How to Refine Your Personal Brand

June 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured Articles, Front Page


  By Dave Saunders



            You have a reputation. You have a Web site. You have a key look that every one recognizes – or at least, some people.

            Now what? Your personal brand is never a pool float. You can’t rest on it. You can’t let it drift out there with the current. In order to make it viable, you have to keep it inflated.

            Coca-Cola is no longer the “pause that refreshes.” Oh, you may know that that’s what they used to say about Coca-Cola, but that was a long time ago. Now there is “the Coke side of life” – and those who are in the know know what Coke will be saying next. McDonald’s is out there copying Chick-fil-a for healthy yet fried alternatives to the all-American burger and pretending they invented the chicken sandwich, and no one knows anymore about Burger Kind even though we used to sing about holding the pickle and the lettuce because special orders don’t upset us.

            Your personal brand is a living, breathing entity. There’s no question that you have a place in your little corner of the planet. You offer a service, a benefit, a shining good turn to the world. However, there are a brazillion (not a Brazilian) other people out there who can offer a service that’s (in theory) just as good, just as important, just as meaningful.

            It is your job to continuously breathe new life into your brand. The fact is that your brand is like any living entity – it wants to grow, it wants to move forward.

            Your brand is about integrity, about self-love, about competence that moves above and beyond the norm. In order to keep life in your brand, it has to constantly evolve; it has to keep up with the times.

            If you think about the best magazines, the world’s most popular brands – they really do think about things before most people. We went from the jeweled tones and English country glamour of the late 1990s to the calm blues and chocolates of the mid 1990s to the recent splash of citrus. And next year’s color?

            Well, to figure that out, you’ll have to watch my Web site. There are trends in life that – if you stay on the cutting edge – you’ll be able to overcome. Overcome? Yes. There’s no question that if your brand stays stale – Swanson Hungry Man in the middle of the Diet Debate – you will not stay alive. Tang in the middle of Natural Goods, Vidal Sassoon after the creation of a brand associated with a hairstyle that denoted a certain time and place, Underalls in a world in which women don’t wear pantyhose most of the time.

            Today, most people want ready-to-drink beverages with some sort of nod to natural flavors. Tang in 2007 introduced ready-to-drink units with new sweeteners. Vidal Sassoon is pulling itself out of the grocery stores and is concentrating on self-named and independent salons, where its brand name can move away from the notion of “bargain” and imbue itself with a new relevance with a new generation of hair-needy clients. Underalls is working to develop itself as a new brand whose products include along line of undergarments that include, but is not relegated to, pantyhose.

            You need to take a cue from these corporate brands, which are beloved in American corporate myth but have taken their hits with the sands of time. Look for time cues and trend updates – and keep your brand in the running.