How to differentiate yourself from peers and competitors is the question, and personal branding is the answer. Here are five key insights into why individual executives need to discover and market their own personal brands – just as large organizations must market their corporate brands.

#1 Success Today Demands a Magnetic Brand

The global economy has drastically altered our employment landscape and new rules apply. Even top professional jobs are unstable, so high achievers have to stay on the innovative edge of career opportunities. Today it is common for executives to change jobs every several years – not every few decades – because of lay-offs, downsizing, or the desire to work in a different and more exciting and rewarding environment.

Highly successful leaders and high achievers are now managing their own careers by discovering and leveraging a personal brand to attract greater business opportunities and career progress. Those who understand how to use this innovative business tool become the hunted – not the hunter – as they are actively sought out and courted for prized positions and leadership roles.

#2 Why Personal Branding Works

Large corporations like Starbucks spend millions of dollars to instill and nurture strong brand loyalty by communicating clear, concise, consistent advertising messages about their unique promise of value. Otherwise why do we spend top dollar on a cup of coffee at Starbucks when we could stop by McDonalds and pick up a caffeine boost at a bargain price?

It’s because we will pay a premium to identify with their brand – which encompasses a great store ambiance, specialty coffees, and that inviting and innovative cultural and social place where we can meet and mingle. We spend more in order to get more – which means we expect to be served not just a cup of java but also the emotional feeling and experience conveyed through their carefully crafted brand.

Personal branding utilizes the same principles of brand marketing to help professionals discover their authenticity and unique promise of value. As a personal branding strategist I tell my clients it’s like discovering your true self and then communicating it to a selective group of people so that you become the highly sought after celebrity within your area of expertise. Professionals typically only need to market their unique brand to a very selective and influential group of superiors, human resource professionals, or competitors in order to get “A-listed” on the “fast-track” to greater success. The rest happens automatically as people beat a path to your door.

#3 The Mirror Principle: Discover and Know Thyself

One of the most innovative business tools I utilize with my clients to help them discover their personal brand is the 360 Reach Assessment tool. Unlike other corporate 360 assessments, this particular branding tool allows you to receive an

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