If it's your first time here, the term "Personal Branding", understood as the self-management of our personal brand, was first coined by the writer Tom Peters In 1997, ago already 24 years.
At the time, The Internet existed in its basic form 1.0, and mobile phones took their first steps, but blogs didn't exist, social networks, instant messaging applications…
Peters coined the term "Personal Branding" in an article of the digital magazine Fast Company entitled "The Brand Called You", available in Spanish in translation by Consol Vancells (thanks Consol) titled "La Marca Llamada Tú".
Two years after this milestone, In 1999, Peters published the book "The Brand You 50" (edited by Knopf) and published in Spanish as "50 claves para hacer de usted una marca" (edited by Deusto on 2001). The synopsis of the book, 100% Recommended, is this:
"In today's unforgiving interconnected world, you are faced with an alternative: or is distinguished or extinguished. Survive, thrive and succeed by becoming a brand. To do this, you should consider yourself a kind of independent professional: a smart person, Informed, who is always learning and growing, knows how to sell yourself, and he does a job he likes."
If you're short on time, in a minute I summarize this idea (in Spanish):
I know it may seem pretentious, but I'll try to bring the text up to date: It's been a whole generation since the publication of The Brand Called You (near 25 Years) and a lot has changed.
In the age of the individual, you must be your own brand. Here's what it takes to be the CEO of ME, Inc.
That's what Peters tells us in the introductory paragraph of the aforementioned Fast Company article.. I believe that from the age of the individual we have moved on to the age of talent., then to the team and now I venture to say that we are in the of the Purpose. For me, the adaptation of the idea would be today thus:
You are a brand, Brand, Brand, Brand
Peters refers to our wardrobe, our coffee brand,of jeans, clock... Those brands identify us. I think in 2021 we should put our values, attitudes and actions like what really leaves a mark on others, beyond the formal aspects of image. I would adapt the sentence like this:
The time has come to learn the lesson of the big brands
Past these years, and in the rise of robots and the revaluation of humanism, many brands are recruiting profiles of philosophers, Anthropologists, Linguists, Artists, and ultimately, Humanists, to understand people's needs. That's why I think people, effectively, we must learn from companies... and vice versa. The idea would look like this:
To be in the market, our most important job is to be the commercial director of the brand called You
Peters writes: "The real action is at the other extreme.: the main opportunity is to become a free professional in an economy of free and self-employed professionals, looking to achieve the best results in its sector, looking to do their best work, and establish your own brand."
I think Peters here was a visionary. Even soon after, In 2002, Daniel Pink would publish "Free agent nation: the future of working for yourself" (Grand Central Publishing).
Today, would adapt the idea slightly following an insight given by Peters himself recently:
The good news is that everyone has the opportunity to stand out
And it goes on: "Stand out, Learn, improve and develop its possibilities. Everyone has the opportunity to be a brand worth noting."
It's like that., but after 24 years there are still multiple obstacles to that happening: internally, many people suffer from the syndrome of Solomon Asch of the fear of being different of the group. And externally I see two brakes.: managers who "cover up" the talent to keep him from leaving, and on a social scale, the world is full of inequalities that prevent a person from standing out, and it is only because of the place where he was born, the digital divide…
So the concept might vary slightly:
The name of the sender of the email is as important as a brand
"It's a promise of the value you'll receive while you're reading the message." Of course, now e-mail is just one of the thousands of forms of communication that the Internet and telecommunications have brought us.
Today we connect from instant messaging (Whatsapp, Messenger, Telegram, Signal...) and from direct messages from social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn.
Today, Peters' phrase could evolve like this:
You are not defined by your job and you are not limited by your job description
When Peters defines what makes us different, refers to the fact that we are no longer employees of anyone. I totally agree, although society, 25 years later, it still retains the role of "employees" for those working exclusively for a project.
