I have been reading and hearing a lot about personal branding. You need to build your brand. You need to make sure the world knows who you are and what you can do. The more I hear about it the less genuine it feels.
I spend time on different business networking sites. I see all sorts of branding terms next to people's names. The terms are all about building strategy and content delivery and brand positioning.
When I think of branding I think about Marlboro cigarettes. What is their brand? The Marlboro Man. The lonesome cowboy staring off into the sunset astride his horse. His weathered face shows his toughness, his masculinity, the cigarette dangling from his lips.
A cigarette is actually a cancer causing, money sucking, dirty thing. There is a label on the box of cigarettes warning of the impending doom that comes from using this product. Is this what is behind their brand?
What about Coca-Cola? "Have a Coke and a smile!" I remember their "Teach The World to Sing" ad. Coke's brand tells me that it is a happy, helpful product that is interested in world peace.
Coke is actually an unhealthy drink that includes incredibly high amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. These are two of the main drivers of obesity in our society. Why aren't these part of their brand?
If I build a personal brand should I mention the days when I sleep in late? Should I mention the nights where I order pizza and sit around on the couch watching movies? Should I mention the times when I worry that I am not being a good dad? Are these all part of building my personal brand?
I think I am going to leave my personal brand where it is for now. There are things that I try and be good at every day. If I am not good at those things, I try and get better at them. I try to be a good father and husband. I try to be a good friend. I try to be kind to people that I interact with every day.
If these things aren't good enough for branding purposes-so be it.