7 Costly Mistakes That Can Be Avoided By Brand Research

Branding strategies can make or break an organization. There’s a lot that goes into developing a successful brand, and the best companies around the world put substantial time and effort into brand development and image. Creating a successful brand requires time and research commitment and is an ongoing strategy that can yield amazing results.

However, small businesses at the start of their inception can potentially create crucial branding mistakes during their initial stages of development that costs them a lot of customers, money, and time. Even major brands make big branding mistakes, like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy and Amazon’s Fire Phone.

Brand research services for positioning strategies, brand mapping, and perceptual mapping can help you, whether you’re a small business or a long-time market player, to avoid pitfalls and the costly mistakes of failed brand positioning.

Common Branding Mistakes by New Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Do you remember Nintendo’s Virtual Boy in 1995? You might not because it’s one of Nintendo’s biggest failures in the history of the company. It didn’t offer what it promised, a true VR experience, resulting in incredibly low sales and quick removal from the market. What about Amazon’s Fire Phone in 2014? It only lasted one year because of its limited availability and features that didn’t resonate with audiences. Even major companies like Nintendo and Amazon have to be careful about product or service branding that can tarnish their reputation and result in massive profit loss.

Even small branding mistakes can cost a company. Not only will your efforts and time spent towards planning to be lost, but you will have cost your business a lot of money and even potentially tarnish your reputation permanently, which can be completely devastating for the longevity of a brand.

Below are seven mistakes that you can avoid when it comes to brand positioning so that you learn more about them and avoid them altogether:

  1. Lack of Competitor Research
    You have to learn about your competitors if you want to be successful. How do they position their brand? What types of products and services do they offer? How are they perceived in their respective industry? How are they succeeding? Do you have a potential opportunity in the market where they do not? You don’t want to identically replicate your competitor’s strategies. But you do have to learn everything there is to know about the successes and failures of your competitors so that you know how to uniquely position yourself in the market.
  2. Brand Messaging Doesn’t Suit Target Audience If you can’t develop a brand message that fits with your target audience, nobody is going to buy from you. You have to learn everything about your target audience like demographics, what they like to buy, where they shop, what times of the day or times of the year do they make purchases related to your offerings, what colors motivate and drive them to make purchases, what parts of the world are they located, how does culture affect purchasing, and many more.
  3. Failed Market Study
    Effective market research needs to be obtained about how people are reacting to your brand, products, or services. Survey analysis can be obtained to further your market research and understanding, or a complex study of social media research and analysis can help you to understand how people review or perceive you in the market. If you don’t analyze feedback from your customer base, you will be making a costly mistake in your brand research initiatives.
  4. Association or Dissociation with Events and Motives Just because you want to create a product or service or build your brand around a particular design or niche space in the market, doesn’t mean it will be successful. You can’t just build and sell tablets just because iPad’s are popular, create a bottled water company because you feel people will always need to drink water, or design makeup and cosmetics because there is a popular trend in that space this year. You have to delve deeply into your brand research strategy to truly understand the reasoning behind purchasing decisions and product and service popularity.
  5. Inconsistent Corporate Identity Everything about your brand identity has to make sense, from the colors that you choose to represent your company, to the logo and fonts that you use throughout your campaigns, to the style of writing, tone and messaging that you implement to speak to and reach audiences. Everything has to remain consistent so that people understand your brand values and what you are offering them. If you fail, you could spend a lot of time rebranding and causing confusion to your audience and miss a lot of opportunities.
  6. Poor Product Packaging

    Product packaging is the first thing people see when looking at your brand, whether they are online or physically in store locations. Everything from materials, graphics, size, shape, and color all are important elements of packaging designs. You could spend a lot of money rebranding your packaging if your product performs poorly. On the other hand, you might spend money rebranding your packaging when it isn’t even necessary and have to revert back to the way it was. Effective brand research is going to help you understand the best elements and packaging designs that will help your company thrive.
  7. Making the Wrong Impression If you are selling premium services, you don’t want to use commodity branding. You will deter audiences from your brand. There is a reason why so many fast food restaurant chains use the colors red and yellow, like Burger King, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Carl’s Jr., and software companies use blue and black like Intel, IBM, Apple, or Google. People associate certain attributes to particular products and designs. People won’t understand what you are offering them if you make the wrong impression. Pay particular attention to detail and use the right research and analysis to make a lasting impression that makes sense with audiences.

