Ever wondered whether brand image is THAT important? Well, we’ve got news for you: brand image really is a huge deal…and it starts with YOU.
It’s all About that Brand Identity
First things first, what exactly does the word ‘brand’ mean? This is a good question. Investopedia defines a ‘brand’ as:
“a distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence or a combination of these items that companies use to distinguish their product from others in the market.”
So, basically, this is how a company makes itself different from other companies. A firm with a leading brand identity will have the X-factor in an industry; something that allows them to stand out from the pack. This can be anything that is unique to the company. It is about creating an identity. A personality. An image. One that consumers are attracted to and can relate to.
In a nutshell, brand identity is the face of a company. It is that something special which takes a firm from ordinary to extra-ordinary. And who doesn’t love extraordinary?
Develop your Brand
Okay, you say, but what does this all have to do with me?
Just like product brands, people can generate an identity and personality that is completely unique to them.
We all know that today’s job market is tough and we all need a way to stand out from the crowd. Creating a brand identity for yourself is the best way to set yourself apart from other jobseekers. In other words, the “brand” we are talking about here is YOU. By building on the foundation of your skills and qualifications, it IS possible to create a unique brand identity for yourself.
Think about it: just by knowing with certainty and confidence who you are, you can stand out from the crowd. It is all about being the CEO of your own brand. This way you get to make the decisions, develop your own strategy and reap the rewards.
We have all heard that confidence is key to…well, everything. Marketing yourself as your own brand, during your job search, gives you the opportunity to build that confidence.
To begin, your brand strategy should involve determining actual identity and worth. Don’t underestimate yourself. As with any product, it is important to know your true value so you can build around this.
Brand Building Basics
So, now that you know branding is the way forward (not only for companies, but for you), it is time to come to grips with how to build your own brand.
Here are some tips:
- Figure out what you are all about.
Do some soul searching and get to the bottom of who you are and what makes you, YOU.
- Be Present.
Establishing a presence is one of the best ways to develop your brand personality. Maybe get your head in the game by taking your brand to the cyber world. Get a blog or website going. This doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Just something that is out there in the world which has your own unique stamp.
- Clarity and Consistency is a Winning Combination.
You need to be clear with your identity and image. That is the thing you are putting out there so you can’t send mixed signals. This little tip goes hand in hand with being consistent. All you have to do is be honest with yourself about your abilities, qualifications and who you want people to see when they look at you.
Bottom line: building a brand should be a fun exercise. If you can sell yourself in the job market by getting employers to relate to your brand image then you are off to a good start.
Find your Purpose
A great part of creating your own brand is getting yourself adequately qualified. Vega School, a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), provides students’ access to higher certificates, undergrad and post-grad degrees in design, brand communication and management at campuses across South Africa. Vega believes in the power of branding — they even have an annual Brand Challenge where students are exposed to real-life brand scenarios.
Brand management and brand communications is a wonderful career option that can open many doors.
You have a purpose. We have a way to unleash it. Sound cool?
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Brand Management is a career path that challenges and inspires. The responsibilities of a brand manager include increasing the viewed value of a product and developing strategies to maintain brand quality. While Brand Communications involves strategy implementation, creativity and connecting with consumers who will buy a product.
Vega delivers full-time (and part-time) IIE qualifications in Brand Management, Brand Communication, Strategic Brand Management and Brand Building. There are two ways you can chase after a Brand qualification: through Business or the Arts. So you can choose whether the strategic or creative root would suit you best. Either way, a qualification in this field will do wonders for your future career. You will have an edge in the job market that is sure to set you on the path to success.
Here is a breakdown of these qualifications:
- BA in Creative Brand Communications Copywriting (Full-time)
- BCom in Strategic Brand Management Degree (Full and Part-time)
- BBA Brand Building & Management Degree (Full-time)
- BA Strategic Brand Communication Degree (Full and Part-time)
Vega also provides IIE qualifications in Fashion Design, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Game Design and Photography. At Vega, purpose is born, nurtured and turned into a meaningful career. Visit www.vegaschool.com to find your purpose.
Turning branding into a career involves the personal development of strategy and creativity. Skills learnt in brand management and communication are transferable — building your own personal brand identity is a skill for life. To be your own brand is kind of awesome and it gives you the chance to market your unique personality and set of skills to the world. So go on, make yourself proud and be your own brilliant brand.