• Monday, March 04, 2024
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BusinessDay

What kind of brand are you?

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close friend of this writer recently carried out a research on the Nigerian movie industry to determine why some actors and actresses get higher pay packages than others with similar set of skills. At the end of the research, he deduced that the majority of actors and actresses who earn bigger pays believe that their names alone have the capacity to rake in millions of naira in revenues to directors. Directors too believe this same theory.

In the final analysis, the researcher pointed out that though directorsmight not always be willing to move for such names for every movie, theyare often ready to match their pays when the need arises. He gave ahandful of examples of a few names who rarely feature in movies but arericher than many oft-seen faces.

Experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) say  in today’s marketplace, goodgrades and lots of extracurricular activities do not always guarantee thatyou will land the job of your dreams, or that you will even land theinterview. There are many qualified candidates out there. The secret tostanding out is to impress recruiters with the unique you in person, onpaper, and online. They say actualising this  entails creating careermarketing tools that will make the true you shine and leave them wanting more. This is what is known as building a personal brand, according to the experts.

Angelina Jolie made her screen debut as a child. Nothing much was known about her in the United States  until recently. Today, Jolie is a well-known name, having been named Hollywood highest-paid actress by Forbes in 2009 and 2011. Much of this feat was achieved through effective self-packaging skills. She was an actress, yes, but not an actress for every movie.

A click on the Wikipedia will clearly explain that personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.

Wikipedia says while previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.

Personal brand experts are worried that many people, including professionals and well-respected company mangers, do not realise that they themselves are brands. According to them, standing out from the crowd entails knowing your God-given unique strengths, skills and attributes while using them differently from others. For instance, why must acomputer instructor tutor novices using a similar method used by many in the industry ? Why not try using examples for introduction, rather than reading a written manual every morning for someone who knows nothing about computer jargon?  Why should CV be written exactly the same others have?

Why should you have an already made questions and answers during interviews and restrict yourself to them during interviews as others often do? What do you want to be known for?

Personal brand experts also say what people say or do, the type of e-mail address they have or use in official communication, their carriage, finance management, mode of dressing, information they upload on the internet about them, among others, portray their marketability, employability and an array of clientele they garner.

These experts say the impression people have about businesses emanates from the type of managers they have and how they have been able to manage and package themselves.

In a recent event organised by Junior Chamber International (JCI) Eko in Lagos, some professionals gave examples of well-known brands and likened them to individuals who have marketed themselves.

In his lecture entitled The Brand You, Bayo Adekanmbi, a key staff member of MTN marketing department, said branding involved more of what others think about you rather than what you actually are. According to him, brands are value givers rather than value takers, implying that people expect more from brands or expect brands to add value to them rather than detract from what they have.

The widely-travelled Adekanmbi said  individuals must bridge the gap between how they see themselves (self-impression) and how others see them (perception).

He further advised individuals to always do their SWOT analysis, to determine their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, stressing that people must be conscious of the emotions their brands touch, expectations they create as well as experiences they provide.

One of the things that can kill is what you drop in the media networks.

What type of information do you give on the Facebook, Tweeter, etc? he said.

On why people must care for branding, he said 61 percent of employers reported recently that they used web searches  and social networking sites to screen potential employees, adding that job seekers and firms must be conscious that large multinationals could easily look through their curriculum vitae on line.

Chinwe Bode-Akinwande, a brand quality expert, emphasised that individuals must adopt financial discipline as part of their brand. She said the peculiar skills people possess and have developed overtime is beginning to become a basis of negotiation. She said financial discipline must be a priority as debt was bad for a brand. She further enumerated issues to be taken seriously to include cost of living and amount of savings, plan of retirement from the first working day in a paid employment, management/change of spending habits as well as investment growth and balances.

Your e-mail address is a brand. Personal identity is critical because it is the unique identity of persons through time, she said.

ODINAKA ANUDU