How do you identify yourself?
Tall or short?
White or black?
Man or woman?
Red or blue?
Do you use a title or label given to you by employment to define your identify?
Do you state your identify as an association with another person?
Do you define your indentify by what organizations or groups you pay dues to?
Do you indentify yourself by your faith?
Your identity is your ‘brand’.
Branding is a set of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company or products from competitors, aiming to create a lasting impression in the minds of customers. The key components that form a brand’s toolbox include a brand’s identity, brand communication (such as by logos and trademarks), brand awareness, brand loyalty, and various branding (brand management) strategies.
Brand equity is the measurable totality of a brand’s worth and is validated by assessing the effectiveness of these branding components. As markets become increasingly dynamic and fluctuating, brand equity is a marketing technique to increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, with side effects like reduced price sensitivity. A brand is in essence a promise to its customers of they can expect from their products, as well as emotional benefits. When a customer is familiar with a brand, or favors it incomparably to its competitors, this is when a corporation has reached a high level of brand equity.
Many companies believe that there is often little to differentiate between several types of products in the 21st century, and therefore branding is one of a few remaining forms of product differentiation.
In accounting, a brand defined as an intangible asset is often the most valuable asset on a corporation’s balance sheet. Brand owners manage their brands carefully to create shareholder value, and brand valuation is an important management technique that ascribes a money value to a brand, and allows marketing investment to be managed to maximize shareholder value. Although only acquired brands appear on a company’s balance sheet, the notion of putting a value on a brand forces marketing leaders to be focused on long term stewardship of the brand and managing for value.
A concept brand is a brand that is associated with an abstract concept, like breast cancer awareness or environmentalism, rather than a specific product, service, or business.
You name is your first brand. Your name introduces your family as a legacy of your forefathers and a unique identifier of gender. Your name is not a tattoo and can be changed like companies that rebrand.
Your outer appearance (packaging) identifies without knowing a name. Hairstyle, fashion, transportation and even physical positioning can categorize your identity to others who make assumptions on your aura. Your appearance immediately projects a brand that can create presumptions including wealth, romance, intelligence or even danger.
The best thing about life is you can change your brand. It is as simple as a new suit and a haircut. You can upgrade your brand. You can downgrade your brand.
It may depend on your audience or experiences in life itself.
If you want to logo your brand, you can get a monogram. It is very stylish and highly popular on signet rings, letterheads and yachting jackets. You can put your monogram on your silverware, napkins, and your car or even get a tattoo but you might want to change your initials later.
Your brand will stick with you over time but old friends might not understand it has changed. They will remember you by your old brand and have to be introduced to the new you.
What is your brand (identity) worth to you?
Maybe your identity is misunderstood or misrepresented to other’s preconceived perceptions? As simple as a profile can be hacked, an identity can become gossip, bullying, graffiti or manipulated without your permission.
Search the Internet and see how many of ‘You’ are out there. Maybe you are not there? You better check your résumé and see if you really exist.
With the flood of information (true or fake) a comment or suggestion or third-hand comment could alter an identity. The possibility of (but not proven) criminal activity or divisive thought could change your brand without a chance for a debate or rebuttal. Our microwave mentality is quick to judge.
If you identity is stolen, what will you do? Become another person?
Change names, locations, credit cards, social security, appearance, jobs, transportation, children?, eating habits, sleeping schedules are all possibilities but your essence will not. Unlike the witness protection program there is only one ‘You’.
Doppelgangers can sound like you or have a similar appearance or even act more like you and you do, but in the morning you make your decisions, you reap the rewards and pay the consequences for your actions and at night have no excuses.
Others can carry your brand like merchandise. Your brand, no matter how misconstrued or convoluted, can turn dreams into nightmares.
Warning: Your brand will not wash off.