To kick off Marketing, PR and Advertising Industry Week 2012, the Georgetown Career Center hosted a workshop titled “Bagels and Branding” this morning, with guest speaker Rebecca Cassidy. The focus of this workshop was ‘Personal Branding,’ a concept quite familiar to those of us in ProSem!
‘Personal Branding’ or ‘Self Branding’ is the idea that you, as a person, need to create a consistent “brand” for yourself. Your brand incorporates who you are (your values & personal history), what you do best (skills & talents), and the career you are pursuing (what YOU can bring to a company or position).
The workshop began with a general inquiry into what we recognized as brands, and then a few definitions for the term “brand.” The idea of branding as two-way street was presented, where it’s not only how a company wants you to think of them or their product, but what you as a customer actually think of them. With this concept in mind, several companies and individuals were discussed, where we compared our perceptions of companies with what their websites portrayed. We then moved to individuals as brands (example: Oprah), and how they attempt to control their audiences’ perceptions of them. For example, a quick comparison of Oprah to Martha Stewart brought out connections to book clubs and TV shows (Oprah), or jail time (Martha Stewart).
We then moved on to a deeper investigation into how to develop our own personal brands, by keeping the following goal in mind:
Your self perception should match others’ perceptions of you.
We discussed the whys and hows of personal branding. For example, self brands help to create a relationship with someone you don’t know yet, but in order to be successful, all parts of the personal brand should be honest.
Next, the concept of the Marketing Mix, or the 4 P’s, came up. For a personal brand, the 4 P’s apply as follows:
- Product: Who you are and what you do. What makes you unique.
- Price: How much do you cost?
- Place: Where do you work best? Online? In a group?
- Promotion: What does your branding toolkit look like? (more on this below)
Interestingly, I had never heard of the 4 P’s until this morning, when happened to come across it in a blog titled 5 New Rules for a Winning Brand Launch that I read on my way to campus (thank you LinkedIn News Feed!) The 4 P’s are briefly mentioned under a section titled “Look at Old Fundamentals With Fresh Eyes,”aka re-framing!
After a few quick exercises where we started the process of defining our personal brands, and the suggestion that we ask family, friends, and acquaintances to provide 3 adjectives they think describe us (with the added suggestion that we find a way to do this anonymously to get more honest answers), the workshop finished with what we should include in our Branding Toolkit (everything from a resume and LinkedIn profiles to wardrobe to–my personal favorite–a portfolio). And the most important thing to keep in mind?
*A little linguistic note as well: I found it interesting that the title for this workshop was “Bagels and Branding” rather than “Branding and Bagels.” This could be a subtle means of highlighting the free breakfast portion, which, considering the 9am start time, probably meant a higher turn-out. I love that even the NAME of this workshop can be analyzed!