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Myriam-Rose Kuhn: Confidence, integrity, pride, passion

Guest Columnist

Posted: October 4, 2010 7:46 p.m.
Updated: October 5, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

While no one even wanted to speak about branding ten years ago, it has just about become a household word today. Now, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. Be careful, because most people are using the term incorrectly.

Branding is not just a logo or letterhead, which is the result of having discovered your brand. Branding is your unique promise of value. It is embedded into authenticity. It differentiates you from people who are seemingly doing the same thing you are. What distinguishes you from everyone else?

All brands are built on a foundation of four emotions: confidence, integrity, pride and passion. All great brand relationships involve a powerful emotion. You want to create enduring connections with customers that result in customer engagement.

Engaged customers:
- are simply more lucrative
- stay with you longer
- are less sensitive to price
- will not switch brands unless they have to
- shop with you more often
- will pay a premium fee for your brand
- will give you the benefit of the doubt if something goes wrong

It does not matter whether you are a company, plumber or a senior executive; today, everyone needs a brand. Your brand will help recession-proof you, because once you become known for something, people will seek you out. Hustling for clients and looking for jobs are not nearly as difficult once you have established brand identity.

You cannot be all things to all people. While the thought is scary at first, the more you niche your company or yourself, the better known and the more successful you will be.

Branding is all about standing out, and you cannot stand out unless you know among whom you’re standing. So having a solid awareness of your competitors is critical.

Branding is not an afterthought.
- Don’t be fake. Be genuine.
- Don’t be wishy-washy. Take a stand.
- Don’t act before you think.
- Don’t go for quantity over quality.
- Avoid the quest for fame. Choose to become selectively famous.
- Don’t run out of steam. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Don’t forget real-world relationships.
- Don’t go it alone. Bring in the right resources.
- Don’t make it all about you. Branding is about giving.

If you want to become the architect of your career and not remain the victim of your life, becoming branded should be considered as a serious option. Should you not like the term “branding,” then substitute it with the word “reputation.”

Myriam-Rose Kohn is a Certified Personal Brand Strategist and owner of JEDA Enterprises in Valencia. She also provides career and career search services. Her column represents her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. JEDA Enterprises can be reached at www.jedaenterprises.com or by calling (661) 253-0801.

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