Brand Statements: what’s the point?

Posted January 24, 2014 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights

In 1998, Tom Peters wrote, what I think of as, the seminal article on personal branding for Fast Company. Read it now and it could have been written yesterday not 15 years ago. Since that time, an entire industry has evolved around people helping you “build your brand”. The question that I get asked a lot is, now that I’ve got the brand statement… what am I supposed to do with it? Here are some ideas:

First, let’s be clear on what a good brand statement is and what it’s not. Saying “I’m a strategic thinker who is adept and rallying teams and uses my analytical skills to solve problems” is not a good brand statement. The point (in my opinion) of a brand statement is to help you stand out from the crowd. To showcase what makes you “unique”… how are you a linchpin?

In our program, we encourage individuals to write their brand statements “twitter-style” in short, illustrative bursts: “I’m a …Talent magnet. Champion of authenticity. Solutions Sherlock. Pragmatic optimist. Curator of conversations.”

Now, depending on the context – when asked to describe who you are – you may not deliver this message in quite this punchy a fashion. But that’s not the point. The point is that these qualities are things that anchor you and how you do what you do unique. So, here’s how you can use your brand statement:

  1. To clarify your career goals: post your brand statement somewhere you can see it, or keep a copy in your wallet to refer to when you’re evaluating next career moves. Are the opportunities your exploring lining up with the brand you want to build and reinforce for yourself?
  2. To attract attention: LinkedIn is becoming the go-to source for recruiters and HR execs looking for fresh talent. A strong brand statement or brand phrases can be used in place of your current title and in your “background” paragraph to push you up the search rankings.
  3. To engage your team: sharing who you are and what you stand for and encouraging your team to do the same by developing their own brand statements increases opportunities for you to further coach and mentor individuals towards meaningful career paths.
  4. To stand out: Many resumes open with the *yawn* career objective statement. Replace the career objective with your brand statement and stand out from the sea of sameness.

Those are just a few ways you can use a brand statement. For more information on how to build your brand statement if you’re not part of one of our programs, check out the work of William Arruda who is an absolute expert in this field.
Happy leading!

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