I would like to start this blog by asking you all to close your eyes and imagine the taste of 'Pepsi' and try to differentiate it from 'Coca cola’, what do you feel? Both look alike but are they really same? Does it takes a lot of time for us to differentiate between the two? I don't think so, it is just a matter of time! Now what we see is that two so similar looking brands differ so greatly that with just a sip of it, we know what is it! We with our strong perception of things are able to distinguish the more sweeter and less fizzy 'Pepsi' from the more tangy and fizzier 'Coca cola'! This is because when we see an object, the moment we experience it, we associate it with certain features and this is how branding happens.
Branding as I have said before is not just limited to things alone but humans do fall under its clutches. Lets go in for another example, for instance, if I ask you to imagine MR Mahendra Singh Dhoni, what all comes to your mind? A calm, cool and an experienced young man with extraordinary genius and profound wisdom! Am I right? So, what did you do? You just branded the ex captain of team India. Just like MS Dhoni, we too are micro celebrities of our lives and we too are branded all the time.
Personal Branding is to actively and consciously associate yourself with certain qualities that precede your name and becomes 'YOU'. Just like Business Branding, Personal Branding too fetches us some benefits like we are able to define ourselves which is the first step in building a strong personality and opens the gateway for opportunities and professional invites. The statement we make about ourselves enables us to find a unique place for us in the world of duplicates.
The only path to PERSONAL BRANDING is authenticity and uniqueness which are the fundamental basis of it and determine the quality of brand called YOU.
WHAT IS ' AUTHENTICITY'?
The word stands for being true to yourself. Authenticity is searching the real you beneath the heap of characteristics people throw at us freely, it is the mild boundary between what we know about ourselves and what the world wants us to know about ourselves. It is the distinction between what we wish to do and what world wants us to do! All the success stories across the globe shout that when we know ourselves, what we really are and what we intend to do, there is absolutely no force stronger than this that can make a person successful! The moment we decide to be our true self, we automatically come in sync with our unique self and we become one of a kind!
ACHIEVING ' AUTHENTICITY' OFFLINE
Branding happens both in offline and online space. To become our authentic self is not an easy job as we are often affected by the world we live in but it is the only way to success if we wish to create a powerful brand. Here are a few tips which might help us in achieving authenticity in our offline space:1 . Ask yourself what you really wished to do if there were no social obligations that now decide the course of your life 2 . Ask yourself what is your vision even if it sounds unrealistic 3 . Ask yourself what unique skills you possess 4 . If the skills you possess are not unique, ask yourself that how can you use them differently 5 . Form a philosophy for life and define your values and ideals and believe in them wholeheartedly 6 . Reflect your values in your action, behaviour and gestures 7 . Define your goal and try achieving it with values you have based your life on 8 . Form genuine relationships with people and maintain consistency 9 . Maintain consistency of behaviour, action and thought 10 . Keep your eyes firm on the destination but don't question the various paths that lead to it, learn about each , change directions but not the destination 11 . Do the same thing but in your own unique way 12 . Do or say things which are needed
ACHIEVING 'AUTHENTICITY' ONLINE
When you are creating an authentic version of you, then you cannot afford to be two different people at two different times or in two different spaces, so its very necessary for us that our professional and personal life must reflect the same 'YOU'. Authenticity on Social Media is when your profile wall reflects your life as closely as possible. Here are a few tips one can adopt to create an authentic image on social media:1 . Use your authentic name, place and date of birth while making a profile 2 . Create a unique and authentic profile name which must be logical, short and in some way connected with your idea 3. Share your likes and dislikes openly and the movements or events you support 4 . Say things you actually believe in and support those things which you associate with and not just supporting it just because others did so 5 . Have an authentic profile picture 6. Have a say on things you have an expertise in! Also go for blogging or other form of expression like making videos and so on 7 . Be consistent in your expression and differentiate your work from others 8 . Improve your visibility by expressing your genuine and new ideas on platforms like LINKEDIn which provides ample of opportunities for us to grow
Whether it be online or offline branding, personal branding cannot be achieved without the framework of authenticity because authenticity brings us in sync with our unique mission and label us with immortal and perennial characteristics which are totally ours and no one shares with us. Our visions vary drastically and so are ideas and we. So the strategy used by one is not a sure path to success, if it suits one it doesnt mean that it might suit all. If our dreams are not alike then why should our actions be? If we are not alike then why should our ideas be? The only road that guarantee you success is the path of authenticity and also the most fundamental process when it comes to Personal Branding.