass Media was a local agency, But it managed international brands, as Lancaster, Margaret Astor, as well as national brands. My Uncle, with a solid background as a lawyer and economist, with perfect English and even better French, I had a very bad temper then... except with me.

What did I learn?? A lot of things. The best one was getting to know my city, Barcelona. He handed out some very nice calendars to the agency's clients and suppliers, A 300 in total. I memorized the subway system, Railways, Bus. To the 14 And 15 Years ago there was no possibility of riding a motorcycle yet.

I also learned that there are other jobs that aren't boring, as an editor, Art Director, Account Executive. I learned photography the hard way. The agency had a set with a Synar 9×12 and a Hasselblad 6X6. And several professional opticians. La crème de la crème of a photography enthusiast who until then only had a second-hand Minolta reflex and a small developing and enlargement laboratory at home.

That's when I made a decision, Be advertising.

A stroke of luck. Tiempo BBDO needed apprentices in the pre-university phase

When I decided to become an advertiser, it was clear to me that even the 18 years and finish COU (University Orientation Course) or finish a university degree I wouldn't find a job. I was wrong.

One of the largest multinational advertising agencies in Barcelona, BBDO weather, I was looking for an apprentice for the creative department, specifically for the art department, And they were looking for someone from 16 years with a contract until 18, This is the moment when you usually start your university career... Bingo!!

I was interviewed by two people, Those in charge, Xavier Olivé and Jordi Vilajoana.

My first paycheck was from 5.000 Pesetas, Very little in 1979, But it was half a day, So I couldn't complain. My direct boss, Joan Quintana, Nice guy, a Senior Art Director with many campaigns under his belt. Montse was also in the studio, Pep, Enric, Toni, Vicente, and some 5 Or 6 people I don't remember naming now.

What did I learn during this time?? To be labeled in letraset, to make custom photographic prints with a prodigious apparatus called Repromaster, to assemble originals to be delivered to the media or printers, to relate to a team of beautiful people, To go get sandwiches for everyone, To go to all the stationery stores in the city to get material. I learned the process behind an advertising campaign. I learned to speak Catalan (before, I barely spoke it). I learned to value money. And, believe it or not, I learned to play the piano -by ear-. But that's another story I'll explain another day.

Design Group, A small agency that was going to be big

When I finished my time at Tiempo BBDO I already had 18 years and had finished the COU and the selectivity with very good grades. I wanted to study a degree, advertising, but without stopping working. The Morning Work Mix / I liked to study in the afternoon.

A local agency called Grupo de Diseño was looking for someone for their creative studio, and specifically for the photo lab. It was my time. I introduced myself. Enric Monté was the photographer of the house. He did a stopwatch test in hand. It was a manual laboratory, Like the one at home. Piece of cake. I didn't get the job for 23 seconds separating me from the one who did it faster. Quality didn't count.

Frustrated, I went home. And a few minutes after arriving, I got a call from the same agency to ask if I had my own vehicle. Yes. I had a Vespa 75 Second-hand. I already had a job. Junior Account Executive for José María Rubio's Team, running the Carrefour chain. By the way, J.M. Rubio became famous soon after by creating a character, The Mr. Barragán

Those were wonderful years. And in addition to Carrefour, Over time I started working for José Oriol Valls' team running Afersons (Johnnie Walker, Moët et Chandon, Tanqueray), Richel (Ties), Furest (Men's Fashion), Terry, Larios & More. Lots of alcohol.

I learned how to manage projects, to convince people in the creative and media team to do things in record time and something very important: to sell and interact with customers.

Merger with J. Walter Thompson

The president of Grupo de Diseño, Miguel Giménez Salinas, convinced me not to study advertising in college (the faculty was in Bellaterra, far from Barcelona) and paid for a Master's Degree in Marketing (It was hard for me to do it without a previous degree) and several English courses.

