Good provocation !? “You are a Brand”, provokes a rather interesting and diverse response from those to whom I pose this question. My provocation is that You are a Brand.

In a world of social “media”, I propose that individuals are brands. What do I mean by brand ? Well, I think of the individual as a persona, offering something to the world, bringing value to their community, providing a service or product, being a voice with opinion and their stance on issues. You are a brand.

Whether studying in college or university with an eye to your future, whether mid career, whether semi-retired or fully retired. You are a brand, and a brand worth paying attention to and developing. Brand reputation ? Got it ! Yes…you also have a reputation. Because you are a brand.

I am also convinced that through social networking and conversations, how people relate to you is in some ways similar to how people choose other brands of choice. With the risk of sounding somewhat static or cold I do think that people do people choose you. They choose to engage with you, buy from you, hang out with you, socialize and in many instance develop a relationship and friendship with you. Why ? The relationship is due to common thinking, shared interests, community like mindedness, perhaps a political or religious association or a connection through your kids school or walking a dog. But in all of this there is a brand essence of you in that relationship. You emote character and persona and that is the basis of your brand. You are a brand.

So..that said, you can do something with that foundation, or just let it be what it is in its most simplistic form. If left under developed your brand has a good base, but is not directed by you – it is more likely directed but what is going on around you. I propose that you can build a brand for you, whether in business within someone else’s business or some other entity, in your own business or as a solopreneur. (I like that one). You are a brand.

Another thought is that you likely offer certain things to your community. You may be a leader or a follower or an observer. You likely have certain interests and thus show up with those interests emotionally. That could be as a hockey fan, a parent, a coach, a philanthropist, a care giver, an executive, a line worker. Whatever “you are doing” that is part of your brand.

If you work for a large company, medium business or for someone – that is also likely part of your brand. A good example of this was me at Molson Coors for 30 years. My twitter profile was @MolsonFerg (now @FergDevins). I transferred for Molson Coors attributes of their values, their business, their brands and their presence in community. After leaving Molson Coors I maintained a strong commitment to community, a desire to help others, and some industry involvement. So those brand attributes of Ferg Devins carry forward…but I continue to evolve and establish my own brand – communicator, collaborator, community leader, volunteer, conversationalist, lobbyist, marketer etc. But all of this is now as Ferg Devins and Devins Network…rather than an extension of brand Molson Coors.

Am I making sense ? If this triggers something for you great. I think that each of us has an opportunity to build our own brand, to connect with our community, to work our social networks to add value to our communities and to lead. You are a brand.

So what might you do on this little nudge to better develop your brand? Do your social networks have a common thread could they possibly look like four or five different people ? Is there synergy ? Is there alignment in imagery and what you stand for ? It’s work in progress, but you are a brand.

What brand do you see in your mirror ? Have some fun with this. Hopefully “on brand” I’ve started a conversation for you. Cheers !
@FergDevins @DevinsNetwork