I am a brand…

Brand ~ {A brand is a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Branding began as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp} (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand)

I, Lizl Naude, am a brand, whether intentional or not.  Just like Coca Cola or Samsung, I am a brand. I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  For the last decade especially we have advanced tremendously on the techno front.  We have much more of an on-line presence than we have in the physical realm.  We have tons of friends on social networks, and interact with them daily.  But do we realise we are building our personal brand with what we say and do in this public space?

Whatever I do and say, whatever my opinion, whatever my mood…I am shaping my brand.  How much thought goes into what I put out there?

I was watching SA Idols the other day and was reminded of this very topic when a contestant had a bad audition and the judge reminded them of how he is shaping his brand right now.  Whatever we do, whether good or bad, has an effect on what people start thinking and believing of us.

It is a powerful concept if you think about it.  If I mention for instance, Jacob Zuma (SA president), certain things come to mind.  Good or bad, his actions and words have shaped a brand in our (South African) minds.  I mention, Monica Lewinsky, you immediately think – scandal! Scary, but true.  We tend to remember the bad rather than the good.

This is serious stuff…careful thought needs to go into what I say and what I do.  Integrity should be on top of my list.  My yeh should be my yeh and my neh, should be neh.

I wrote down a few guidelines to remind MYSELF when I forget (use it, or don’t…up to you):

1. When you update a status, tweet or post a blog, think about what you want people to take from it. Think of it as being on stage and you having your own show i.e speaking your mind. What do you want your social audience to hear? This will guide you when you write.

2. I realise my social presence has been created for me to speak my mind, but how much of my mind do I want to put “out there”? Do I want everyone to know what colour undies I am wearing, or is it totally irrelevant? No offense, but some people really have no discretion when they say certain things! (Maybe I have done so too, come to think of it!)

3. Crude language is extremely distasteful! Also, inappropriate images and pictures…these all add up to your position as a brand.

4. I realise each of us have our own audience…but always think of how to gain more followers. Note down what you stand for and stick to that. Stick to your principles and state your opinion in a tasteful, respectful manner. I am all for expressing yourself, but just do so appropriately.

image courtesy of  http://www.time.com/time/

Time is always elapsing…and as it passes on, I either grow or I die.  When I die, how do I want people to remember me?  Some food for thought.

How do you feel about this argument?

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4 thoughts on “I am a brand…

  1. Colline says:

    I agree with you. Always think: would you say what you put out there on the internet to people face to face? If not, then you probably should not type it and press the publish button.

  2. Ntombi says:

    Thank you for such a great argument, I only got to see it now in 2014 and it’s still relevant. I do believe that building a personal brand depends on what one says and post on social media. “WHATEVER YOU SAY OR DO, IS PUBLIC RELATIONS” – Unknown

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