What is Branding People? We’ll show you how!

Before you start branding.

There are some companies that have an elegant image. I had a chance to have a business meeting with an employee of that company the other day. He was very polite and classy, just like the company’s image, and I fell in love with the company even more.
Maybe that’s personal branding in full swing.

This article will explain what it means to brand a person, what the advantages and disadvantages are, and how to brand a person.

目次 Index
    1. Before you start branding.
  1. What is branding?
  2. What is people branding?
  3. Significance of People Branding
  4. Benefits.
    1. Differentiation.
    2. Increased profit margins
    3. Building trust and stabilizing sales
    4. Increased value for the organization as a whole
  5. Disadvantages
    1. Cannot be replaced
    2. Damage due to loss of trust
  6. Specific branding method
    1. Market Analysis
    2. Analyzing Your Strengths
    3. Output
    4. Feedback
  7. For those in need of help

What is branding?

Branding is defined by the Association for Brand Manager Certification as “the activity of aligning a brand identity with a brand image.”
In other words, it is an activity to match the value of the brand from the company’s perspective with the impression of the brand from the customer’s perspective.

It can also be said that it is an activity to clarify the differences between the characteristics of the company and its products and services and those of its competitors and their products and services, and to promote customer purchases by making customers aware of those differences.

Branding can also be considered as one of the marketing methods, since it promotes sales by enhancing the brand image.

What is people branding?

On the other hand, when we talk about people branding, we are not talking about products or services, but activities that impress the unique value of a person by making clear the difference between that person and other people.

And an activity to brand a person is also called “personal branding” or “self-branding”.
The definitions of personal branding and self-branding are not clear, as they are often used interchangeably.

However, it is generally accepted that
・Personal branding is the branding of oneself by an individual belonging to an organization for the purpose of improving the image of the organization, either at the request of the organization or by the individual himself/herself. Therefore, the branding is done with an image that is common to the organization’s brand image.
・Self-branding is the branding of oneself by an individual who does not belong to an organization at his/her own request. This is the case of a sole proprietor branding himself/herself. In a narrower sense, it can also refer to personal branding on social networking sites. Now that the Internet has become widespread, self-branding is becoming more and more important as people can become famous and popular at once, depending on how they present themselves.

In this section, we will focus on the aspect of people branding, which is common to both personal branding and self-branding.

Significance of People Branding

Markets where one’s own business, one’s competitors’ business, and the needs of one’s customers overlap, are also known as red oceans, and market competition tends to intensify.
Because of the competition for lower prices among business owners, long-term business in that market directly leads to exhaustion of the company and its business.
In order to escape from the red ocean, it becomes necessary to define the market in an area where there are no competitors and yet there is a need from customers, which is called the blue ocean.

To reach that area, differentiation is the key word.

Branding of products and services is one thing, but personal branding, in which employees bring themselves closer to the company’s desired brand image, and self-branding, in which they bring themselves closer to their own desired image, are also ways to survive in an increasingly competitive market and find values that differ from those of others, in other words, to differentiate themselves from others. In other words, it is a way to differentiate oneself from others.

On the other hand, if your branding is not well done, you will not be able to differentiate yourself from others, and as a result, you will be caught in a price war and sink into a red ocean.

I wonder what specific effects can be achieved by personal branding and self-branding.

Benefits.

By branding well to a person, the following benefits can be achieved.

Differentiation.

If there is no difference in price or quality of a product or service, people will want to choose a brand they know the name of. If you know both brands by name, you will tend to choose the one with a better brand image.

In the same way, when a person’s branding is successful, people will think, “Let’s ask Mr. XXX” or “I want to buy from Mr. XXX” from among many different people.

You become your own brand, and it differentiates your products and services from those of your competitors.

Increased profit margins

A brand with a good image and a high level of recognition and trustworthiness will be easier to sell.

Even if you set a slightly aggressive price, customers will follow you with the feeling that “It’s Mr. XXX’s product/service, so it must be good! Even if the price is set a little high, customers will follow the brand with the feeling of “It’s Mr. XXX’s product/service, so it must be good!

Building trust and stabilizing sales

If customers think that Mr. XXX did a very good job and that the service was made possible only because of Mr. XXX, they will become repeat customers.

In the same way, people will want to purchase and use products and services of a brand with a good image over and over again.

Increased value for the organization as a whole

In the case of successful personal branding that brings employees closer to the brand image desired by the organization, the value added to each employee will also be added to the company to which the employee belongs.

For example, “Since Mr. XXX belongs to this company, I am sure they provide good service.” or “Company XXXX is a good, friendly company with helpful employees.” The brand image of the company itself may be constructed from the brand image received from each employee.

Sharing the brand image among employees based on the image you want customers to have of you and having them act in a uniform manner will not only improve the sales performance of each individual, but also lead to increased sales for the organization as a whole.

Disadvantages

Cannot be replaced

Successful personal branding and self-branding can lead to a situation where you become a brand, and your customers say, “It has to be you! You can become a brand for yourself.

When you are happy to receive a lot of work, you may get a flat tire due to the workload because you are irreplaceable.

Also, if you have to take a leave of absence due to injury, illness, childbirth, nursing care, etc., you may have to hand over your duties to someone else. However, since customers want to entrust their work to you because you provide them with excellent service, there is a possibility that you will lose customers as soon as you take over the job.

Damage due to loss of trust

Your own brand image has been nurtured over time, but once you lose credibility, that brand image will turn 180 degrees.
This damage can be financially and emotionally devastating. It takes a great deal of time and effort to regain trust and renew brand image.

Specific branding method

Basically, the branding method is no different from the usual branding method, just that the target audience is now people.

Market Analysis

The direction of your brand will change depending on which market you target.
First, gather information about your business, what your customers want, and the direction of your competitors.

If you are wondering how to analyze the specifics, please refer to following article.

Analyzing Your Strengths

Next, analyze your own strengths as seen by others.
If you are branding yourself as a solo proprietor, in other words, self-branding, it is good to write down your strengths by yourself, but since you need to become what others want, it is easier to understand your current situation if you have someone else analyze your strengths.
Then, among the several possible target markets identified in the market analysis, consider whether there is a market where you can utilize your strengths.

In contrast, those who want to start branding their employees need to analyze organization’s strengths before analyzing the strengths of each individual.
This is because you need to understand the value of your brand from the organization’s perspective, and then proceed with branding your employees in a way that does not stray outside of that framework.
Here, it is often difficult to recognize all of the strengths of the organization/company by oneself, as it is necessary to understand the situation of the industry as a whole, etc. Therefore, the strengths and weaknesses of the company may be analyzed using a framework after conducting research through social networking sites, etc.
Once the strengths of the organization have been identified, we analyze the strengths of individual employees that help the strengths of the organization.

The key here is that you need to put forward the strengths that your customers want, not the strengths that you see.
Even if you think that your strength is your careful work, your customers may be looking for speed rather than politeness.
Think about the strengths that match the demand (market).

Output

Once the target and strengths are determined, the brand’s values, or brand identity, are expressed in a form that will serve as the point of contact between the customer and the brand.
It is a good idea to summarize what has been decided in a brand guidebook or similar document. A brand guidebook is a document that describes the detailed decisions and examples of how to build the brand, such as rules for using the trademark and rules for dealing with customers (e.g., the trademark should not be smaller than a few centimeters, it should not be used in black and white, etc., the eye and voice level when addressing customers, explanation of why it is necessary to act in a certain way, etc.).

For example, you may decide or create the followings.
Brand name
Brand mark
Brand design
Brand copy
Web site
Product package design
Store exteriors and interiors
Staff uniforms
Advertisements
Blogs and other social networking services

Next, each of these decisions is given form.
For example, once the brand name and mark are decided, a trademark application is filed.
Once the direction of the website is decided, you will consult with a production company and ask them to actually create the website.
Packaging, ordering uniforms, and media exposure will also be considered.

In the case of personal branding, where these things have already been decided, you will decide on your catchphrase and be aware of how to act and speak accordingly.
The catchphrase here should be chosen to be a string of words that, upon a quick glance, appear appealing and interesting, and that the customer can understand.
Strong catchphrases are more likely to catch the eye and be memorable.
If you use a catchphrase that customers do not understand, it will sound fishy.

For example, when describing that you are an expert in roof repair, “Roof Repair Specialist with 50 years of career” is better than “Roof Repair Master” or “Roof Repairman” because it is more specific and easy to understand that you have the skills.

Feedback

In branding, it is very important to verify customer response.
You will confirm the effectiveness of how well the branding is working by analyzing access to social networking sites and web advertisements, and by surveying users.

If the results are positive, it is a good idea to follow the guidelines in the brand guidebook so as not to damage the brand image that is being established.
If there is a drop in sales, sometimes it may be necessary to make gradual changes in response to customer feedback.

Since branding is a medium- to long-term process that will slowly show its effects over time, it is best to avoid making hasty decisions based solely on short-term results.
The key is to watch the feedback results and take measures to protect the brand.

I think that a store specializing in high-end bread and a store specializing in curry bread might be examples of a well-differentiated store.
A catchphrase based on experience and achievements, such as “a craftsman who launched an apparel e-commerce site” or “a lawyer who handles 100 SNS disclosure requests a year,” might also be a good way to give a sense of security. There could be branding from various directions.

Yes, that’s right. If you can come up with that many great catchphrases one after another, it probably means that the blue ocean is actually spreading everywhere, even if you are not aware of it.
The initial market analysis to find the blue ocean and the subsequent design of the brand mark and brand concept to penetrate to the customers are very important. Although you may have the knowledge of these things, it is very difficult to put them into practice. Let’s think about it together.

For those in need of help

We have introduced the benefits of self-branding and personal branding and how to do it, but you may find it difficult to do it on your own.

The Amazing DX office offers services such as Design IP and Brand Strategy Promotion Office.
In Design IP, we support you in identifying blue ocean candidate markets from an IP perspective (intellectual property perspective), i.e., patent maps and design/trademark search. We will prepare a tailor-made service plan that matches your needs.
At the Brand Strategy Promotion Office, we can discuss your brand image, create a logo mark at our end, register it as a trademark, and provide consultation on how to use it afterwards.

In this way, our expert patent attorneys support our clients in all aspects of intellectual property rights and utilization of their valuable brand logos and product packaging, which are essential to their brand strategy.

Amazing DX is one of our most popular services, which allows you to file trademark applications, the cornerstone of branding, at a reasonable price.
After conducting a simple search for prior trademarks (free of charge), you can submit your application online. Our patent attorneys will then review the contents of the application and quickly file the trademark application.

Please experience the peace of mind that comes from being a major firm through Amazing DX.

For your branding, a trademark application is very important.

Let’s sign up and search for the trademark which would be obtained safely.

supervisor
Supervisor for the article:
HARAKENZO WORLD PATENT & TRADEMARK
Osaka Legal Strategy Department General Manager Akinori HACHIYA
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