How Brand Research Can Help

Brand marketing research is integral to the success of organizations in the modern world. In fact, no business out there that is successful in today’s market leaves home without brand research.

Brand research improves your competitiveness, visibility, and messaging and can help your business take a strategic position in the market using proven data from effective research and analysis services. Here are some of the major benefits of effective brand research:

  • Integrated Metrics: You can see the impacts of your project decisions and forecasts with measurable and tangible results.
  • Allocate Market Spend: Understand how to make investments that will lead to successful outcomes.
  • Identify Competition: You can not only find out who your competition is, but you can find out how and why they are successful in the market, or even discover how to position your brand in areas where your competition is lacking.
  • Develop Accurate Strategies: Create informed decisions built on a foundation of research and analytics with a better understanding of market developments, pricing, and positioning.
  • Capture Target Audience: Better understand consumer behavior and create effective marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Brand Perception: Truly understand how audiences feel and react to your brand, products and services.

Effective Brand Research for Organizations Across Industries

Research Optimus (ROP) has top research and analyst specialists who are tenured in market research, business research, customer analysis, and brand research services that provide the required insights to take the appropriate steps towards building effective and long lasting business brand awareness, brand marketing, and positioning strategies. Apart from services like market research, product research, and risk analysis, contact our team today to jump start or further advance your journey into brand research and obtain the targeted insights you need to avoid branding mistakes.

By: https://www.researchoptimus.com/

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Decision Analyst

An introduction to brand strategy, and the tangible and intangible elements that make up a brand. And a brief discussion of the questions of to ask in order to focus and improve your brand strategy. Learn More: https://www.decisionanalyst.com/servi…

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How Global Brands Can Build a Successful Local Brand Experience

One of the most noteworthy consumer trends to come out of Covid has been the shift in focus to community-based shopping. Of course, e-commerce has experienced a major surge, but many consumers are now searching online for shops and services in the local area to find what they need, especially as daily commutes are no longer the norm and people are avoiding unnecessary travel.

In addition to convenience, consumers want to support local businesses, as well as the communities in which they live. Shopping local isn’t just about frequenting small businesses, though. Big brands such as Marks & Spencer, Halfords, and Currys PC World are also thriving at the local level because they have a neighbourhood presence and are well-known, trusted brands that have, at least historically, conducted business predominantly offline.

But in the race to win the attention, and business, of these bricks-and-mortar shoppers, businesses must ensure their ‘Near Me’ Brand Experience (NMBX) – consisting of all the touchpoints along the customer journey from online ‘Near Me’ search to offline purchase – is meaningful and positive across multiple channels. Not only that, for global brands and multi-location businesses, this also means engaging with consumers at all levels, whether country, regional, or local.

While many companies manage these communications well at the global level, they often fall down when it comes to building positive relationships with customers at the local level.

Current research shows that around half of Google searches have a local intent, with consumers searching for products and services ‘Near Me’.  But consumers aren’t just searching for local store options. They are turning online to plan their journeys, evaluate local store reviews, and engage with brands directly through social media.

It appears that global brands have started to become aware of the ‘Near Me’ Brand Experience (NMBX) and its importance in their brand strategies, with Gartner’s recent 2020 Spend Survey of CMOs revealing that the most important brand metric for 2020 is brand health – namely, what consumers know and think about a brand.

The challenge for brands has always been that the bigger the brand – and the more locations there are to manage – the more difficult it is to maintain the quality and consistency of the customer experience. To create a memorable NMBX, brands must implement the right multilateral communications strategy that ensures the online to offline customer experience is uniform at the global, regional and local levels.

Create an outstanding NMBX

Global brands tend to have their business information and reputation management under control at the global, and sometimes even at the regional level, but this is often not the case at the local level.

This can be the result of organisational silos, where different levels of the organisation don’t share plans, goals, and processes with each other, or due to a simple lack of strategy and resources applied to actively manage the brand experience from top to tail.

The first step for brands to create a successful NMBX is to identify key stakeholders at the global and regional levels to lead the initiative. This project can then be owned at the global level by a single senior marketing lead – CMO or Head of Digital. Limiting key participants tends to generate better outcomes and more efficient project implementation, while still allowing for cross-departmental cooperation.

