Large companies put effort into keeping their names synonymous with something good: high quality, low price, durable, elegant, tasteful, trendy, cool, reliable, fun, one-of-a-kind, useful, loaded with extras, speed, reliability, rare, bestselling, most popular, easy to use, sexy, trendy, and so on.
When people hear your name, what do they think of? The first word that pops into their mind is your “brand.” Whether good or bad, you’ve got a brand and it is your job to manage it.
- Stable, reliable, trustworthy
- Chronically unemployed
- Clever visionary
- Solid technician
- Perpetual student
- Desperate single
- Valuable team member
- Difficult woman
Bill Ellermeyer, an outplacement specialist who spoke at the So. California Executive Roundtable last week, said he tells his clients not to let their brand become negative. For example, if they have been unemployed for a while, it’s time to teach, write, consult, blog, and be on boards. Do anything, but don’t let the first words out of your mouth become, “I’m unemployed.” Don’t allow your brand become “Unemployed,” even if you are.
Keep busy and active, pursuing other paths:
No one can do this for you. Personal brand management is your job.
What is your brand? If it is negative, how can you start to change it?