I love a good brand story. I love a consistent brand. I love a positive experience. And, I love when a brand mistake is made and resolved.
I volunteer with Junior Achievement and the last session we cover with the students is “personal brand”. It’s a funny topic to cover with 9th graders who are literally trying to figure themselves out. But, I love talking to them as 15 year-olds about what they can do to set themselves up for personal brand success. And, I love using the stories of failed brands to remind them how to protect theirs. I also know, living in Northwest Arkansas that many of them will be a “brand rep” for one of the bajillion products you see on a Wal-mart shelf. It’s the world we live in. It’s the place we live in. We represent a brand.
But, more importantly, the brands we represent, represent us.
I read a great article today on the Steve Graves blog by guest blogger, Jason Locy. It’s one of those pieces that I would usually “mark unread” or snooze throughout my day and finally stop and read before I head home. I’m so glad I stopped and read it this morning to kick off my week. I only had ½ a cup of coffee in me before I started thinking…that’s scary!
But, it tells the story of Uber, yes the one that is your new best friend! (I can’t wait to ask for an ice cream cone this summer and see what I get!) It tells the story of the personal interaction a customer has and then it tells the story of what it’s like to work for Uber. It’s not my story to share, so I’ll let you read the article. But, it’s one that gets you thinking.
Right now at work, we are in the middle of our planning time. We dream for 5 years out, we think for 2 years out and we plan for 1. It’s a really cool process and I’m enjoying a new way of doing something that I’ve been doing most of my life. But, what I really love is that the challenge woven throughout is to say "what your personal mission/vision" - "does it align with us"?
Have you stopped and looked at that? Whether you run a business, a blog, an online marketplace or are an everyday person…you exude some kind of brand. What are you about? What makes you tick? What makes you thrive? Dare I ask, what makes you flourish?
It’s Spring! It might be time to clean up your personal brand. Might be time to figure out who you are. Might be time to do a pulse check. What is your personal mission/vision? Are you living every day toward the alignment?