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BrandingPays: The Five-Step System to Reinvent Your Personal Brand Hardcover – January 15, 2013
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"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
- 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
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Top Customer Reviews
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. For a good cake, you must provide both substance and the decoration. She uses this example throughout the book and it really makes it easy to grasp the difference between and the importance of providing both rational and emotional value.
The five-step system consists of: Positioning, Message, Brand Strategy, Ecosystem and Action Plan. There is a chapter devoted to each step of the system. At the end of each chapter is a summary and action list. Each step in the system is explained in detail with lots of examples of actual cases. There are plenty of templates for the reader to use in creating their own unique brand by working through each step of the system.
This is not a book on theory of branding. Ms. Kang gives a discussion of each step and then walks you through doing that step for your own brand. This book is designed for the reader to work through designing and implementing their own brand. The value of the book is in doing the work necessary to re-brand your business or yourself.
This book is valuable for anyone who is not currently getting the results they want. It will work for and improve the brand of employees in corporate jobs, business owners and solo-entrepreneurs.
The book is well written and easy to read. The concepts are clearly explained and there are plenty of examples to illustrate the concepts in action.
An excellent resource, a real how to guide to help you create the unique brand of you that will resonate with your target audience.
I was provided a review copy of this book.
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. I encourage people to use the same avatar on all their social media platforms. If you use several different avatars, you are diluting the branding effect. For professionals (unless you are an artist), a photo is preferable to an illustration. Pick one photo that represents you well and use it consistently.
And there were many other useful tidbits, including this one:
* Managing your online reputation is something everyone should do. It can be as simple as doing a Google search on your name. Are the links and images of you that show up on the first page of search results how you want your brand represented? If not, then you have some work to do.
BRANDING PAYS would also make an idea gift for college graduates just starting their professional careers.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
anyone wanting to project a positive image.