Develop brand trust through data accuracy

One of the most overlooked, yet vital, aspects of brand trust comes from consistent data quality. Especially now, consumers are searching online for the most accurate and up-to-date information on location, opening hours, and more.However, as local information is constantly changing depending on an outlet’s location, brands need to be able to manage all changes promptly and centrally. This means updating local level data directly via a master data system, or single source of truth, so it can be kept up-to-date across a brand’s entire directory ecosystem. If done right, this will increase visibility in search engines, increase trust and positively impact customer reviews.

When it comes to data accuracy, brands are facing a particularly difficult challenge, as operating restrictions during Covid vary not only country to country, but between regions and even neighbouring cities. Just like the UK, changing government guidelines meant McDonald’s Germany needed to update their opening hours on an almost daily basis. Because local store managers are always the first to know when key business information changes, they empowered them to log in to their in-house master data management system, powered by Uberall, and update the information quickly. This meant that McDonald’s could quickly and efficiently manage data for their almost 1,500 locations in Germany. As everybody was working from a centralized data management system, they were able to stay agile and consistently provide online store information that customers could trust.

For global organizations, ensuring data accuracy across each and every location is no easy feat. But doing so is essential to build and maintain global brand trust amongst local consumers and drive foot traffic.

Strengthen brand health through reputation management and social media

Another key aspect of brand experience is consumer engagement via online reviews and social media. Managing local reviews and engaging on social media effectively can pose unique challenges, as it can be difficult to know who should be engaging with local customers and how to do so at scale, whilst still maintaining brand ethos and identity.

However, online reviews and social media are golden opportunities for brands to interact with consumers the most directly, and, if well-executed, are a crucial way to turn those interested consumers into customers and advocates.

Depending on their aims and goals, brands can manage brand reputation and social media entirely at the global level, or choose to empower local owners/operators with more independent control. Regardless of the strategy, given the breadth and sheer volume of online reviews and social media interactions, a manual approach simply isn’t feasible.

Instead, brands can use digital solutions to manage and shape their online reputation and customer engagement, allowing corporate control but providing local teams with access to online interactions as needed. By utilising a platform that makes it easy and simple to respond, backed by clear guidance and communication about core messaging, brands can make certain that their brand experience is consistent and compelling from global to local.

Conclusion

Today’s commercial landscape calls for a modernised approach to brand experience. Brands that are able to utilise the right technology tools, processes and feedback loops will be able to achieve an outstanding NMBX for consumers at hundreds, and even thousands, of locations.

While global brand reputation will always be important, when it comes to fostering growth, brands must also focus on improving the brand experience at the individual store level. After all, no matter how good a brand is at creating an image of quality, consistency, and trust, if a customer’s experience doesn’t match that promise, they won’t be a customer for long.

By Paul O’Donoghue

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Brand Master Academy

Learn what brand experience is to design a journey that leads to the successful outcome your brand offers. —————-FREE BRAND STRATEGY RESOURCES——————– // PRO BRAND STRATEGY BLUEPRINT Download your FREE Pro Brand Strategy Blueprint here: https://brandmasteracademy.com/brand-… Step-by-step brand strategy development process // BECOME A BRAND STRATEGIST Take a FREE look inside our flagship training Brand Master Secrets – All you need to level up to brand strategy and become a brand strategist. https://brandmasteracademy.com/brand-… Our flagship training “Brand Master Secrets” has everything you need to become an in-demand brand strategist, raise your expert profile, and grow your branding revenue and business. // BRAND MASTER ACADEMY Brand Master Academy is where brand builders go-to for actionable tips and techniques to, Learn Brand Strategy, Help Their Clients On A Higher Level, Raise Their Expert Profile & Branding Revenue. —————- LEARN BRAND STRATEGY IN THE COMMUNITIES ——————– // BRAND MASTER ACADEMY ON SOCIAL Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/brandmaster… Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/brandmast… Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-h… Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBFW… Twitter – https://twitter.com/BrandMasterAcad // JOIN THE FACEBOOK COMMUNITY https://www.facebook.com/groups/brand… Join in the conversation with other experienced and budding brand strategists to enhance your brand building systems. // EXCLUSIVE TIPS & TECHNIQUES https://brandmasteracademy.com/subscr… Get on the list for exclusive brand strategy tips and techniques —————- LISTEN TO THE BRAND MASTER PODCAST ——————– The Brand Master Podcast is a show specialized in helping professional brand builders and entrepreneurs to build brands using strategy, psychology, and creative thinking. [Two Shows Per Week] https://brandmasteracademy.com/brand-… About This Video: By the end of this video, you’ll understand what brand experience is, the role it plays in raising brand awareness, and converting prospects into clients. First, we’ll look at some of the terms that are often confused with brand experience and how they differ including experiential branding and brand activation. Next, you’ll discover what brand experience is and the ecosystem of touchpoints that contribute to it. Then we’ll uncover the misconceptions of what brand experience is not and understand why brand experience is so important in building modern brands. Finally, we’ll dive into what brand experience design is and take a look at a brand experience example in the form of Nespresso. 0:00 What Is Brand Experience? 1:21 What Is Brand Experience 2:24 What Is Brand Experience Is Not? 2:53 Why Is Brand Experience So Important? 4:30 WHat Is Brand Experience Design? 5:42 Example Of Brand Experience – Nespresso

