How Would You Define Your Personal Brand & Keep It Relevant?
In today’s fast paced digital age brands are born every minute so what separates the good from the bad and the ugly and how can a brand continue to evolve to reflect the emerging market dynamics?
All business brands are typically personifications of the characters that set them up. Think of them as having human like characteristics with a personality and a reputation to uphold. Getting behind your personal brand can reveal much about the kind of principles and values you espouse. Personal brands evoke emotional connections and give consumers a sense of passion and warmth about the people that created them.
These days we all have a personal brand whether we’re in the self employed business bracket or not. So how can we evolve our personality into a fully fledged business brand online?
Here’s where archetypes come in.
Everywhere we look we’re surrounded by these powerful symbols and images that are somehow influencing our behaviour by evoking feelings then thoughts then our actions . In fact, all our decisions are based upon our feelings primarily, albeit unconscious motivations operating under the surface of our conscious mind.
These universal archetypes, which you’ll find embedded everywhere in our culture from literature to modern media act as gateways to our personal and collective soul. Let’s say these energetic imprints actually exist in the depths of our psyche and are quietly helping to shape who we actually are and what particular roles we’ll eventually play out over our life -course.
Knowledge of such archetypes actually date back as far as Plato and Carl Jung developed this area much further. Jung suggested these archetypes are so potent because they reflect our collective unconscious , the drives, needs, fears and desires that are hardwired in all of us.
Indeed, his design of the 5 Olympic circles symbol embedded the concept of the circle which represents the imagery of potential and life itself in ancient cultures. Those 5 interlocking circles are a reflection of 5 energies, earth, air, fire, water and ether or spirit. The Chinese also relate to 5 circles representing life though supplement wood for air and metal for spirit.
Carl Jung’s work inspired the indicative personality profiler used by Myers Briggs because we know these archetypes resonate powerfully with us.
So archetypes are innate and they transcend time and place. They’re the stuff of legends, the story books and block buster films. They are something that we all intuitively understand offering short-cuts to meaning and emotional connection. Plato certainly believed we were all born with this innate knowing and certainly if you ask anyone to consider what fire as a symbol represents to them you’ll commonly get responses such as passion and personal transformation. We typically associate the symbol of water with our emotions and feelings and air with inspiration and blue-sky thinking, earth represents a practical, grounded and down to earth connection.
So archetypes represent different aspects of the way that we think in terms of ancient wisdom and intuitive intelligence. They help us access deeper levels of creativity and insight in order to be able to fully express our passions, purpose and values. These kind of connections are typically hidden from our every day awareness because they are buried deep within our subconscious but when we do access them in can be truly trans-formative.
Ultimately, when you strip everything else away, story is all we are. We are defined by the stories we tell and that are told about us. And brands are part of that story. At the heart of every great personal brand is a compelling story built around an emotive character or personality. It’s such a story that provides the critical differentiation and reason for purchasing your product or service offering , pricing and fee structure aside. The story itself builds the loyalty of our customer base and following as well as the opportunity to become a part of that story.
Brands evolve over time by staying true to who they are, so it’s never a re-invention as such it’s more a maturing process and coming of age as great brands always remain true to their core archetype.
Here Are 5 Stages to Consider When Creating A Compelling Personal Brand For Your Online Business
1. Review Jung’s 12 master archetypes listed below and begin to select the ones most relevant to you and the ones which resonate with what you aim to offer. In reviewing the list you may find yourself developing one of your own entirely ;
Archetype Helps People Brand Example
1. Creator Craft something new 3M
2. Caregiver Care for Others Volvo
3. Ruler Exert Control American Express
4. Jester Have a good time Fanta
5. Regular Guy/Girl Ok as you are Ikea
6. Lover Find and give love Häagen-Dazs
7. Hero Act courageously Nike
8. Outlaw Break the rules Virgin
9. Magician Effect transformation Intel
10. Innocent Retain or renew faith Coca-Cola
11. Explorer Maintain independence Bounty
12 Sage Understand their world Google
2. Now Establish your story
This is about defining what’s behind your reasons for set-up and offering a clear, unique and differentiated perspective of the situation and what you bring to the party. Once crafted take some time to test it out with those that know you well to see how it resonates with them. See how believable and motivating people find it and whether it accurately reflects your character and values set. Customers and prospects should be able to get your brand values purely from the story alone.
3. Next comes Tag Line
The essence of your story, the core of who you are-all your experiences, knowledge, values and character reflects your unique personality and what you aim to bring to the world. Once you have this you somehow need to distil that down to a sentence that encapsulates it all and offers a short-cut to understanding for those browsing your site.
It acts as this wonderful filter to keep those you want coming back for more and subscribing to your list.
4. Decide on Logo’s & Colour
Logo’s will be determined by the archetype selection which maybe very clear cut for you or is likely to be an amalgamation of a couple of archetypes. For example; if you’ve spent a decent amount of time on my site then you’ll begin to acknowledge that my brand is really a mixture of Outlaw/Explorer/Creator providing the basis for a bold red/yellow/black combination and almost tattoo rebel logo. A more serene brand will typically have a calmer colour palette and image to reflect that.
5. Copy will follow your brand design
You are now ready to write some compelling copy based around the core personality of the brand so that’s about using languages and phrases that would resonate with the audience who will be attracted to YOU. If your branding is more of a Jester archetype then typically the copy will be more informal and lively, if more of a Sage archetype then it will be more sober and authoritative in style.
Time invested up front in capturing your core personality archetype will provide the right platform and foundations for building an enduring personal brand online over time.
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