You’re familiar with the game of PLINKO – perhaps the most iconic game on the most iconic television game show – The Price is Right? The concept is simple. Contestants play pricing games to win up to five discs. They then climb the stairs to the back of the eight foot tall PLINKO board and drop their discs one-by-one.
The board itself, has nine slots at the top with nine corresponding slots on the bottom – each marked with a dollar amount ranging from $0 to $10,000. The contestant wins whatever amount is marked on the slot their disc lands in. Here’s the catch. The board also has dozens of metal pins. Hitting these pins causes a change in the direction of the disc. The discs make a ‘plinking’ sound as they bounce off of the pins – thus the game’s name – PLINKO.
You might be asking “So what? What does PLINKO have to do with my personal brand?” The answer is plenty.
Going through your day, your week – your life – without managing your brand is like playing PLINKO. You might achieve your greatest goal(s) – or you might not achieve anything. The randomness of PLINKO is fine – it’s fun – it’s a game.
Your personal brand is not a game. Leaving your brand up to the randomness of life is not fun – it’s not fine. Know this –
If you don’t manage your own brand – someone else will!
There are countless people who want to see you succeed – people who will be your ‘brand advocates’. These ambassadors are amazing if – and only IF – they know what your brand is. You need to be certain that you ‘manage’ the opportunity presented by your supporters.
Conversely, there are any number of people who may not want you to succeed for either personal reasons or because they want that success for themselves. If you leave your brand messaging in their hands, you’re in trouble.
You cannot control what others say – but you can be clear and consistent in your brand messaging. There are some brand management basics which you need to understand and put into practice.
5 Personal Branding Basics
Know your value – It doesn’t get more basic than this. Your brand is your value. It’s your benefit promise to those you will serve. You need to know – and deliver – your greatest value. Know your passion to find your purpose. Understand – and improve – your talent and skills. Find the sweet spot where your passion/purpose overlap with your talent/skills – that is the core of your brand.
Remain relevant – A key to building a truly effective and meaningful brand is to pass the ‘so what?’ test. You’ve defined your value proposition because you know your purpose and your talent. That only matters if there are people who find value in that ‘sweet spot’. Place your focus on those that find your value relevant.
Be consistent – Your brand is omnipresent. Every single touchpoint – every person – every engagement – every action defines your brand. Consistency is the keystone to trust. Delivering the same value every time, in every situation assures those you will serve that they will receive the benefit they expect from you.
Be vigilant – The world is dynamic – it’s ever-changing. The same holds true for your brand. Be cognizant of change in your value and relevance. People’s needs and expectations change – be certain that your value adjusts appropriately and authentically.
Create emotional bonds – I use the phrase ‘personal brand management’ for a reason. You do not control your brand. You do not define your brand. Your brand is defined by those who come in contact with you – with your value proposition. The most successful brands are those that create genuine, caring and positive connections. All of us make decisions based on emotion – to some degree. The best brands build a bond based on “know, like and trust”
Dropping the branding PLINKO disc and sitting back awaiting results is certainly an option. Managing your brand is a better option. Be proactive. Be aware. Achieve stratospheric results.