Brands–everyone has their favorites (and least favorites). Orange juice, toothpaste, clothing, banks, restaurants, hotels…everything! Some brands are consistently ranked as perennial favorites. Brands like Target, Google, and Apple can usually be found at the top of that list. Those brands are known for many things–affordable style, innovation, and design (among many other things)–respectively.
Consequently, everyone has their least favorite brands. You don’t see quite the same amount of information regarding the worst brands–but they’re out there (cemented in people’s minds). These brands are brands that you stay away from at all costs. Recently, BP has taken a beating due to the marathon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP has taken a majority of the heat from a brand perspective even though there were several other companies involved in operating that rig including Transocean and Halliburton. The public has much less interaction with these companies. BP is just one example of a brand that is perhaps less trusted today. Think Enron as well.
So good brands, bad brands… let’s get on with it then. I would ask you, right now to grab a slip of paper and just write down 3 or 4 brands that you trust and identify with. Next, write down 3 or 4 that you don’t. Next to each brand–write one word why you feel this way.
Building and leveraging your brand in your networking and job search will be crucial and give you the edge over those who will do a poor job or not pay attention to it at all. If you take a look at that list of brands you admire, think about what ways can you emulate and/or ensure that someone would think of you in the same way. And, what ways can you make sure that people don’t associate you with those attributes of brands that you don’t trust and identify with.
Usually, you can build your brand by making a great first impression and in repeated face-to-face interactions. However, let’s get a head start. Your presence online and on social networks should be consistent with how you would like people to see and perceive you. This has many dependencies, but consistency is very important. Make sure your online personality is aligned with your values and goals. It would make a good exercise to write these down as well, and keep them somewhere where you will see them every day.
We’ll wrap this up for now. I hope this gives you something to think about. So, do you notice any trends in those brands? If so, what were they and how do you think they would manifest themselves in your online presence?
Jonathan has broad ranging experience and currently works in eMarketing at Thomson Reuters in the Twin Cities area. He is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State Universitywhere he majored in Marketing. Prior to returning to Thomson Reuters, where he had an internship during college, he worked for Expedia in an account management role for their North American lodging business. Jonathan is an avid enthusiast of all things marketing, economics, and travel. And, he is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter (@jonathanpetrino), LinkedIn, and his website.