As a marketer, I know the value of branding. The largest and most successful companies in the world have teams of people dedicated solely to branding. Branding is no longer about using the same logo, trademark, tagline and/or color scheme on all your marketing material. Branding is composed of different components including: brand identity, brand image, brand character, brand culture, brand personality and brand essence. Marketing agencies and consultants charge anywhere between $75,000-$250,000 to develop and manage a company’s brand.
Now here’s the kicker with branding that every marketing professional will tell you – they have no idea how it impacts their bottom line. Branding is the most difficult type of marketing to measure because you can’t easily quantify it. So, why are organizations across the globe spending so much money and time on branding? Quite simply – effective branding creates consumer confidence. Establishing a brand with a clear voice and values will enable your consumers to be loyal and confident when they buy from you. People have a natural desire to evolve with a brand whose products and services help give their life or business meaning and significance.
It’s not just businesses that need to focus on effective branding. If you care about your future as a professional in the world of work, you need to focus on your own personal brand. Personal branding is critical to establishing who you are and what you represent to those around you, the equivalent of a company’s consumers. They are your employer, your manager, your co-workers, your peers and anyone else that comes in contact with you in a professional setting. I’m not just talking about ensuring that embarrassing picture from your cousin’s wedding isn’t visible on Facebook... I’m talking about preparing for the future by branding yourself as a leader in your industry now.
By branding yourself as an industry leader, you’re communicating to your “consumers” what you represent as a professional. In this age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics Process Automation (RPA), every single industry will be dramatically impacted in the future by these technologies. Whether the impacts are positive or negative to the workforce, what is certain is that we all need to make ourselves employable and irreplaceable to businesses who are focusing more on investing in technology than in their workforces.
To future-proof yourself, your personal brand must demonstrate that you are highly intelligent, adaptable and innovative. How can you achieve this? Start by surrounding yourself with a strong network of like-minded leaders who you can learn from and evolve with. Next, become a lifelong learner that always sees an opportunity to grow. Soak up every piece of credible content and training that you can, that’s what will always keep you ahead of the pack. Lastly, market these things as part of your personal brand. Put your certifications on your résumé and LinkedIn profile, and promote the networks and associations you’re part of to establish yourself as a leader of the future.
To support our members in becoming industry leaders of tomorrow, SIG recently launched an Individual Membership Program to empower professionals worldwide to easily access SIG’s networking, training and content. Sourcing, outsourcing and procurement professionals around the globe can utilize our membership benefits like the SIG Resource Center, Peer2Peer program and networking events. Our mission is to elevate the world of sourcing and we hope that by providing an opportunity for you to future-proof yourself today and further your personal brand, it will go a long way towards advancing the industry.
Heather Young is a Senior Marketing Manager with SIG. She has more than 10 years of experience in business and marketing. Prior to joining SIG's marketing team, Heather was leading digital marketing for outsourcing, recruiting and workforce management at Allegis Global Solutions. Before joining Allegis Global Solutions, Heather managed the marketing department at a consulting company in Washington, D.C. Heather has a passion for philanthropy and is actively involved with non-profit organizations locally and nationally. She was the spokesperson of a two-year nationwide campaign to increase awareness of missing persons and teach safety education. Heather has a BS in Corporate Communication from the University of Baltimore.