Yesterday, I put out a survey asking my readers what they would love to read next, a series on Personal Branding or a series on Depression, 80% of my respondents voted for personal branding…
Nobody wants to be associated with depression. One even said “Who depression epp?”.. 😆
Therefore, by popular demand, we will be spending the next few posts learning about the concept of Personal Branding and how we as individuals can build and grow a personal brand.
In this series, we will be learning about the concept of Branding, how an individual can develop and grow a personal brand and how You can leverage on your personal brand to achieve your career and life goals.
Without further ado, lets dive in.
What is a Brand?
I know when You hear the word “Brand” or “Branding”, what comes to your mind are “companies”; Apple, Microsoft, Google, Zenith Bank, GTB, etc.
True!, those are good examples of CORPORATE BRANDS but branding is not just limited to them.
The concept of branding has been in existence before corporate organisations decided to put it to use.
Do you mind a little history class?
Branding actually started as early as the 17th century.
Back in the days, the ancient Cowboys owned a lot of Cattle and there was always trouble identifying which cattle belonged to who, so they decided to “Brand” their Cattles.
This was done by making your own insignia (or what we now call logo these days) from metal, the metal was then placed in fire until it was red hot, then the red hot insignia was placed on the cattle to make a permanent mark (just like the one in the image below)
Also, during the era of the Slave trade, Slave masters who wanted to distinguish their own slaves from others used the concept of branding. It was similar to the Cattle Branding even though I think it was a wicked act.
Slave masters in those days had their own personal insignias just like the ones in the image above. When a new slave is acquired, the first point of call is to “brand” the slave. The insignia is placed in fire and the red hot metal in impressed on the skin (in conspicuous areas like the Neck , Chest or Arm or sometimes forehead) of the slave.
There are many more accounts of the history of branding, but, this is not an MBA class.
If You will like to learn more about the origin of brands and brands You can read this Wikipedia Article.
Let’s move on…
So far, we have been able to establish the fact that brands and the concept of branding has been in existence before some of these corporate brands were founded.
So, I believe it wont be an error to say that these “Brands” that we now know of today did not invent the concept of branding.
If Cowboys and Slave masters can use branding, so can anybody, it is not limited to just companies.
The only difference however is that Branding as a concept has evolved from what it used to be.
Back in the days, Branding was used majorly as a means of Identification and for distinguish my own things from your own things but nowadays, a Brand is the life blood of any individual or organisation, it is the first thing your customers will related with even before relating with You.
Sometimes, the perception your brand gives to your customers can determine whether they will even decide to relate with You as a person or not.
In the next article, we will go in-toto into the concept of branding itself.
But before then, do you care for some take home assignment?..(If not for the hustle to secure the Money bags, I would be a Lecturer in some University by now, so bear with me when I introduce SCHOOL concepts… 😛 )
The question is quite simple anyways, but it will be the foundation for every other thing we will talk about in this series.
Here it is;
“When people hear your name, what comes to their minds?”
I know you are about to say “but I am not in their minds na”… however, the job of anyone that wants to build a brand is sometimes to simulate people’s perceptions of their brands… with time, You will do actual interviews with some of your audience, but for now, simulate it and give me answers.
I will see You in the next one.
I am Seun Ogunmola I help People and Organizations to leverage on Technology to achieve their goals Faster, Easier and Cheaper.
I also write on diverse subject areas including Finance, Business, Productivity and Governance.