Be Your Own Brand

Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes. – THOMAS W.HIGGINSON

Branding, in a simple manner of speaking, is a way of saying that something belongs to us. You own your body, your personality, so you are in every sense of the word, your brand.
Brands carry values.

These can be functional, expressive and central values. Functional values concerns product performance. Rolex watches deliver quality timekeeping; Coca Cola refreshes; Singapore Airlines offers high quality customer service.

Expressive values focuses on what the consumer wants. Harley Davidson motorbikes epitomises freedom and adventure; Tag Heuer watches convey youthfulness and athleticism.

Central values form the key to any product and it permeates the very core of consumer’s belief systems. Virgin, through its founder Sir Richard Branson, conveys an image of irreverence and daring do. Apple, through its iMac, iBook and iPod, convey iconic ownership status.

How then can we be a brand?

Our functional value can be the way we work, the way we carry out tasks, the way we solve problems. We can convey a sense of dependability and credibility by the way we carry out our duties and responsibilities, on the work, family and social fronts. Punctuality, thoroughness, efficiency are manifestations of our functional values.

We can convey our expressive values through our attire, our adornments (watches, jewellery, cars) and our hobbies. It is revealed through the music we listen to, the books and magazines we read, the movies we watch. These reveal our personality, how we feel about ourselves and how we want the world to see us.

These can work for or against us, depending on the image we want to portray and the environmental context we are in. For instance, trying to look Bohemian in a legal firm, for example, would not be too appropriate.

Central values are within us and it shows itself through our character. These values are revealed in the way we treat our family, our co-workers and our friends. It is unveiled in times of crisis, in times of celebrations and in times of achievement. It manifests itself through our integrity. It shows what we really stand for in life. Central values are what we really are and it is felt by one and all who encounter us.

We are, therefore, in many ways a brand. How we want to position ourselves to others is entirely up to us. But the values must match the positioning, otherwise our `branding’ becomes a fallacy.

See yourself as a brand. Discover your own Unique Selling Proposition and create your own story.

Author's Bio: 

Johnny Ong is the author of Don’t Try To Live Your Life In One Day! – 100 Ways To Living An Effective and Meaningful Life. He holds and MBA and is a keen marathoner and provides motivational and sales training for individuals and companies. For more information, visit