May 01, 2015
Many very smart, and very savvy people will disagree with me, but I hate the term “Personal Brand.”
That’s not to say I think nothing of the concept. You only have to go through the job-seeking mill to see that online presence is everything today. I recently helped a friend answer a job application—she was poleaxed by the long list of links and handles she was required to submit to prove her employable personhood. Personal branding is effective and necessary. But why can’t we brand it better?
You can’t traverse the internet without seeing this term at every step. From Forbes.com and For Dummies advising on how to build one, to the “Personal Branding Assistants” that do the legwork for you—we’ve reached saturation.
The problem? “Personal Branding” is both unhuman and inauthentic.
Branding has, for years, been something we associate with companies and organizations. By using branding to represent who we are we’re aligning ourselves with organizations and companies not people. Branding sounds corporate. And by nature, it is something that is manufactured, artificial, work-shopped, and created. It’s inauthentic. When we talk about personal branding I believe we really mean creating a visible and tangible expression of who we are as a person. That’s why I'm changing the way I speak to get there more effectively: