Branding – Insights from young engineers and university students

Last week in Calgary with members of the Young Engineers of ASHRAE (YEA) and this week with marketing students at Capilano University in North Vancouver, I had the opportunity to present some ideas on personal branding. Both audiences were bright, open to new perspectives and keen to learn. Both these groups were interested to learn about what they could do to build their personal brand relating to their careers, relationship and life. Here are some of the key points discussed. Perhaps you can use them to help you build you brand or strengthen your market position.

  • What do the best corporate and personal brands have in common? Both groups knew instinctively that top brands, whether companies or people, all demonstrate consistency, transparency and integrity and make decisions based on values that meet or exceed the expectations of those they serve.
  • Build your brand not only to acquire a job, clients and friends. Build your brand because it makes your inherently more valuable.
  • Study the best brands, Corporate and Personal, to see what they do that differentiates themselves and apply it to yourself and your business.
  • Focus on your “why”. Knowing why you are doing something and what you hope to achieve is more important than defining what or how you are going to doing it.
  • How do others view you? Select the primary position you occupy in the minds of others based on how you are perceived. Next, select the position you would like to occupy in the minds of your clients and colleagues and develop a strategy to move up :

o   Commodity

o   Value Add

o   Preferred

o   Strategic

o   Innovator

  • Bonus tip – Your brand is the sum total of the unique elements and characteristics that differentiate you from your competition. It comprises all the impressions your clients and prospects have of your company – your qualities, character, culture, and vision. It’s how you do business. A strong brand pre-qualifies you in your client’s mind, and positions you as the only choice for the project. Source: A/E Rainmaker. April 2008.

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