BRANDING: Start with DIY Research

The trireinventing youcky thing you need to remember about branding is that it’s about perceptions. Other people’s perceptions—not yours.

In branding/marketing expert Dorie Clark’s new book, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, you can find a great roadmap for the branding process, beginning with the brand inventory.

Whether you’re interested in reinventing your career or finding out why your current one isn’t taking off, a brand inventory is the right place to start. You need to understand–from a clear-eyed, dispassionate point of view–how people see you. Only then can you decide how to leverage or rewrite your brand.

This book is intended to help executives at all stages of their careers who want something different and better in their professional lives–and know there has to be a more strategic way to do it.

Clark recommends that you undertake what’s called a “360-degree review.” That is to say, a survey of the people all around you (that’s the “360-degree” part) to get their feedback.

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So, what to ask these folks? Clark offers an excellent list of starter questions:

  • What are three words you’d use to describe me?
  • If you didn’t already know what I do for a living, what would you guess?
  • I’m trying to go from X to Y; what steps would you suggest for me?
  • Who are some people who have some of the qualities I should be trying to build?
  • What are my blind spots?

From here, make sure to add questions that directly address the issues you want to address. For example: Do they see you as having the required strengths for the new career you want to pursue or the promotion you want to get?

More about branding:
Stop Waiting for a Gold Star
What’s Your Tagline?

(FYI, I’m an Amazon affiliate.)

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