When I look for synonyms of "employee" I find this shit:
- dependent, official, auxiliary, subordinate, worker, salaried
- used, Spent, Used, threadbare, out of the way
So, perhaps you would update the concept as you already did Alexia Herms a while ago in Soymimarca:
As of today you are a brand
Says Peters: "You're exactly like a brand like Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or The Body Shop". With all due respect, I think today that comparison does not work anymore. I accept that we can manage ourselves using certain branding strategies. But I don't think so., you're not a brand. I I think you're better, your values are roots, your purpose is sincere and lasting, your ability to build trust is second to none. You are able to humanize the brand, to make sense of it, to give it a voice.
I would make a little twist:
Ask: what do I do, that add up, are notable, Measurable, distinguished, with additional value?
Here Peters enters the value proposition. Use an interesting metaphor: "don't sell meat, sells its advantages". And that doesn't expire., On the contrary, is more current than ever. For trying to improve it, would include the recipient of that sum: the brand.
For most brand campaigns, the first step is visibility. If you are the ME brand, Inc. you have the same need
If you've read me before, or you've heard of the Iceberg method of the Personal Brand, you know I don't share the idea that visibility goes first.
Unlike, for me it is the end of a process that starts with the diagnosis of personal branding or self-knowledge (Where and why I am where I am), continues with the design of the personal strategy (Where can I get) And ends with visibility (How can I get there, and know if I'm coming).
So the reformulation of Peters' concept would be like this:
How can you market the BRAND ME?
Peters tells us here that there is no limit to the paths to follow to improve our profile. And I agree. The formulas proposed to us in 1997 are the ones that existed at that time: moonlighting, new projects outside the organization, teach at business schools or colleges, get recognition for being an expert, write a column or op-ed for the local newspaper, be present at a conference panel discussion or register to make the presentation at a workshop, promote word-of-mouth (mouth-ear)...
100% I agree. I'm sure now Peters would add tools and media from the digital environment, as a blog, a podcast, a video channel, periodic webinars, newsletters, virtual congresses, active presence on LinkedIn, Twitter and those networks where your potential customers are (not the ones you like)…
And for a formal matter, would replace the question with:
What is your power of influence?
Here Peters deals with the power of reputation. "If you were an expert, would be measured by the number of times other people cite your posts. If you were a consultant, would be measured by the number of business cards of CEOs in your schedule".
The author gives some clues "Is your team having difficulty organizing productive meetings? Volunteer to organize the agenda of the next meeting. When it comes to writing a post-project report, does everyone run away? Ask for the opportunity to write the report."
And it points out: "If you're not investing at least the 70% of your time creating projects, organizing your tasks in projects, you are living in the past. No more old-fashioned resume! You have a marketing brochure for the ME brand".
I remember the concept of "informal leaders" that you told me about. Eva Collado for the first time. They are people who wield enormous influence without corresponding to a hierarchical scale of power.
I wouldn't change Peters' question much.:
Today, loyalty is the only thing that matters
Peters does not refer to blind loyalty to the company. It's loyalty to your colleagues, loyalty to your team, loyalty to your project, the loyalty of your customers, and loyalty to yourself.
Totally true. I usually say that the company and the brand do not exist. They are forms of organization created by people to organize us. But there are colleagues., the project, customers and us. And I would add something important, purpose and values.
I would treat loyalty today in these terms:
What is your future? Now the race is a labyrinth
Peters treats the end of hierarchy, emphasizing that the professional career is our responsibility, however difficult and volatile the environment may be. And remember: "the last thing you want to do is become a director, that is obsolete" and proposes "look for more interesting projects, more challenging, more provocative."
It's impossible, from my perspective, disagree. The key is not to direct to 100 People, is working on an exciting project, and the better it is, more people will want to participate in it.
To go into more detail I recommend reading ¿What's going on on LinkedIn that everyone is CEO?
Updating this sentence is not easy, but I try:
Companion, expert, visionary and business-oriented
Peters ends his treaty with four tips:
- You have to be a great partner and a colleague who helps others.
