Creating a Positive Emotional Association with Your Professional Brand
By, Dawn Yerger
It’s hard not to notice that branding has become a hot topic in today’s business world, and with good reason. Human beings tend to assess whether or not we like or dislike something within two to three seconds, which makes it a very short window of time allotted for someone or something to create a positive, emotional association within us. Not only are businesses and corporations looking for ways to create strong brands in the marketplace, but so are individuals and business professionals.
What is the definition of branding? There are quite a few of them floating around nowadays, but BNET.com gives an excellent description:
Branding: a means of distinguishing one firm’s products or services from another’s and of creating and maintaining an image that encourages confidence in the quality and performance of that firm’s products and/or services.
In the past, the concept of branding came from the branding of cattle and various farm animals. Presently, branding is about the impression that you leave on the minds of those that come in contact with you.
So, how does this tie in with you, the business professional? Whether you know it or not, as a business professional, you have a brand. In order to succeed as a professional, you must maintain an image that encourages confidence in your skills and abilities.
It is key that you know what your brand is and how you’re being perceived in the workplace. Knowing your values, strengths, and unique characteristics is the starting point. Tying all of that together with your image and presentation is what brings it home. A business professional who knows his or her unique brand and uses it to his or her advantage is often the one selected for promotions and opportunities that other employees miss out on.
So, how can you create a strong and impressive professional brand? Here are a few tips and strategies to help you stand above the crowd and position yourself as a polished professional:
Assess your personal values, strengths, and “personal trademarks”. It is always good to build upon your personal and professional strengths, as well as what makes you unique. All of these components must build upon your image of being a polished professional.
Take note of how your boss, management and your colleagues respond to you. If you notice a pattern in how others respond or interact with you, chances are it is because of some action, activity or thought pattern that you are broadcasting.
Build your “attention to detail” muscle. Many times, taking another look at an email, editing a document, or double-checking your calendar is the fine line between being perceived as someone who is on top of things and someone who is too lazy to care.
Lastly, it is of utmost importance that others associate a positive emotion or thought with your professional brand. What do you want others to think of when they think of you and your performance in the workplace? Do not leave this to chance! Be strategic and purposeful when deciding on how you want to be received in the professional world. Think of three or four keywords that describe the impression that you want to leave in the minds of those that interact with you on a professional basis. If you’re having trouble coming up with keywords, think of your personal values and what is important to you. Then, think of at least two to three things that you can implement on a daily basis that embody the keywords that you selected.