Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Invisible CEO Diaries: How Personal Branding empowers YOU to go from ‘Invisible to Invincible’

I am sure you’ve heard this one: Are you married or are you happy?

But I am also sure you haven’t heard this BIG one: Are you the CEO or are you INVISIBLE?

So, people say, if you are married then you can’t be happy and vice versa; and I say if you are the CEO then you just can’t be Invisible. Period.

Fortunately or unfortunately (take your pick) there are people who are happily married, but there are very few CEOs or even CXOs for that matter, who are NOT Invisible. You may blame it on the game or the name; but INVISIBLE CXOs are as real as the organizations they so devotedly work for.

I now invite you to break the age old habits of the typical Stone-age CXO and transform yourself into the CXO that rocks in the age of Personal Branding. Empower yourself with the power of Personal Branding to create a distinct identity for yourself, by building an ICONIC Personal Brand that not only puts you on the map, but makes you the cynosure brand of your Industry.

Seven traits which need to be buried six feet under, and replaced with the New 7 CXO Commandments:

Swear by these new age 7 commandments for the CXO today, and the world will swear by the inspirational power of your Personal Brand tomorrow!

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Be Brandtastic: 5 Golden Rules for an ICONIC Personal Brand Experience

Icons are loved; Icons are revered; Icons are Fantastic!

What if I tell you it doesn’t take much to be an Icon-The Apple of your Industry’s Eye! (Pun, intended) All you need is what Steve Jobs had when he brought Apple back(thanks to the brilliance of Ken Segall) from the brink of bankruptcy – Passion & Vision

If Life is a Canvas, Passion adds color to it! Every Individual’s life is a unique portrait of passions that add vitality & vigor to an otherwise monochromatic existence. Passion when channeled with a Vision empowers an Individual to build a legacy, larger than life, that inspires the world to come! If every Individual decides to follow his Passion, and transform his Vision into a reality; we would have a league of truly ICONIC Individuals like Jobs who can create History!

There are Icons & there are ICONS; Legendary ICONS leverage on the power of Personal Branding to create Fantastic Experiences for their Audience that touch hearts & inspire lives. To catapult Your Brand into the league of such ICONIC Individuals, I present you with the concept of BrandtasticTM-Fantastic Brand Experiences: Building an ICONIC Personal Brand that manifests the power of Fantastic Experiences for the Community, time after time.

1. Pour Your Brand’s SOUL: The SOUL of Your Brand is the essence of Your Brand that distinguishes you from the herd. For Apple, it’s Innovation; For Volvo it’s Safety; For Richard Branson it’s Adventure; For Oprah it’s Compassion. Go ahead and Discover what is the SOUL of Your Brand that makes you one in a million! Once you’ve discovered it, now religiously incorporate it into every aspect of your Personal Brand and bring your Brand to Life.

2. Brand your VOICE:

Building a Brand, in reality is building a Reputation. Your Brand has a VOICE (the art of communicating & expressing your Brand) of its own, which is responsible for building the desired Brand Reputation: both, online & offline. Adopt a uniform Brand Content theme across the following vehicles, infused with the SOUL of your brand;

  1. Your Brand Bio: Your first snapshot of Personal Brand
  2. Your Gravatar: Your Global window of Brand Expression
  3. Your Professional Bio: Your Professional Brand snapshot on LinkedIn
  4. Your Virtual Real Estate: Your Website, Blog and Social Media alter egos
  5. Your Brand Tangibles: Your Business Cards & other paraphernalia

A consistent Brand Communication & Expression builds an alluring Brand Voice and a steadfast Brand Reputation.

3. Brand your Experience:

Excite them online & Enchant them offline, is my motto! You are your Brand in Action- Conceive a Signature Look and Feel that is pulsating with the SOUL of Your Brand. A Personal Tip: Have a Signature Greeting & Sign off when on Podium; introduce them to an ICONIC Brand & Sign out with an Inspiring Brand Experience.

4. Brand Your Value Proposition:

Make people WANT to work with you, and only YOU. Offer them an indispensible rational value proposition and garnish it with an irresistible emotional value proposition-in terms of what ONLY you can do for them.

5. Be Yourself; Be Awesome; Be Brandtastic:

Personal Branding can indeed be a daunting task if you keep working on creating a decorated image of yourself; hence prima facie, Personal Branding is often viewed with unwarranted skepticism. The beauty of Life lies in its Simplicity; and the beauty of Personal Branding lies in the Simplicity of Being Yourself, all along.

These are my 5 Golden rules for creating Brandtastic Experiences for your audience; I would love to hear your side of the story, on how you offer Brandtastic Experiences. In the meanwhile, remember to Be Yourself; Be Awesome; Be Brandtastic!

