My background is in marketing and branding, so it’s no surprise that I have a personal bias for knowing your personal brand. Whether you’re a company or a solo artist – knowing what gifts you bring to the world, and having a way to communicate that clearly and succinctly is something I think everyone can work on and improve.
Introducing Brand You
In the late 90s, management guru Tom Peters wrote an article for Fast Company called “The Brand Called You,” and it blew. my. mind. Seriously – bits of Ratana brain, scattered on walls everywhere. Brands have power – they are the distillation of so many tangible and intangible attributes, into one succinct package. Nike. Tiffany. Wal-Mart. You can probably rattle off 1-5 words off the top of your head to describe these brands. Peters suggested that individuals in the workplace do the same things that Big Companies do for their products – for YOURSELF.
Brand yourself: Who you are. What you stand for. The way you show up, add value, leave your mark. Find your brand and communicate it. I think it was the first time I had seen this theory posited for public consumption. It spawned a series of books on the topic, which I devoured, and reshaped the way I thought about how I positioned myself in the marketplace of the working world. Now, it’s a cottage industry; there are thousands of books and articles devoted to this topic.
Brand You Evolves into Fascination & “How the World Sees You”
Fast forward to 2014. I’ve been following an ad exec turned business writer, Sally Hogshead, who suggested that we get attention (from consumers, from employers) by fascinating them. And that there are different ways we fascinate, depending on our personality types and the way we use our skills in the workplace. This became a book “Fascinate,” in 2010. This year, she released a new book called “How the World Sees You” and evolved Tom Peter’s “Brand You” into a methodology.
She suggests that the way we fascinate (or gain attention of others, customers, clients) in falls into 7 categories: Innovation, Passion, Power, Prestige, Trust, Mystique & Alert. If you have a primary and a secondary fascination advantage, 49 different combinations are possible. And Hogshead and her team researched and named them all.
Enter the Fascination Advantage Assessment. She and her team also developed a short 5-minute quiz (kind of like buzzfeed but based on actual data, and possibly even more useful than knowing which house you’d belong to in the Harry Potter books.) to assess your strengths based on how others see them. It became the, and what pops out is a “brand archetype” that distills those qualities you bring to the table in a very short & sweet word or phrase. My informal, unscientific survey of friends, clients and colleagues, asked to take this assessment, yielded some interesting results. Most everyone agreed that it felt accurate for them. A few people were surprised that one quality trumped another (perhaps they felt they were stronger on Passion but the quiz rated them more strongly on Power, or vice versa). All in all, a helpful and insightful exercise.
Great. I’ve got an Archetype. How do I use it?
– Your personal ‘elevator pitch.’: a very quick way to distill the way you add value (service) when meeting with strangers and potential clients.
– Your social media presence: consolidating the look and feel of what you post, write, etc. as a reflection of that personal brand. I think this is especially important for solopreneurs and artists who work under their own names. And I’m just as guilty of scattershod social media branding as the next person. Because I have a weakness for sharing funny videos and making silly comments about mundane things.
– Your work persona: how you present yourself at work, and perhaps, if there are weaker areas for you, this gives you an idea of what you need to work on to raise the perception of that quality.
– If you’re creating a new product, service or business: this might be a great way to look for angles to position this offering, depending on the Archetype of your ideal client.
– For fun: honestly, sometimes these quizzes are like horoscopes – they are part serious and part fun, or all fun. And sometimes it’s just good to know how people might see you. Just like all media and information out there for your consumption: take what resonates, discard the rest.
Are you curious? Find out how you Fascinate. For FREE.
Here’s a way to take the quiz for free (usually it costs $37 USD).
2) Enter this book code: EBL-ratana
3) Enter your info (don’t worry, you can always unsubscribe after you’ve taken the quiz) and take the quiz.
If you do take this quiz – please come back to this page and share your Archetype with me in the comments.
What is your Archetype, and how can you use it to refine & define your Personal Brand?