Why create your personal brand?


Ah humans … we are both all different and all alike. We gauge, observe, we imitate. There is nothing better to see our similarities and differences than social networks.

The new family album

Facebook and Instagram have become, for some, the family album. We pose, we eat, we laugh … we give to see, we reveal, we share.

For some, we even have the impression of being their mirror, as they take us, the screen of their phone stick closer, in the privacy of a bed, a bathroom … to the point where one wonders, feeling uneasy, if they are well aware of this display.

We are an explosion of diversity

There are those who love to show off what they have … here is my new dress, my new makeup, my new shoes, my new home … others like to keep each other informed … here in what city I am, what What I do, with whom … Others, thinking of addressing only intimate friends, have made an uncensored newspaper where they spit venom with their anger and their suffering as a therapy.

There are also those who share the mood of the moment or the humor of the day, it is a relaxation. Those who have things to say make us think. Getting mad. Brilliance. Blows of cockroach. There is everything. For all tastes.

Some people refuse to be there while others publish the intimate photos to friends only or, on the contrary, some are never seen enough and admired … so dopamine requires a small publication … to boost self-esteem and receive some compliments to the passage by as many as possible.

And there are those who need you. They have something to sell you.

We are more than 2 billion, must speak to each other!

In the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had more than 2.27 billion active users each month and 1.49 billion active users every day in the world (including about 30 million French).

It’s because Facebook did a good job, explains Benedict Evans, one of the partners of the Californian firm Andreessen Horowitz, in his post, The End of the News Feed on his blog that we would start to get tired of these photos and albums. family. You love your dog and you like to post the most pictures of him on Facebook, but for those who follow you … after one or two pictures, weariness comes quickly. Same thing for your wardrobe … unless you are a stylist or an influencer.

“So many people have shared so many photos today that 50% of Facebook engineers’ efforts must be devoted to inserting more noise into the newsfeed (your photos and your tickets), and the remaining 50% are looking for ways to filter them, “tweeted the venture capitaladvisor .

So, if you are among those who complain about the constant change of algorithms, know that it is because of this incredible participation of all of us. When we all … we can become very noisy on social networks, forcing Facebook engineers, assisted by their artificial intelligence, to clean up behind our passage and choose what we see and do not see.

The consequence of these behaviors?

The news feed is losing more and more relevance. We begin to lose interest, according to Benedict Evans, this endless flow that finally brings us little compared to the time that it makes us lose.

New trend ?

The trend that would point the nose in 2019 would be to participate in smaller communities that share interests and values ​​similar to ours.

You will see more and more people creating their groups and trying to attract people who are interested in the same things, which allows them to spend less time on social networks watching others live to occupy that time. to learn and to create with others.

This trend joins another, CVs as we have known and business cards are becoming obsolete.

Now everyone is responsible for their personal branding. His resume is no longer a document that lists his facts and glories, but rather a story that will thrill the one for whom it was designed.

A personal brand image

Those who are skilled at designing these stories will find more partners, employers and customers. This story evolves with everyone, throughout his life, just like his personal brand image. It is also this story that will make other people want to follow you.

After a first series of three articles on the art of possibilities , here is a second series, two articles this time, on the art of being seen and known  !

In the first article, I will talk more about the phenomenon in general while in the second, I will discuss the importance for artists and journalists to enter the dance. We will see some strategies adopted by those who understood that these new wheels become essential for the longevity of a career or the success of projects and companies.

The questions that jostle in my head

When I chose this topic, several questions jostled in my head. How does one become an influencer? Why do some brands succeed in changing the behavior of many people? Why are some people followed, while others that are sometimes more interesting are much less so?

I wanted to understand why this trend and what skills developed to thrive not only in the real world, but also in the virtual world … that occupies more and more of a lot of our lives?

Why this trend?

What are the key factors that explain why an individual identifies with a brand on the Internet?

What does the term “identification” mean in the context of social networks?

  • The contact that is established between an individual and a brand to which he identifies is continuous: the individual has uninterrupted access to the brand platform, and he can interact with a community that shares the same identity. interest in the mark in question.
  • He shows his commitment to the brand in the knowledge and knowledge of the community; he lets it know, in other words, in front of his friends.
  • This identification is free, unlike the traditional model, which required a customer to buy the product of a brand. In the virtual world of social networks, an individual does not have to own a product to claim his attachment to a brand.

What does the term “identification” mean as such, or more specifically, how do you define the term ” customer brand identification ( CBI )”?

Several definitions overlap:

  • The psychological underpinnings of the notions of engagement and meaning-seeking that marketing managers use to build relationships with their customers.
  • The decision made by a consumer to define himself or herself by integrating the element of a brand into the representation of oneself.

