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BrandingPays: The Five-Step System to Reinvent Your Personal Brand Hardcover – January 15, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Early Praise for BrandingPays

"Karen is the master of personal branding." — Regis McKenna, author and Silicon Valley marketing guru

"The wait is over!  This book is one you'll want to own and revisit again and again." — Maureen E. McNulty, Senior Director of Development, Principal and Major Gifts, Harvard Medical School

"This book is destined to be a classic." — Susan Lucas-Conwell, CEO, Great Place to Work

"This is a must-read if you’re ready to invest in YOU!" — Monica L. Poindexter, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Genentech

"A no-nonsense, practical, operational, data-based and strategically sound method for improving everyone’s personal brand." — Leonard Lodish, Professor of Marketing at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

"This book is a goldmine! It will transform how you brand yourself and your company." — Cristina Nogueira, Partner, Walking the Talk and former Sales & Marketing Director at Microsoft

"I would highly recommend it for executives and entrepreneurs alike." — Satya Krishnaswamy, CEO, NextPrinciples, and former Global Vice President, Office of the CTO, SAP Labs

"A powerful step-by-step system. I highly recommend BrandingPays for any professional serious about career success." — Larry Chang, President, Ascend Northern California and former Vice President of Finance, Global Supply Chain, Hewlett-Packard

"BrandingPays delivers aha! moments from start to finish." — Seymour Duncker, CEO and founder, iCharts

“This book will help you transform the way you approach and attract customers in today’s global market.” — Ryan (Young K.) Yoo, Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, Park Systems

From the Inside Flap

In this breakthrough book, author Karen Kang shows you how to:
  • Position yourself for the best opportunities
  • Clearly communicate your unique value
  • Put your "cake" and "icing" together for a strong brand
  • Leverage the influencers who can accelerate your reputation
  • Build your Brand Action Plan for online and offline success
Overflowing with templates, charts, and action lists that enable you to "Bake the Cake, then Ice It," the book includes inspiring real-life examples, many from groups that are under-represented in top business leadership. No matter what challenges you face, BrandingPays will help you develop your recipe for successful branding.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: BrandingPays Media (January 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988437503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988437500
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karen Kang (BrandingPays.com) is a recognized brand strategist and the CEO and founder of BrandingPays LLC, a corporate and personal branding company. She has trained thousands of professionals on the unique BrandingPaysTM System for personal branding.

For the first time, Kang makes her signature method available to a mass market with BrandingPays: The Five-Step System to Reinvent Your Personal Brand (January 2013). Readers will learn how to apply her "Bake the Cake, then Ice It" metaphor to reinvent their personal brands for today's world. The book includes templates, charts, action lists, and inspiring stories - many from under-represented groups in top business leadership - to help professionals, entrepreneurs, and college students develop their own recipes for successful branding.

Kang, who has more than 20 years of experience in brand strategy consulting, was a partner with Regis McKenna Inc., the legendary marketing firm that created and launched the Apple brand. She has consulted to more than 150 organizations in the US, Europe and Asia from Fortune 100 companies to non-profits and startups. Her broad experience has included such diverse clients as Ariba, AT&T, Genentech, HP, iCharts, Lavante, Synopsys, Maxtor, NCR, Park Systems, SigmaQuest (Camstar), UC Davis Health System, Webroot and VoyagePrive.

Her marketing and communications background gives her a 360-degree view of branding. A former newspaper journalist on both the East and West Coasts, she has held executive positions in marketing consulting, advertising and public relations firms. Kang is a frequent speaker at leading business schools and professional organizations.
She has served on the boards of The Friends of the Palo Alto Library and the Women's Technology Cluster (Astia). She has also donated her time to such worthy non-profit organizations as Girls for a Change, CORO, Asian Business League of San Francisco and Ascend. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mills College, where she holds her B.A. degree in English, and has earned her M.S. degree in Journalism from Boston University. She resides in Palo Alto, California.

