Be Your Own Brand
Be Your Own Brand
Book by: McNally and Speak
Summary by: Rob Reed
Introduction – Be Your Own Brand
Most people associate the word “brand” exclusively with products and services. In Be Your Own Brand, McNally and Speak make the point that it is equally important to create a distinctive personal brand by consciously taking actions that will create a specific personal brand in the minds of others.
The first half of this book has the most to offer today’s seller. While people usually think of a brand in terms of a product or service, the authors point out that it is equally important to create a distinctive personal brand when selling. People are often unfamiliar with or simply don’t make the decision to take actions that will promote a specific, personal brand in the minds of their buyers. In the case of sellers, however, personal branding can’t be emphasized enough.
When you consider that the average person is bombarded by thousands of brand pitches each day, it’s easy to understand why the majority of them suffer from intense information overload. Overaggressive competition has made understanding the difference between brand products and services increasingly difficult for buyers to identify. Because of these factors, it’s important for sellers to first decide what personal brand they want to create, and then to consistently work on establishing and strengthening that brand in the minds of their buyers.
This book does an excellent job of suggesting that a personal brand can be just as important as the brand of a product or service. It is important, though, for a seller to first decide what his or her personal brand will be. To do this, a seller must examine his or her own values and belief system and decide what personal brand would be best aligned with them. It’s also important to consider what will align with the current employer and the prospective customers. If there’s a lack of congruency, a better option would be changing to a different industry or company where those values and belief systems in better alignment with your own.
Once you’ve clearly defined your values and belief systems, you should then identify the roles, standards and style that will comprise your personal brand. The most important dimension to a strong, personal brand are your actions supporting your brand. They have to be distinctive, relevant to what the customer values, and, most importantly, consistent over time.
The second half of the book talks more about frameworks and models and how to implement a personal brand. While there is considerable value in these chapters, very few sellers will actually take the time to complete all of the exercises or create the suggested framework.
The book did fall a bit short by not using real-world examples that would help the seller better grasp some of the principles mentioned in it. While it does provide a framework for developing your own personal brand, most sellers will simply not take the time to complete this information. Additionally, the book does not outline what specific actions customers value or which actions will help you to build your personal brand. Although these would oftentimes be customer specific, there are most likely some general actions that typical customers value from sellers. This book is targeted to the general population rather than sellers, so it may have been difficult to incorporate real-world examples without narrowing the target market.
Summary – Be Your Own Brand
When most people think of a brand, they think in terms of a product or service. The authors of Be Your Own Brand make the valid point that we, as individuals, also possess our own personal brand. The information in this book is useful to sellers because it makes us keenly aware that our selling image or brand is not really how we see ourselves, but rather how our selling image…[Please click to learn how to get the rest of this sales book review and much more.]