Is your Personal Brand Invisible, Active, Passive, or Disruptive? Guest Post by Dave Patrick

Introduction from Alana:

Today, we’ll hear from Dave Patrick who I first met through a mutual contact.  We quickly discovered we have tons of synergy in the respective work that we do.  I find him to be a great strategic thinker with tons of marketing prowess that he willingly shares with students, clients and contacts.

Dave teaches advanced brand strategy in the MBA programs at the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri.  He’s also the founder and CMO of High Performance Retail Marketing Group where he partners with CEO’s and leadership teams to improve the effectiveness of their marketing.  You’re going to love his insight on personal branding.

Welcome to CLC, Dave!


Guest post by Dave Patrick:

dave-patrickA couple of fundamentals about “Your Personal Brand.”

First, “Your Brand” is a promise, do you know what your promise is?

Second, “your Brand Promise” isn’t what you say it is, it’s what the folks who know you, tell you it is.

Just like consumer brands, your personal brand can be invisible, active, passive, or disruptive. 

Do you know what yours is?  Do you know what you want your brand to be?

We just finished an election where the two disruptive brands (Sanders and Trump) drove all the energy, attention, ideas, and disruption.

When you think of consumer brands like RC Cola, Boston Market, and Kmart; you realize that they still exist, but for the most part they are out of sight, out of mind, and going out of business.

Are you an Invisible Brand? Probably, if the only folks who hear from you are a small group of co-workers.

Are you a Passive Brand? Probably, if you aren’t thinking about, or pro-actively connecting your brand to new networks, connections, audiences, and peer groups.

Are you an Active Brand? This doesn’t happen by accident.  Does the book Never Eat Alone reflect you or scare you?  How many new people do you meet in a week or month?  How many LinkedIn contacts do you have? Do you know? Do you care?

Active Brands are active; they reach out and engage.  How often do you engage your network?  How often do you take meetings from people you don’t know and know you won’t get anything out of it?  Active consumer brands act like TMobile, Sam Adams Beer, and NetFlix. Active brands draw attention to themselves (in a purposeful way that aligns with their brand promise).

tulipDisruptive Brands disrupt the status quo.  If you are a disruptive brand, chances are you’ve been fired a few times (Steve Jobs), or people are writing articles about you (Jeff Bezos), or you are creating news (Ariana Huffington).  Disruptive Brands take on the establishment. Disruptive consumer brands act like Apple, Dollar Shave Club, and Southwest Airlines. They create “issues” that they are able to solve (and the market leaders can’t).

Where to begin.  Start with an understanding of how you are perceived and how pro-active you’ve been.  Unfortunately, many people wait until they’ve lost their jobs in their 40’s to realize they don’t have a network.

Begin by extending your natural networks (church, sports, work, hobby’s, industry).

Next, pro-actively grow your network by meeting new people and finding new ways to contribute to your network.  For example, I personally take 4-6 meetings a month from people I don’t know that are interested in networking with me to mentor them (job search, career change, start-up, marketing problem).

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