In 1985, five years after joining Grupo de Diseño, the multinational advertising company N1 (in Invoicing), J. Walter Thompson, acquired the agency and I became part of the proud staff of JWT (Only those of us who knew English and were willing to take on new leadership remained). A unique opportunity.

The agency in Spain was chaired by Manu Eléxpuru del Valle (a phenomenon), it was directed by Julián Bravo, and in Barcelona, Miguel Giménez Salinas was retained as director of the office.

I worked for Jorge Fondón's teams, with two accounts from Nestlé and Rafael Llinás, with Cinzano et al.. In 1987 at two years, I was appointed Account Director for Nestlé (Camy, Findus, Chambourcy), CPC (Cornflour, Hornimans, Knorr), Mattel, and others.

I was up to 1991, I left, because I didn't like the way Julián Bravo's agency presided over, who replaced Manu Eléxpuru after his illness. Miguel Giménez-Salinas had left the agency to join the Barcelona Olympic project 92. At that time, I managed 20 clients and had a team of 6 people.

I learned what is not written. Management, Oratory, Presentations, communication strategy, New Business, International Account Management. And that's where I met the woman who later became and is my wife, María Mas-Bagá.

The best moments of my life, in Bassat & Ogilvy

I entered Bassat, Ogilvy & Mather (today known as Ogilvy) In 1991 to manage Danone's accounts (A challenge), Camper & Codorniu. I had the best account executive in the world, Anna Bosch.

I had never experienced such a beautiful working atmosphere. Despite being 100 people in the Barcelona office, We were one big family. To the point of spending winter weekends with some of them in a huge house we rented in the Pyrenees.

Three giant managers, Luis Bassat, Visionary Publicist – Today, Friend- and a great businessman. Enric Pujadas, He knew how to see opportunities where no one else saw them. Jordi Alavedra, Great person, Polymath, Huge people manager.

We live the best moment of the Barcelona Olympics 92, and how we were the agency responsible for the creation of the opening and closing ceremonies, I got to see the last rehearsal, A few days before the start of the games. Where was I when the Games opened?? In California, On vacation, with Carlos Graell and Gianina Bea, of the agency. We watched the inauguration on TV from a hotel.

The best friendships I still have today from the world of advertising come from there.

I learned a lot, especially, Values, Ethics, the importance of collaborative leadership and I learned that in addition to colleagues, We Can Be Friends. I learned how to use my personal computer, Email...

The hell I learned the most from: Saatchi CPR & Saatchi

I was in Bassat for a short time, Just two years. I asked several times to take on more responsibilities, New Accounts (I was used to managing a lot of clients and teams), But I didn't get it. But I continued to maintain my relationship with my teammates.

In 1993 Louis Plato called me, Director of CPR Saatchi Barcelona, To invite me to hell. Hell, because CPR was dismembered, the gentlemen of the C and the P set up another agency, Casadevall & Pedreño, and took Saatchi CPR clients by the dozens. It had to be stopped, And you had to grow with new business.

That's how it went. We manage to keep the main customers, among them Danone, Very well known to me, Samsung & Others. And we managed to grow with new business. Highly Powerful & Senior Creative Team. Luxury strategic planning.

It was a tough stage, because due to economic losses, There were constant adjustments of people, often ordered from London. But it was adrenaline. I had fancy teams, in a role known as Director of Customer Service and also responsible for new business.

I learned how to manage international accounts, adapt international strategies, to work under pressure, Manage tenders and tenders, to manage things as complex as layoffs and hiring. I was there for five years. The atmosphere was not Bassat's, It was more tense, But many nights of work ended with a drink (or two) in a club in Barcelona.

The last: Altraforma: local but with great potential

In 1998 I joined Altraforma as Managing Director and Head of Strategic Planning, an agency that is the heir of Grupo de Diseño and with the same manager, Miguel Giménez-Salinas. The moment I walked in, I was going to get into the 200 million ptas (approx. 1,2 € million). 

