Our agency does quite a bit of branding work for clients. In fact, our first engagement with new clients is usually a brand audit, which fleshes out values, ideals, differentiation, target market, etc. Basically, we give companies a personality that they can feasibly deliver on. In doing so, we focus on four elements to ensure a strong brand essence:
Without these four elements it is still possible to have a good business, but it is likely that you won’t have a memorable brand.
But in this era of economic downturn, we aren’t doing as many brand audits. In fact, many people in the advertising industry are getting let go. So how are these people going to get new jobs? The best way, in my opinion, is to leverage their personal brand. It’s really their reputation, but if you think of it as a personal brand, it can be easier to dissect for these four elements to ensure it is working for you instead of against you.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you credible? Do you pad your resume unnecessarily? Do you over-embellish details of the stories you tell? Do you have a reputation for being truthful?
Are you up to date on your industry? Do you have a reputation for being a dinosaur or for being inflexible?
What makes you different than any other applicant out there? What do you stand for? What are your three best attributes?
Are you consistent in your behavior? Is it consistently good or bad?
Even if you can answer all of these questions yourself, your should corroborate them with colleagues and friends – ask for honest feedback. I think if you have the temerity to go through with this exercise, you’ll get some surprising results, but valuable ones, all the same. In fact, it can be the most valuable brand audit you’ll ever go through.