Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Can’t Have Brand "You" Both Ways

Personal Branding has become so prevalent; it’s its own industry. In reality, the main concept is just common sense publicists have been working on for years…geared toward the non-celebrities. While you may not have to worry about most celebrity problems, you do need to remember one rule:

You can’t have it both ways.

We know this rule can apply to a million situations, but I want to talk about how the rule relates to being a public figure.

Tiger Woods asked us to stay out of his life when his scandals erupted. To him, the world of Brand Tiger was different from his personal life. Not so in Personal Branding.

We buy the You that you have created, so if it’s drastically different from the You that you really are, then walk away now. It’s going to come back and bite you. If you’re going to go ahead anyways, then be prepared for everyone to lose faith in you.

When the Jesse James scandal broke, he probably knew right away his businesses were at risk. He’s even removing himself from California, probably trying to put some distance between himself and West Coast Choppers.

You may have different personal feelings about both of these men, but perhaps Jesse learned from Tiger: Everything that involves Brand You is affected by your scandal.

Businesses which are looking for spokespeople have always been looking to make sure the name and the man match. It’s not enough to have a signature from a singer or movie star; if that star is constantly in the tabloids for disreputable behavior, the company won’t want keep the connection going.

In the same way that news anchors have stipulations in contracts about hair length, I wouldn’t be surprised if more companies begin to demand that spokespeople contracts include more character and behavior requirements.

Understand that Brand You and you aren’t separate anymore. As a company, you should understand the same thing.

Emily Japser is a Corporate Marketing Manager with PDI Ninth House. In addition to marketing, Emily has sales and PR experience from previous roles. She currently writes a blog, "From the Gen Y Perspective," and can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/emilyjasper.

A Special Thank You from the MN AMA Blog Manager, Thusuong Hiel:

For those who have been reading Emily's posts regularly, this will be her last post as our MN AMA Staff Blogger. In this last year she has contributed to our Blogspot with insightful posts relating to Marketing.  She will be leaving Minnesota to pursue her MBA at V-Tech.  Emily has been a wonderful team member and a valuable blogger. Speaking on behalf of the MN AMA Blog team, we will certainly miss her. Please join me in wishing Emily well as she pursues her future endeavors.
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