From these definitions we can draw the following conclusions:

  • The self-image of a consumer is crucial. It must be defined according to a reference group because a transfer mechanism is at work. When the consumer identification process takes place within a reference group, the identification is then stronger than if that identification occurred outside the group.
  • The consumer, integrated into a reference group, will be less likely to reject a brand than individuals who are not connected to any group.
  • The symbolic component of a brand (the choice of images) is crucial because it must be understood as the projection of the self-image that the consumer wants to project.

What about now, not a business, but an individual?

Jeff Sheldon / Unsplash.

The Personal Branding or develop its brand

Historically, the term has appeared in the 90’s. Personal branding is a planned process of automarketing. The concept was first used by some personalities for the political world or business. It then spread to the entire population.

In a society where social networks predominate, information flows flow from consumer to consumer, and naturally favor personal branding . Kucharska defines the following terms related to branding personalities  :

  • Brand: A name, word, symbol or combination to identify a seller’s good or service in a way that differentiates it from its competitors.
  • personal branding : a name (that of a real person) related to all the characteristics required to distinguish that individual from others.
  • The management of a personal brand: 
    a. Manage an extended self. 
    b. The process by which an individual spends effort to market himself. 
    c. Deploying narrative identities to promote your career, your business, or find a job.

In order to create a personal brand , it is necessary to clarify one’s “bases”: to know who one is, what one wants, the goals one pursues.

Self-expression for the development of an effective personal brand requires clear identification:

  • Self (self)
  • From a social reference group (images, belief, values, goals pursued).

The co-construction of a brand

William Iven / Unsplash.

The identification of the user against a trademark has an impact on the positive attitude that other users have towards that user’s personal brand.

This hypothesis was tested by a Polish researcher on the Facebook platform from the following model in which we count

Seven parameters:

  • Identifying with a brand on social networks causes a positive attitude of users of a platform towards the personal brand of their peers. Self-expression is a way of asserting oneself, and self-expression always occurs in a social context. The reference group in which self-expression manifests itself thus has an influence both on the self-image as well as on the ways in which the individual expresses it. The more an individual has the chance to speak on a subscriber page ( fan page ), the more the identification on this page will be strong. There is then a transfer of meaning between a mark and the user of the page in question. Self-expression is subjective in nature, whereas transference is objective.
  • The self-expression of the user feeds the identification process with the mark of the page.
  • The distinctive character of the mark encourages the user to identify with this brand.
  • The ability to establish social contacts through the fan page further encourages users to identify with the brand.
  • The usefulness of a fan page has a positive effect on the tendency of users to identify with the brand.
  • The entertaining nature of a fan page has a positive effect on the tendency of users to identify with the brand.
  • Brand identification has a positive effect on user loyalty to the brand.

Amazing results!

The results of this model tested by the Polish researcher are amazing.

One parameter is very important: self-expression . All others are relegated to the background.

Thus, the personal branding , realized by the identification with a mark on the social networks, is not fortuitous, but is the result of a planned and planned strategy on the part of the users.

A trademark must be considered as a tool to create a personal brand.

Therefore, the creation of a personal brand by identifying with a trademark on social networks determines the values ​​created by the trademark on its platform.

In practical terms, to build a brand on Facebook (in this case), it is necessary to deliver content that focuses on the users and the image they have of themselves, and not on the Mark.

To be effective, a brand must not be the point of interest of the content it presents on its fan page. The nature of the content presented may generate interest for the brand, but in the current competitive environment this is not enough.

That’s fascinating. The brands we identify with, the communities we belong to allow us to express who we are. It is our personality that extends into this virtual world.

For several years now I have been encouraging my students to think about their history and their presence on social networks. Sometimes I shock some … because they want, at any cost, to protect their privacy.

Concern ?

It’s not a choice anymore. If we want to survive in this world of billions of people, to develop and prosper, we must take care of his personal image. Share your skills and join the networks and communities that allow us to express who we are.

To exclude oneself is to put oneself in danger of survival, unless becoming a hermit is in our plans. But do not panic, I will propose keys to act in the next column and by then, I propose you the exercise of the week to begin to work there.

Developing your personal image can become a project of evolutionary creation that will accompany us throughout our existence. Doing it more aware of the values ​​we want to defend can be very interesting. Trust me, I will not ask you to flaunt yourself, nor wear your ego like a hat! Do not miss the rest of this column.

Author Bio: Sylvie Gendreau is a Lecturer in Creativity and Innovation at the Polytechnique Montréal