Philip Kotler says: “The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low-cost producer is the only winner.”
The first question you need to ask yourself is where do you stand on the Kotler brand – commodity spectrum?
- Do you stand out amongst your peers?
- Are you a person that people search for?
- Are you next in line for that promotion?
- Is your value recognised and rewarded?
If you discover that you want to improve your position on the brand-commodity spectrum, Kotler suggests it’s time to market yourself.
I am of the view that marketing is both an art and a science. The science demands proper research and the application of proven marketing principles and theories. The art is deciding the ideal mix of marketing actions.
Marketing success and consequently brand building is dependent on four pillars.
- Product design, and
Each is essential, none more important than the other and they are all simultaneous and iterative processes.
To improve your personal brand you must do the proper research. What does my target audience actually think of me? Where are the gaps? The truth sometimes hurts. Accept the pain. This will give you the motivation to change.
You then need to strategize. What is my preferred authentic yet differentiated value proposition? How do I want to be positioned in the minds of my target audience? This takes time and should be consolidated in a concise, clear, and powerful statement.
You then need to adapt yourself without changing your authenticity to be the person your target audience seeks. This most probably will require you to make both external and internal changes. The external is easier than the internal. Put in the time and the effort on both.
And then you need to communicate about and present the new you. Without a doubt, this requires you to fix all the internet and social media platforms you are active and present on. It also means taking every opportunity to present the new authentic you. This takes time and you should not expect an overnight shift in the perceptions of your target audience. Keep at it, be consistent and the results will follow.
It is as simple and difficult as that.
We all know the more insight and understanding the more successful the outcome. There is no shortage of academic and practical marketing textbooks, journals, articles, videos on the subject and I encourage you to read widely but with a critical mind before starting your change journey.
And then it’s time to act, do the research, decide the strategy, make the changes you need to make, and then engage the new you.