Newsletter #430 – Reinventing Your Personal Brand

Several years ago I learned that I have a personal brand. I didn’t ask for it or try to create it. Others just gave it to me, based on what they’d observed.  Nobody brands me as a musician, football player or preacher but sometimes I’m seen as an author, a life coach or a blog writer. A brand like this is one’s image. It is what sets people or products apart from others. I’ve got one and probably you do too.

Harvard Business Review recently (March 2011) addressed how we change our brands. “People reinvent themselves all the time,” according to HBR, especially when they move in a new career direction or take on a new challenge. Five steps can facilitate this process.

1. Define your destination. Think through where you want to go and where God is calling you. Acquire the skills and credentials to move into that new role or direction.

2. Consider how your present brand and experience could leverage you into something distinctive from where you are now. Probably this was at the core of my shift from counseling to becoming a leadership coach, coach trainer, and writer about coaching. I built on my past to create a new direction and image for the future.

3. Develop a rationale for the change, something that others understand. Successful rebranding doesn’t mean “inventing a new persona.” It’s a shift in emphasis that prompts others to think that your new direction makes sense, building on your past to develop something new.

4. Reintroduce yourself to let others know about the shift. This includes people in your social network. Your old brand may not disappear entirely but eventually others will come to accept your new focus.

5. Prove your worth. Let others see that you are competent, credible and committed to your new role. That reinforces the new brand. You send a confusing message if you hang on to your old brand while embracing the new.

Do you have a brand? Does it need to be reinvented? Is this only a business idea or does branding apply if you are a coach, mental health professional, academic or pastor? Should Christians be concerned about branding? Please comment.

  1. I think it is important that Christians think about the brand. Not because it is the latest greatest word that is hip but because it causes us to think through what we bring to the kingdom and how we can minister to others. My designer pushed me to realize that I am the brand. What do I bring to the coaching profession and how can I serve the kingdom. I made me focus and become clearer on how I can help others. Check out how he did it at billgraybill.com.

      • robert janezich
      • April 20th, 2011

      Interesting…

      My Company I work for has a vision, business model output, or standard that each customer service representative has to create on a call. The name is BRAND LOYALTY.

      When I read this criterion for BRAND LOYALTY, many shower of split thoughts integrated into my thought process. There was a marketing aspect. There was Company expectation aspect. There was Christain aspect.

      From Company point of view, Branding has mass radio advertising connecting to the “experience” the customer received on the call. Did I resolved the issue or not, and gold plating the customer to there satisfaction at same time. How the mass advertisement message is connected to the inner business process of the call. The key is not so much about customer satisfaction (Retention) but the experience on the call.

      Therefore, experience has the “intangible” unpredictable element of the individual. How the individual sees the day, to there vallue systems, filtering realities determines how the personal experience that customer received.

      Personal branding is an “intangible” absolute that really has know predictable input to output elements to the professional servicing the call. I see the justification; santification, and edification of a christain perspective in how they live in the “heart of God.”

      i once heard recently that “personal brand” of christain is at different levels. Some know how to tithe while the majority does not, which probable that wisdom and how christain professional seeks sanctification and edification through Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit in our daily walk.

      For me that considers themselves an intellectual that “often chases the rabbit” to get to the point!

      The value of personal branding is an internal expansion of heaven and God’s heart. Equally important, personal branding is the “edification of righteousness” is how other professionals christain or unlike professionals see us. I cannot remain and contain that righteousness has made the difference in many situations. In the end, I am brand loyalty…

      • Thanks Robert. Your post gives a broader and richer perspective to the personal branding that I mentioned in my newsletter.

    • Sometimes I think the toughest part of all this is to recognize that we each have our own brand. I have some friends helping me with this. It’s have been very helpful.

  2. Very timely considerations for a new coach to consider. Thanks for sharing them!

    • jenny_giezendanner
    • April 8th, 2011

    I’d love to see these five points fleshed out with concrete Christian examples from nowadays. And, how did Jesus to this?

    • Jenny, have you been able to do the update that you suggest? I think it would be valuable to the rest of us.

  3. Retirement Busters (Luke 12)
    This week, I received yet another formal retirement announcement which read:
    “At the 2011 Annual Meeting, I will be retiring from my position as chairman of the board. After a career spanning over 33 years with XXXXXX, I am looking forward to having more time for family, leisure travel, and perhaps a revitalization of my golf game.”
    How long do you think this very competent and healthy leader will last living this vision of retirement? The Canadian/American dream calls this success: hit your financial goals as soon as you can and retire – more free time to play and coast for the rest of your life. The Bible, on the other hand, calls this foolishness.
    In the parable of the rich fool, Jesus challenged believers not to buy into this terrible trap. Storing up treasures on earth and taking our ease is not what Jesus recommends. The person whose identity is tied up with his or her possessions, status, and/or achievements — and is driven by acquiring them — can so easily end up unaware of the call of God and the need of the neighbor.
    Today, we begin another TMP session in Sherbrooke. 16 leaders, all planning to retire someday, will be attending. On today’s agenda – retirement busting! We will try and persuade today’s participants that a very unique and fulfilling life is yet to come, and that retirement is not the time to pull back and coast. We’ve called the process, “moving from success to significance.” We pray that our cultural view of retirement will be BUSTED, replaced by a most profound and purpose drive life that includes “family, leisure and some golf” but so much more!

    • Chris, you always challenge me – like you continue to challenge so many others. I never use the R word, especially applying it to myself, but I recognize that I keep going full steam because God has given me the energy, the opportunities, and the motivation. So may people past traditional retirement age have no alternative but to slow down and that may apply to me and to a young guy like you some day. So maybe retirement busting (I like the term, by the way) needs to be modified. Traditional retirement, like the plans of your friend, leads to boredom in many (maybe most) cases, but maybe each of us needs to keep redefining retirement as we get older and to think of this as a time for new and fulfilling ventures, using the strengths and God-given gifts we have to serve Christ and make an impact in the best way we can. I once knew a lady in Switzerland who believed (and maybe still does) that the best age to be is the age we are now. I can’t always do what I once did. But I can do things now that people who are younger and older might not be able to do. And I can do what God has opened doors for me to do and I am able to move forward enthusiastically. Obviously you are on the same track!

    • Gordon
    • April 29th, 2011

    I am considering the possibility of being a life coach. Having been in the ministry for many years, life coaching is another aspect of serving the Lord. The blog on branding is valuable to me as I work through the steps that Gary suggested. I look forward to the process.

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