How Exactly Does Content Marketing Help in Building Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is more than people simply recognizing your business name or your logo.True brand awareness entails your audience getting to know the personality behind your brand and what makes you different from your competitors.

It’s vital to build brand awareness because consumers are much more likely to buy from a brand they know and trust than one that’s new to them.A research study found that over 80% of people searching for a product on Google chose to click on websites they were already familiar with, regardless of their position in the results.

Content marketing can be a highly effective way to build brand awareness. With every piece of branded content an individual sees, they become more familiar with your brand. But while exposure is important, it’s not the only factor at play. Content can help to build your brand in several different ways.

Quick Takeaways

  • Content marketing is an excellent way to demonstrate knowledge and expertise and build trust with your audience.
  • The more content you publish, the more exposure you give your brand. Every piece of content has the potential to widen your audience.
  • Your content is an important part of your overall brand and can be used to amplify your brand voice and reinforce your commitment to your brand values.

1. Demonstrating Authority and Expertise

By regularly publishing informative and educational content that helps to solve your audience’s problems, you demonstrate the fact that you know what you’re talking about as an expert in your industry.

For example, take a look at the blog published by marketing and CRM software company, HubSpot. HubSpot publishes a lot of detailed and useful articles on subjects such as content marketing, web design, email marketing, SEO, and customer experience.

Most of these articles are not written with the aim of selling more software licenses. Nor, indeed do they even mention the products and services that the company sells.

This informational content is not published with the aim of making more sales, but rather to share knowledge and cement HubSpot’s position as an authority in the area of digital marketing.

The audience reading HubSpot’s blog may not immediately be looking for a marketing software solution. However, with each piece of content they read, they’ll build a stronger association between the HubSpot brand and marketing knowledge.

If at some point in the future they are in the market for a CRM or marketing automation software, they’ll already have HubSpot in mind and be confident in the brand’s experience and knowledge.

2. Building Trust

Consistently publishing helpful information for your audience not only helps to demonstrate your expertise and authority but is also vital for gaining the trust of your target audience.

People don’t like to feel like they’re being sold to or that brands only have an interest in gaining their business.

Content marketing means publishing content that’s not sales focused and demonstrates you care about your audience and their problems, rather than just making the sale.

The more content your audience reads and the better they get to know your brand, the more likely they will be to trust you. The more they trust you, the more likely they are to spend money with you in the future.

Source: Marketing Charts

3. Fleshing Out Your Brand Personality

Many brands offer very similar products and services, often at similar prices. Your brand personality is what distinguishes you from your competitors and builds relationships and loyalty with your customers.

Your content should reflect your brand values and mission. It should demonstrate what you offer beyond the products and services you sell.

Every piece of content you publish should also reflect your brand tone and voice. Whether this is fun and friendly, creative and quirky, or confident and informative depends on your audience, the industry you’re in, and how you want to position your brand.

Source: EndeavorCreative

To get this all right, it’s important to have a clear and defined brand, mission, value, voice, and content strategy that pulls it all together. Skipping over any of these steps will result in content that doesn’t have a clear voice or personality, and your brand will be weakened as a result.

4. Increasing Brand Exposure and Mentions

Every piece of content you publish gives you a new opportunity to expand your audience and reach more eyes.

Publishing content around the topics that your audience and customers are interested in is a highly effective way to boost your SEO. This means your site is more likely to come up in searches for keywords related to your business. The more content you publish, the more chances you have of showing up in search results.

Source: Oracle Modern Marketing Blog

Good content can help you to attract traffic from many other sources apart from search engines.

People share high-quality content on social media. Social media mentions are doubly effective because they not only help you to reach a wider audience, but a social share acts as a vote of confidence and demonstrates that others trust in your brand too.

This is increasingly important these days where 83% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product or service if it is recommended by a friend or family member.

5. Building Customer Loyalty

Content marketing is not only important for attracting new customers but also to keep the customers you already have.

Strengthening relationships with your customers is also important for building your brand. When customers are loyal to your brand, they are more likely to recommend it to others.

Consistently publishing new content is a great way to stay in touch with your existing customers, keep your brand on their mind, and give them more opportunities to share your content and products with others.

6. Engaging Your Audience with Brand Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story. So it’s no surprise that much of the most successful content on the web involves some element of storytelling.

Likewise, some of the world’s most successful brands have a great story behind them. Just look at Apple (founded by college dropouts out of a garage) or Toms shoes (inspired by the travels of the founder and the barefoot children he met along the way).

If you can use content to tell the story of your brand in an engaging way, you’ll build an emotional connection with your audience that will make them want to read more, interact more, and buy more from your brand.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service.

Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today–and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

By Michael Brenner

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Marketing Insider Group

The Marketing Insider Group provides content marketing workshops and content development services. Scale your content and start showing Content Marketing ROI today. Free Consultation

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Hinge

The number one criteria prospective clients use when they’re selecting a firm is expertise. In this video, Liz Harr shares the top 3 ways to demonstrate your expertise for greater visibility and marketplace reputation. For more content just like this, connect with Liz & Hinge: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eharr/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizHarr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/153024/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HingeMarketing Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HingeMarketing Professional Services Executive Forum: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3828540

Acting Like an Extrovert Has Benefits But Not for Introverts

A group of amateur figure skaters enjoying a day at a frozen lake together.

For decades, personality psychologists have noticed a striking, consistent pattern: extroverts are happier more of the time than introverts. For anyone interested in promoting wellbeing, this has raised the question of whether it might be beneficial to encourage people to act more extroverted. Evidence to date has suggested it might.

For example, regardless of their usual disposition, people tend to report feeling happier and more authentic whenever they are behaving more like an extrovert (that is, more sociable, active and assertive). That’s a mere correlation that could be interpreted in different ways. But lab studies have similarly found that prompting people, including introverts, to act more like an extrovert makes them feel happier and truer to themselves.

Before we all start doing our best extrovert impressions in pursuit of greater happiness, though, a team of researchers led by the psychologist Rowan Jacques-Hamilton at the University of Melbourne urge caution, writing in a paper at PsyArXiv: ‘Until we have a well-rounded understanding of both the positive and negative consequences of extroverted behaviour, advocating any real-world applications of acting extroverted could be premature and potentially hazardous.’

To get to the bottom of things, the team conducted the first ever randomised controlled trial of an ‘act more extroverted’ intervention but, unlike previous research, they looked beyond the lab at the positive and negative effects on people’s feelings in daily life.

Dozens of participants were allocated at random to either the ‘act like an extrovert’ condition or to an ‘act unassuming, sensitive, calm and modest’ control condition; the idea was that this control condition would encourage the adoption of behaviours representative of several of the other main personality traits, such as agreeableness and emotional stability.

There was also a second control group that completed some of the same measures but did not follow any instructions to change their behaviour from what it naturally was.

The true aims of the study were concealed from the participants and they didn’t know about the conditions they weren’t in. For the extrovert and first control groups, their challenge was to follow the behavioural instructions they’d been given for seven days straight whenever interacting with others in their daily lives (though not if doing so would be inappropriate for the situation they were in).

The participants completed baseline and follow-up surveys about their feelings and behaviour. Through the seven-day period of the study they also answered in-the-moment psychological surveys six times a day whenever prompted by their smartphones. Their phones also gave them periodic reminders to alter their behaviour according to the experimental group they were in.

For the average participant, being in the ‘act like an extrovert’ condition was associated with more positive emotions (excited, lively and enthusiastic) than those reported in the calmer control group – both in the moment, and in retrospect, when looking back on the week. Compared with the second control condition, in which participants behaved naturally, benefit from extroverted behaviour was seen only retrospectively. On average, participants in the ‘act extroverted’ condition also felt greater momentary and retrospective authenticity. These benefits came without any adverse effects in terms of levels of tiredness or experience of negative emotion.

