One of my favourite Sunday morning pastimes is listening to Michael Enright on CBC’s Sunday Edition. I enjoy the remarkable list of guests, the informative content and thought-provoking commentary. This past Sunday was no different. While listening to Ira Basen‘s documentary Brand New World, featuring APEX’s Ken Evans, I was struck by the following points that impact not only myself, but my clients.
You are already branded (whether you want to be or not)
As soon as we are born, we become a brand. Our name becomes a representation of who we are. It is our “book cover” and something that people can judge us on. Personal branding from day one is an asset to be protected.
How we think about brands and how we interact with them has changed dramatically
Individuals are now behaving like brands and brands are now behaving like individuals. Brands are no longer items we wear, eat or buy, they are a part of our lives. We interact with them, follow their every move and communicate with them just like we would our friends.
Brands who do it well have a sense of humility and sense of humour about them
The more brands behave like humans, the more likeable and attractive they become to their audience. Using consumer labour and consumer activity enriches the brand culture and brand power. Never before has it been easier for a brand to get instant data from their audience or followers. A social test group of people who are passionate and willing to share their thoughts are available at the click of a button. Additionally, the feeling that a brand is “listening” to us validates our relationship with a brand and makes us more likely to buy their product or service.
In the world of the social web, content is like a currency
Not only are brands using content and inspiration from their followers, consumers are “borrowing” material from brands and sharing brand information. As communicators, we are advising our clients on best “branding” practices, but do we give much thought to our personal trademark and more importantly, should we?
Hilary Lawton is a Senior Consultant at APEX Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter.