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Personal Branding Proxy

by Randall Craig on February 10, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Branding, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: , ,

If you think about the various consumer products that you use, most of them enjoy significant brand equity. Each brand name represents a series of attributes: when you think of IBM, for example, you might think of dependable technology for big business; Apple, on the other hand, might represent sleek, easy-to-use technology for the younger generation. As we relate to those attributes, we develop an affinity towards that brand – and possibly make a purchase. The stronger the brand equity, the stronger affinity that product will have with it’s target market – and the easier it will be to make the sale.

The same holds true with your own “personal brand”. What is it that you represent? What underlying attributes do you have that a prospective client, employer, or friend might develop an affinity for? And how do you describe your brand, if asked? One technique is to borrow the attributes of something that already has brand equity. This could be an animal, a car, or even a consumer product:

  • I am like the turtle that wins the race: steady, dependable, and a great example to my younger colleagues.
  • I am like a cougar: excited about the hunt, always looking to close the next sale.
  • I am like a Mercedes roadster: Great engineering – great experience – will always win the race.

The benefits of this technique is that an existing brand, chosen well, can often describe your attributes more effectively than an entire hour-long interview or sales meeting. And it is far more memorable.

This week’s action item: What animal, car, company, product, or character can work as your personal branding proxy? After you’ve chosen something, find an opportunity to use it during the week.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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