‘Thus,’ write the researchers, ‘the main effects of the intervention were wholly positive, and no costs of extroverted behaviour were detected for the average participant.’ The advantages were to a large extent mediated by participants acting more extroverted more often – though, interestingly, not by being in more social situations: ie, by changing the quality of their social interactions, not the quantity of them.

***

But the story does not end there, because the researchers also looked specifically at the introverts in their sample to see whether the apparently cost-free positive benefits of the ‘act extroverted’ intervention also manifested for them. Although previous research has suggested that both introverts and extroverts alike benefit just the same from acting more extroverted, this was not the case here.

First and unsurprisingly, introverts did not succeed in increasing their extroverted behaviour as much as other participants. And while the introverts in the ‘act like an extrovert’ condition did enjoy momentary gains in positive emotion, they did not report this benefit in retrospect at the end of the study. Unlike extroverts, they also did not show momentary gains in authenticity, and in retrospect they reported lower authenticity. The ‘act extroverted’ intervention also appeared to increase introverts’ retrospective fatigue levels and experience of negative emotions.

Jacques-Hamilton and his team said that these were perhaps their most important findings – ‘dispositional introverts may reap fewer wellbeing benefits, and perhaps even incur some wellbeing costs, from acting more extroverted’. They also made an important point that strong introverts might not desire to experience positive emotions as frequently as extroverts.

However, the idea that introverts could gain from learning to be more extroverted, more often, is not dead. Not only because this is just one study and more research is needed, but also because those acting more extroverted did, after all, still report more positive emotions in the moment than the control group asked to maintain calm. This group’s failure to report more pleasure in retrospect could, after all, reflect a memory bias – perhaps mirroring earlier research, which showed that introverts do not expect that acting extroverted would make them feel good.

Also consider this: the one-size-fits-all extroversion intervention provided little guidance on how exactly to achieve the aim of acting more extroverted. It’s possible that a less intense version, together with support and guidance to make any behavioural changes become habitual (and therefore less effortful), could help even strong introverts enjoy the benefits of acting more extroverted. ‘By allowing more freedom to return to an introverted “restorative niche”, a less intensive intervention might also result in fewer costs to negative affect, authenticity and tiredness,’ the researchers added.

By: Christian Jarrett

Christian Jarrett is a senior editor at Aeon, working on the forthcoming Psyche website that will take a multidisciplinary approach to the age-old question of how to live. A cognitive neuroscientist by training, his writing has appeared in BBC Future, WIRED and New York Magazine, among others. His books include The Rough Guide to Psychology (2011) and Great Myths of the Brain (2014). His next, on personality change, will be published in 2021.

Originally published in association with The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, an Aeon Partner.

Source: Acting Like an Extrovert Has Benefits, but Not for Introverts – Aeon – Pocket

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The Six Worst Ways To Brand Yourself

One evening when my daughter was 12 I asked her to grab my car keys from my desk. She came back with the keys. We got in the car to drive to her piano lesson. “Mom,” she said, “I saw a resume on your desk.” “Was there something about the resume that struck you?” I asked her. “Yes!” she said. “This man says on his resume that he’s the best technical salesperson in Chicago. How could that be true? They don’t have a ranking for something like that, do they?”

“No,” I said. “That’s just how he describes himself. It’s his own designation.” “It’s so sad!” said my daughter. “Anybody could call themselves the best technical salesperson in Chicago. It seems so — childish, like a kid in my grade telling the other kids they’re the best singer or the best volleyball player in the class.”

“It is kind of sad,” I said. “The problem is that people don’t know how to brand themselves. It’s not something they teach in school.”

“So that’s why the man who sent you his resume made up a fake title for himself — the best technical salesperson in Chicago?”

“Yes,” I said. “When someone is looking for a job, they want to stand out. They aren’t sure how to do that, so they say things like ‘I’m the Best Technical Salesperson in Chicago!'”

Calling yourself the best salesperson around, the top attorney in your field, the leading digital marketer in your city or the greatest cost accountant ever to live is a very poor branding choice.

That’s why it’s included on our list of the six worst ways to brand yourself, below!

