Mindshare Minute #1 - Are You a Phony or the Real Deal?

Welcome to the Mindshare Minute, the first in a series of brief branding strategies.  If you’re an entrepreneur, these weekly tips will help you brand and build your business without a lot of wasted motion or money.  And if you’re a corporate employee, you’ll find strategies for building your personal brand to enhance your reputation and expert status with clients, customers and management.

Let’s get started with my all-time favorite guilty pleasure, American Idol.  I must admit to being a latecomer to the AI party, but now it’s absolutely appointment viewing for me.  And what I find so fascinating about this competition is that we get to watch the singers hone their unique style right in front of us, literally.

It’s exactly what you need to do to build your authentic brand.  When the Idols are able to distill their essence down to its purest form, they are absolutely at their best.  Just think about last year’s contest: boy-next-door crooner Chris versus wild and controversial Adam.  Imagine them trying to reverse roles – it couldn’t be done.  By bringing forward the most unique and compelling parts of their onstage personas (although you gotta admit that Adam was just a tad uniquer), they put their best selves forward and deliver on their authentic brand promise.

It’s no different for you and your brand.  Branding is not about trying to invent an image just because it feels new or different.  It’s about articulating your brand promise, that is, the value you will consistently provide to your customer.  Then establishing your brand personality, or the manner in which you will uniquely deliver on that promise.  After all, there’s only one of you!