Follow her on Twitter @karenkang and engage with her on Facebook at Facebook.com/BrandingPays.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When I mention branding to most small business owners or solo-preneurs, their eyes glaze over, generally followed with some comment about branding being for the big guys, like Coca-Cola or Toyota.

The first lesson that Karen Kang, the author or Branding Pays, teaches is that we all - business owners, solo entrepreneurs, employees and prospective employees all have a brand. It might be helpful to look at branding in a different way. Instead of branding, think of how you are perceived by others. Branding is simply how others see us. Everyone has a brand. Some people choose to be pro-active about making sure their brand is a true reflection of who they are.

If you fail to manage your brand, it is highly unlikely that others will always see the best in you. They can and will develop incorrect perceptions of who you are. As the title of the book says, Branding Pays. It pays to be active and manage your brand.

Ms. Kang discusses some common myths people have against being pro-active with their branding. Often you hear people say, "My work speaks for itself. People can and should judge me on my work." Unfortunately, that is simply not true. Often people never get a good insight into the results you produce. You must be pro-active in letting people know who you are and the good work you do. Ms. Kang goes on to discuss other myths and how believing in them can and will hold you back.

The heart of the book is her five step process for building your own brand. According to Ms. Kang, there are two elements to your brand - these are the rational value you provide and the emotional value. She makes this much easier to understand by using a cake/icing metaphor. The cake is the substance - the rational value, while the icing is the emotional value.
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Format: Hardcover
BRANDING PAYS: THE FIVE-STEP SYSTEM TO REINVENT YOUR PERSONAL BRAND (BrandingPays Media) by Karen Kang is the perfect book to read if you're in the process of attempting to get to the next step of your career.

The author, a well-known brand strategist and founder/CEO of her own personal branding company, shows how to do this by utilizing a step-by-step approach that's very easy to follow. In addition, she uses her own life-along with many other real-life examples-to show how this can be done.

One key thing to keep in mind, she notes, is your elevator pitch:

* A perfect example of using an elevator pitch to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity is Jenna. Recently, she spotted a CEO of a biotech company eating alone in her local restaurant. She had worked with him briefly at her current firm when he was a senior vice president there, but she wasn't sure he remembered her. Armed with an elevator pitch that she had prepared in advance, she confidently introduced herself. The CEO asked her to sit down and they chatted about her current company and the industry for 15 minutes. When she rose to leave, she told him that if he ever had need for a senior corporate lawyer with strong commercial experience, she would be interested. He had her sit down again, and after another discussion, nearly offered her a job on the spot. Within two weeks, she got her dream job as an executive with this company. Jenna's compelling elevator pitch helped her make favorable impression that led to a great job offer.

I also liked what Kang had to say about the use of social media:

* In social media, your avatar (a photo or illustration that is your personal visual identity) is synonymous with your brand.
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Format: Hardcover
“Branding Pays: The Five-Step System to Reinvent Your Personal Brand” by Karen Kang is a great text on determining and implementing your personal brand to succeed in business. Kang, a recognized brand strategist and founder of BrandingPays LLC, has put the knowledge she's gained through helping thousands of professionals with her unique BrandingPays System for personal branding into book form with this guide to reinventing your personal brand.

The text is well organized and laid out in a logical fashion. It reminded me a bit of some of the business books I read in college. There are plenty of graphs and charts to help illustrate Kang's points, and each chapter ends with a summary and action list.

While the book sometimes feels aimed at those in corporate positions, the advice contained in these chapters will also benefit the entrepreneur and small business owner too. The book also contains a chapter on social media basics, and I wish all young people (and some older) would read the parts about people not getting jobs because of what was posted on facebook.

Putting your best foot forward is important, but it is not enough. To get ahead today, having a strategic approach to brand positioning and communication is critical. Kang's five steps of positioning, messages, brand strategy, ecosystems and having an action plan will help readers create the strategic plan to get ahead with a credible personal brand. I recommend it to anyone wanting to create a brand or reinvent the personal brand they may have.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of "Lost Conscience: A Ben Baker Sniper Novel" and others.
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