Friday, March 23, 2012

Are you your own BRAND?

Do you have a brand vision? Are you consistent in promoting your vision? Do you know how to effectively communicate your vision? For some help in creating and maintaining your brand, the secret weapon is David McNally’s and Karl D. Speak’s book, Be Your Own Brand – Achieve More of What You Want by Being More of Who You Are.

As the authors explain in the book’s introduction: “Everyone has a brand, and anyone can be a strong brand. It doesn’t involve changing your personality – you can be an introvert or extrovert. And it’s definitely not about trying to be something you’re not. The difference between one personal brand and another is that the person with a strong brand utilizes his or her special qualities to make a difference in the lives of others.”

The book was originally written back in 2002, at a time when personal branding was not as evolved as it is today. But thanks to social media, we now have the tools to shine as individuals, which is completely different than when only businesses were the embodiment of a brand.

McNally and Speak define a brand as “a relationship – not a statement. It is not a matter of contrived image, or colorful packaging, or snappy slogans, or adding an artificial veneer to disguise the true nature of what’s within. In fact, a “branded” relationship is a special type of relationship – one that involves the kind of trust that only happens when two people believe that there is a direct connection between their value systems.” McNally and Speak clarify that a personal brand “is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes your outstanding qualities and influences that person’s relationship with you.”

Does your personal brand accurately reflect what you want it to? You need brand dimensions (the combination of standards and style that defines the unique attributes of your brand) and a personal brand promise (a concise, meaningful, and inspiring statement that sums up the relationship you have with someone else). Then, your personal brand has great potential. But you’re not done yet. McNally and Speak offer 11 guiding principles:

[1] Develop and refine your personal brand platform
[2] Be brand proud
[3] Audit your brand promise
[4] Be authentic
[5] Make sure the signals you send convey relevance to others
[6] Be consistent
[7] Make sure your package reflects your contents
[8] Brands are known by the company they keep
[9] Find alignment between your personal brand and your employer’s brand – if possible
[10] Start counting relationships as part of your asset base
[11] Go social or go home

What would you add to further develop a personal brand?

Connect with David on Twitter:!/EvenEagles

Check out David’s Blog:

Visit David’s site:

Connect with Karl on Twitter:!/speakk

Visit Karl’s site:


  1. Great! I love book reviews from people I respect, because there are so many of books out there, it is hard to know which one to read. Thanks Deb!

  2. Great story. I will look for the book and read it. It is important nowdays to brand yourself.

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