How to Restore, Reassess, Rejuvenate Your Brand - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine Summer 2019 Issue

Branding has become a popular topic, but I think many make executive and personal branding far more complicated than necessary.  The truth is you already have a brand.  The question is do you have the right brand?  Is your brand working for you?  What message does your brand send?  If you are frustrated with where you are in your career, it is probably time to reevaluate.

Here’s the skinny: A successful brand is a simple brand.  The straightforward definition of any brand (personal, corporate, retail, whatever) is about one thing and one thing only: perception.  Yes, per-cep-tion.  It has been said that perception is reality.  But, it’s not your perception that matters when it comes to branding.  In reality, we often have an inaccurate view of ourselves. A common mistake is failing to properly assess, prioritize, and fully understand the perceptions of others. It can make or break you!

It is not effort or intent that matters. What matters is effectiveness and impact.  Your brand only strong as what others think about you, what others say about you, and how others respond to you. We’ve been (mis)taught all our lives that only our opinion of ourselves counts; but in the world of branding, business-building, and barrier-breaking, perception is everything.

For motivated professionals, it is especially important that you continue to define and redefine yourself in the workplace, the boardroom, the courtroom, or even the corner office.

Strategically branding yourself is all about creating value-based identity.  This is not merely to get attention for attention’s sake, but instead to cement your presence in your organization (or the marketplace) based on the value you bring so that you can secure a future filled limitless possibilities.

Right about now, you might be thinking about the mistakes you have made at one point in time or another. That’s okay. Brand mistakes inevitable, but they are not always fatal, unless you refuse to learn and fail to improve.

With the lagging job market and stagnant economy, having a strong personal brand is more important than ever.  In order to recreate, reignite, and realign your career, I need you to do something for me.  I need you release your attachment to the way you’ve always operated, and start anew with a clearly defined brand.

Here are three surefire strategies to help you accurately define Brand Y-O-U (Your Own Uniqueness).

1.      Restore Your Vision. If you can see it, you can be it. A Brand Vision is the perfect, ideal picture you have for yourself, your career, your relationships, your communication, your image, and your life.  The difference between dreams and goals is often a pen.  So, write down your vision for the type of brand message you want to manifest, and then write down how you would like others to respond to you.

2.      Reassess Your Talent. Each of us has TAGS – special Talents, Abilities, Gifts, and Skills. Successfully and accurately defining your brand requires that you define your unique skill-set.  You make your vision more tangible by building your brand around your talents and gifts. What is it you do that no one else can?  What do you do better than anyone else? What do you stand for that makes you unique?  Keep it simple.  If you had to define yourself and the value you bring in four words or less, what would you say?

3.      Rejuvenate Your Communication Style. Perception is reality.  You can change that perception by communicating with confidence, conciseness and clarity. Your brand message should be simple. The best brands really speak for themselves.  You can create a streamlined brand message by being succinct, strategic and specific.  Succinctly express what you do, strategically share the unique value you bring to the table, and specifically outline how you plan to add that value.

Developing your perfect personal brand is a journey, not a destination.  Having a vision, assessing your talent, and communicating with clarity are just the beginning steps, but critical nonetheless.  Adopting and applying each strategy forms the core of who you are and lays the foundation for what your career – and your best life – can be.

If you have questions about your building your executive brand, leave them below!  I look forward to connecting with you.

Marshawn Evans, Esq., is a weekly career columnist for BlackEnterprise.com. She is president of ME Unlimited L.L.C., a peak performance agency, and is founder of ME University® — the industry’s premier resource for profitable brand strategy. She is author of the bestselling book, SKIRTS in the Boardroom: A Woman’s Survival Guide to Success in Business & Life (2008). Connect with her online at www.marshawnevans.com, on Twitter at @marshawnevans and on Facebook at ME Unlimited by Marshawn Evans.