Personal and company brands
Much has been written and said about personal brands in years past. A recent blog post by an associate of mine does a great job of showing, via a brief story, how actions define a person, whether intended or not.
As professionals we all strive to present ourselves in a respectable manner in an effort to cultivate relationships and help ourselves – and our businesses – gain credibility and earn respect. After all, each associate is an extension of the company for which he or she works, and how they conduct themselves at work and in public reflects on their own character and those who employ them.
Which is why it always surprises and sometimes angers me when I see “that guy” in a crowd that is oblivious to his actions and how they reflect negatively on the company he represents. You know the person: he laughs a bit too loud or long, drinks too much, overtly kisses-up to customers or superiors, takes credit for other’s work, feigns interest in what you have to say, talks over you, or consistently dodges the payment of a tab.
Regardless if these actions are obvious or subtle, he may believe he’s fooling us, or worse, doesn’t care. And while these traits help to denigrate his personal brand, they also tarnish the corporate or product brands he represents.
My belief has always been to “be yourself,” yet act in a way that reflects positively on the company you represent, or the people you’re with. While your brand is personal, it’s also shared by companies that chose to employ you.