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Personal Branding – Real or Hogwash?

The concept of personal branding became really popular with Tom Peter’s 1997 article in Fast Company magazine called, “Brand Called You.”  Since then countless books, seminars and workshops have been popping up everywhere.  Many have questioned whether the concept of personal branding is just a passing fad.

Carlos Mandelbaum made this video that’s somewhat a spoof of the whole concept:

But when all is said and done, while the term ‘personal branding’ may be relatively new, the concept has been around quite a while.   Here’s an excerpt from Tom Peter’s original article:

“It’s a new brand world.   That cross-trainer you’re wearing — one look at the distinctive swoosh on the side tells everyone who’s got you branded. That coffee travel mug you’re carrying — ah, you’re a Starbucks woman!

Your T-shirt with the distinctive Champion “C” on the sleeve, the blue jeans with the prominent Levi’s rivets, the watch with the hey-this-certifies-I-made-it icon on the face, your fountain pen with the maker’s symbol crafted into the end.

 

You’re branded, branded, branded, branded.

 

It’s time for me — and you — to take a lesson from the big brands, a lesson that’s true for anyone who’s interested in what it takes to stand out and prosper in the new world of work.

 

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You……

 

It’s this simple: You are a brand. You are in charge of your brand. There is no single path to success. And there is no one right way to create the brand called You. Except this: Start today. Or else.”

Read the entire article here:  http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/brandyou.html