Two years later, An agency entered 320 Million (near 2 € million). Buy Stocks, I was close until December 2004, 6 Years. Everything was going smoothly, We managed interesting brands (Ferrero, The Herd, Catalana Occidente, Revlon, Planet, Catalunya Ràdio, Llongueras...). 

Why did I leave? 'Cause I got fired. I've told you about it in my talk Tedx. By the end of the year 2000, In addition to the birth of my daughter, My wife was diagnosed with a staged tumor 4. Logically, My dedication to the agency was reduced, and we reached an agreement to sell my shares at the end of 2004.

What did I learn?? Good and Bad Things. I won't go into detail. In December 2004 I received several offers as a managing director for other agencies. Some of them are very powerful. But I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with the intense dedication of 15 hours per day typical of the trade. I reclined with the offers and decided to start a new project. Own. Mine.

My time in Personal Branding

Lateral Consulting, Mine and mine alone

In January 2005 I opened my own company, Lateral Consulting. Initially, I alternated the management of small clients who did not want to continue at Altraforma with new clients with whom I worked as a personal communication consultant.

A short time later I learned that what I was doing had a name: personal branding. So I decided to train in the field, Open my own blog at 2007 (I had already made a few for clients), and learn from the best: William Arruda, Dan Schawbel, Catherine Kaputa, Luigi Centenaro, Neus Arqués, Andrés Pérez Ortega, and later Oscar del Santo, Arancha Ruiz, Paul Adam...

I opened the TVLowCost branch in Spain, An agency with an extraordinary formula of all-inclusive advertising pack that, Unfortunately, It didn't fit in in this country.

In Lateral I met Jordi Collell and Montse Taboada, Both Coaches. There was chemistry... What if we opened a personal branding company??

At Lateral I learned that there's nothing like having your own business, So what, Even if you work longer hours than a clock, you don't do it for a Connecticut CEO to make the biggest swimming pool.

Soymimarca, the first agency specialized in Personal Branding

In 2010 We open Soymimarca, initially with Jordi, Montse and I as partners. Then we were joined by a commercial director. And someone I hosted at Lateral Consulting, Alexia Herms, Great person and communication crack. We got to have a team of 8 people and with 2 Delegates, one of them, Pablo Adán, in Valencia.

We manage hundreds of personal brands, and we work on personal branding in companies, such as Ferrovial, Corachan, Pwc, Mars...

Although the company, and above all, Their blog is still alive, The office was closed in 2016, as some partners took on other responsibilities.

One of Soymimarca's best legacies, In addition to its excellent Multi-author blog, It was the creation of the first World Congress on Personal Branding, The Personal Branding Lab Day, which this year celebrates its 9th edition as N1 in the world in terms of audience and with close to 60 participating experts.

And other exciting projects, related to personal branding

  • I am fortunate enough to work for other exciting professional projects: 
  • Omnia Branding, with Olga Villacampa, Branding and Executive Branding Programs for Companies
  • Integra Personal Branding Mexico, As a partner, he works in the corporate field
  • The Brand Boat, Cruise with Personal Branding Workshop, with Eva Collado and Laura Chica
  • Universas, with Dr. Cristina Aced, A Brand Ambassador Program for Universities and Business Schools.
  • The voice of my brand, a personal branding podcast with Celestino Martínez.
  • Get in Valor, with Eva Collado and Fran Segarra, Personal Branding Workshops for Companies
  • Personal Branding Retail, with Jorge Mas, An online course for non-conformist retailers.
  • Personal Branding Magazine, where I am a columnist and member of the editorial board.
  • Quifer Consultants, in the Dominican Republic where I am a collaborator in the Branding Week
  • I also collaborate with other projects, as MoreThanLaw, with Paula Fernández-Ochoa and her team, Personal branding in the legal sector.

Projects come and go, Your personal brand is always with you

I close as I have opened: Throughout our lives, We will work for many projects, for many brands. But only one brand will always accompany us. Ours. Our first and last name. Take care of her.

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