The problem with “I’m the best!”-type personal branding is that it marks you as someone who lacks the confidence to simply say “I’m a Cost Accountant, and here’s what I’ve done so far in my career.”

Praising yourself is beneath you. Let other people praise you. That’s not your job!

Here are all six of the worst possible personal-branding choices.

• Calling yourself a guru, mogul, maven or expert

• Zombie branding

• Trophies

• The best/the one/the only

• My Tasks, My Skills

• Disruptor, catalyst, change agent

Let’s break down these six regrettable branding choices.

Calling yourself a guru, mogul, maven or expert or using “praising adjectives” like Savvy, Strategic or Visionary to describe yourself is a fear-based move that will not impress anyone.

It is much stronger, more compelling and more human to simply tell your story in your LinkedIn profile and your Human-Voiced Resume.

Zombie branding uses the dull, dusty corporate-and-institutional language most of us have learned at work (whether we wanted to or not).

Here’s an example of zombie branding: “Bottom-line-focused Business Professional skilled at leading cross-functional teams, developing end-to-end solutions and adding value through game-changing strategic initiatives.”

There are lots of good reasons to avoid zombie branding. It’s impersonal and makes you sound like a zombie or a robot, not a living person. It’s generic and trite. Anyone can dish out this awful jargon.

It doesn’t tell your story at all. You are much more powerful than zombie branding makes you sound!

Some people brand themselves based on their trophies, like this:

“Ivy League grad and alum of Apple, Google and Snap.”

Now you’ve made it clear that you were able to get into an Ivy League school and that you subsequently worked for Apple, Google and Snap.

All that tells us is that these three organizations (four if we count the Ivy League college) found you acceptable for their needs.

Is that all you want us to know? Are your trophies really the most significant thing about you? I hope not!

We want to know what you came,  saw and conquered at each stage of your professional life. We want to know about you, the person — not the impressive trophies in your trophy case!

Calling yourself the best, the top or the only something-or-other is an amateurish personal branding move that will not grow your flame.

A very common and unfortunate branding choice is to list all the things you can do, thereby branding yourself based on the tasks you can perform.

This is a very sad and hopeless way to describe yourself, because what’s significant about you is certainly not the list of things you’re capable of doing.

Still, we see LinkedIn profiles with branding like this every day:

Public relations, marketing, customer service, IT and office administration professional seeking new challenge.

Few organizations have a pressing need for a person to do PR, marketing, IT, customer service and office management all at the same time.

The person who brands themselves this way is telling the world “Heck, I don’t know what I want to do next! I’m throwing all my skills out there so that somebody will find at least one skill they need and hire me!”

However, that’s not how people get hired.

Your job as a job-seeker is to decide in advance what kind of Business Pain you want to solve, and to brand yourself for the specific jobs you want, not any job you could possibly perform.

The last deadly branding mistake on our list is to call yourself a Disruptor, a Change Agent or a Catalyst.

These terms are cliches and they don’t tell us anything useful about you. Rather than calling yourself a Disruptor, tell a story in your LinkedIn Summary or the Summary at the top of your Human-Voiced Resume, like this:

I’m a Product Manager whose passion is to shepherd good ideas through the development process to get products out the door on time and on budget. I led the product development team at Acme Explosives and launched six profitable new products between 2014 and 2016.

Now you have a voice, a story and a mission. You’ve shared a concrete example of what you can do, right in the Summary of your resume or LinkedIn profile.

You’re using the word “I” the way humans beings do when they talk about themselves — and haven’t been brainwashed to think that the use of the word “I” in their branding is forbidden!

You aren’t bragging or giving yourself a made-up title like Best Technical Salesperson in Chicago.

You aren’t listing the tasks you know how to perform.

You’re just telling a bit of your human story so we can understand who you are and what you do professionally.

It isn’t hard to brand yourself like the powerful human you are.

It only takes a shift in your mindset. You can start cultivating that right now!

Follow me on LinkedIn.

I was a Fortune 500 HR SVP for 10 million years, but I was an opera singer before I ever heard the term HR. The higher I got in the corporate world, the more operatic the action became. I started writing about the workplace for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1997. Now I write for LinkedIn and Forbes.com and lead the worldwide Human Workplace movement to reinvent work for people. My book Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve is here: amzn.to/2gK7BR7

Source: The Six Worst Ways To Brand Yourself

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