How to create an ICONIC Personal Brand Signature

So you are on your way to becoming an ICONIC Brand of your Industry! Kudos! I couldn’t be more thrilled about your journey of Personal Branding. Journey, Yes! The beauty of Personal Branding lies in the way it’s woven in every humble aspect of your Professional as well as Personal Existence, all lifelong.

It is how people Know You, How people Think of You and How people See You! The ultimate reward of Personal Branding for your Brand Community is HOW they experience your Brand-in Action. It is how they See you, literally! The Brand You is a beautiful mosaic of your 3 distinct dimensions: The Virtual Brand Identity, The Intangible Brand Identity (Your Brand Reputation) and The Physical Brand Identity. The Physical Brand Identity is Your Brand-in-Action: how your brand looks, talks, walks and behaves; it is the live experience of your Virtual Brand Identity and Intangible Brand Identity, together.

So Looking good is certainly on the cards; but looking ICONIC is what I will show you how!

I am going to help you create an ICONIC Personal Brand Signature for you, which could be known as your Brand’s Signature Style Statement; your Signature Style Statement is the distinguishing and discerning trait of the Brand You.

ICONS are known and loved for a striking trait that endears him or her to the world. What is the Secret of these ICONS that makes them ICONIC? You guess it right! It is undoubtedly their Passion that rules the Roost; they have been following their Passion since time immemorial and have become successful in creating an ICONIC Place for themselves in this world and our hearts!

Now I want you to answer these two questions for me:

1. What is that one thing that you do, that you want to be known for?

The answer to this question will guide you towards your Personal Brand Signature; it could be the way you speak or the way you dress or the way you write. But I want you to focus on the ‘dress’ part for now.

2. And what is that one thing that you wish to be reborn as?

Now, if you meet a genie and he gives you one wish to be reborn as any object of your choice-hypothetically speaking, of course– what would you want to be reborn as? The answer to this question will bring you closer to your most beloved object of possession-one that you don’t mind being turned into! This is your Alter Ego Brand Signature: Your Brand Experience with a twist.

Here are the 7 steps to an ICONIC Personal Brand Signature, for the Brand YOU:

1. List out passions/activities/things/people that you love 

E.g.: I am passionate about vintage style and elegant glamour; I love to enchant people with one exquisite accessory on me; I love people like Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Coco Chanel,  who have a strong individualistic style

2. Identify 2 values that you believe are an integral part of your physical brand identity

E.g.: I believe I epitomize signature style and personify elegant flamboyance

3. Explore avenues for expression of these 2 topics

E.g.: I can express my signature style in the following ways: a scarf, a neckpiece, a brooch, a watch, a handbag, and signature shoes. I can express my passion for elegant flamboyance via an Iconic car, a custom made phone or a gizmo, a legendary watch and fine jewelry

4. Identify 3 brands that share your brand values, and declare loyalty

E.g.: The Brands that reflect my personal brand values are Chanel, Cartier and Dior.

5. Conceive the best 3 options from both the topics

E.g.: I loved the expression of my brand values via a neckpiece, a brooch and a scarf and the most beloved way of my alter ego expression could be my watch or my phone or my car.

6. Take a brief feedback from your inner brand community on the alignment of your 2 style statements with your brand

E.g.: My brand community resonates my sentiments unequivocally! The unanimous choice for my signature style statement was my statement neckpieces that are the most popular highlight of my brand; and the perfect alter ego of my brand identity was found to be my Iconic Watches.

Give them the 3 best options from both your lists (above) and quiz them:

  • What is that one thing that you associate with my personal dressing style?
  • What is the most remarkable thing you have noticed about the way I dress?
  • Which is the most intriguing piece of accessory or clothing that you have observed on me?
  • Which is that one item I sported that you wish you had?
  • What accessory do you think compliments my personality?
  • If you were a genie for a day, which of these things would you magically transform me into & why?

 7. You may honour the feedback and christen the best favored look from the former set as your Personal Brand Signature, and from the latter – your brand’s magical alter ego transformation as your Alter Ego Brand Signature or trust your own Selection! And God forbid if there is too much disparity with your feedback and your own perception, it’s time to buckle up and take control of your Brand’s Perception & Reputation in the world.

To summarize this activity-The Brand Signature for Tanvi Bhatt:

My Brand Signature: I personify my passion for elegant flamboyance, with ‘classic yet chic statement neck-pieces’.

My Alter Ego Brand Signature: I would wish to be reborn as ‘an ICONIC watch’

Just follow these 7 simple stpes, and I assure you that you will enchant your audience with a Brandtastic Experience of the Brand YOU! Now don’t forget to share your Personal Brand Signature with me right here…would love to know.

P.S: All you gentleman out there, I know I have disappointed you in this post; but I promise to make it up with an exclusive post of “10 Brandtastic Signature Brand Ideas for the Perfect Gentleman!” Keep watching this space for it!