- You have to be an exceptional expert in something that has real value.
- You have to be a visionary of great caliber – a leader, a teacher.
- You must be a business person – obsessed with pragmatic results.
And it ends with the golden paragraph: "It's that simple.: You are a brand. You are in charge of your brand. There is no single path to success. And there's no single right way to create the brand called ME.. Except this: starts today. Or not."
A brand called YOU / Tom Peters / Fast Company / 31/08/1997
Nothing to take away from this closure: companion, expert, visionary and business-oriented. Perhaps we can add something typical of this second decade of SXXI: generous and connector.
By generous I mean that information, In 1997, it was something to treasure. Today is something to share. Sharing valuable content positions us and makes us preferred. And it doesn't matter if we share it on a paper dossier or in a PDF or on a social media link.
By connector I mean that today it is easier to do business by connecting than you do 25 Years. We have networks like LinkedIn that have facilitated access to people like we have never had before.
So I would close like this.:
Summarizing the remix 2021 of The Brand Called You
If I gather the great concepts of the document A Mark called You, in the updated remix 2021, these fifteen key points would remain:
- In the age of purpose, your brand is at the service of a powerful raison d'être. That you need to own your destiny.
- You leave a mark, everything leaves a mark, what you say or streets and what you do and stop doing.
- People need to learn from brands, and brands need to learn from us, to become Human.
- Regardless of our professional role, we all sell, anytime, everywhere, our personal brand is active 24 hours a day in all parts of the globe.
- Everyone should have the opportunity to stand out, Learn, improve.
- Your Brand is (write your name here) and so you should promote it in as many areas as possible, analog and digital.
- A job is temporary, your personal brand is forever.
- From today you are the soul and engine of the brand.
- How unique and relevant can you grow the brand of others?
- Once you have defined your starting point and your personal strategy, you can now boost your visibility.
- What channels should you use to let your customers know your value proposition?
- Are you willing to go a step further than what is expected of you to gain influence?
- We must be loyal to ourselves, to a purpose and to our values if we want to be influential and consistent with our teams, colleagues and clients.
- What do you want your future to be?? Develop your vision and mission: your future is there.
- Friend, expert, visionary and purpose-oriented, values and people. It's that simple, You leave a Brand, and you are responsible for your Brand. You only have two options: start working today that brand called (write your name here), or not.
Stock Photos from studiostoks / Shutterstock
Here's the podcast. You can hear it in iVoox, Spotify, Apple Podcast And Google Podcast.
Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (programs of branded internal ambassadors).
Socio of Soymimarca's Integra Personal Branding, Brand Directory of Omnia Branding, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting and Quifer Consultores.
I participate in various programs at IESE, ISDI and EAE, among others. Collegiate advertising, Master in Marketing. Humanities Degree Student.
My advertising DNA comes from 20 years in agencies: Time/BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.
2 thoughts on "The Brand Called You, remix 2021”
Good afternoon, Guillem
It was necessary to update what Tom Peters did very well in the 1997 about Personal Branding. I totally agree that “a job is temporary, your personal brand is forever”. It's not that each of us is a brand, that yes ! but it is we are a brand with our values, our essence and what we are able to do with all this that is no small thing. We have our essence (unique and different) and we must mark it wherever they ask us.
Of course we are our own commercial department, does anyone doubt it?
Well, the context in which Peters wrote the article is very different from the current one, we have a power to communicate individually that we have never had before, and we must take advantage of that.. Thanks Mirka for commenting!
Basic information on data protection
Responsible » Guillem Recolons Argenter
Purpose » Management of doubts and customer services
Legitimation » Consent of the interested party
Rights » You have the right to access, rectify and delete data, as well as other rights, as explained in the additional information
Additional information » You can consult additional and detailed information on Personal Data Protection on my website guillemrecolons.com