Belfast Telegraph

Why building up a brand is about putting your best foot forward, not showing off

By Lynsey Cunningham

Building a brand isn't a shallow focus on appearance or style. It's a much more engaged, personal process than that.

Think about the brands that you like the most or use on a daily basis - it's quite easy to visualise that brand as a person.

That's not an accident - it's a concerted strategy by a business to speak to you, a potential customer, with one voice across all their channels.

It means you know who they are and what their values are, and it warms you up to them before you've even started to consider making a purchase.

A personal brand means that colleagues and co-workers are clear about the way you think, the way you work, and your style of delivery. It precedes you into meetings and leads to people spontaneously remembering and recommending you for projects and initiatives that can support career development.

It also protects you, meaning that when something goes wrong, people know your motivations and they believe in your integrity - making it easier to move on more quickly.

Given its value, why do so many people, particularly working women, neglect their personal brand? It's an asset that needs continual protection and development.

In part, this reluctance might stem from a fear of being perceived to be 'pushy' or 'confrontational'. Yet it is these particular qualities - speaking up, not being afraid to set boundaries and challenge people and confidence in your own beliefs - that are core to brand building.

Think about the last time you heard a radio advert that cut itself short so that a competitor could talk over them, or a billboard suggesting that they might have better products. Yet for many women, this is a fact of their working life - one that needs to change. Of course, this is easy to notice and harder to do something about.

This year has seen a celebration of 100 years of votes for some women in the UK - a landmark that shows momentous change can be achieved through taking a stand, but also that this change isn't easy to achieve on your own.

That's why, as part of our celebration of International Women's Day, Ulster Bank is holding a collaborative discussion and networking event to highlight the need to build your personal brand, giving you the opportunity to find out tips and techniques that can help you stand out.

Register on Eventbrite:

Belfast Telegraph

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