Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Three cheers for Sheryl Sandberg!A while ago, I wrote about how the harmless qualitative market research technique of 'brands as people' seemed to have erupted into a full-scale industry - 'people as brands.' I let out a quiet 'hooray!' as I read this article which quotes Ms Sandberg's answer to the question of how business people should manage their personal brands.

You don't have a brand.

She also added the expression made her shudder. Me too.

I have a number of reasons for rejecting the idea. First of all, I agree that stuffing yourself into a soap-powder-shaped box tends to be somewhat restricting:

When we are packaged, we're ineffective and inauthentic.

And human beings are so much more gloriously complicated and full of - emotion, conscious and unconscious thought, life, reason, intelligence - all those things no product or service can ever have.

And finally, because I just loathe all those snake-oil merchants who go around peddling their platforms and wares. Take an area I know a little about: authors. There are over 23 millions hits on Google in reply to 'author branding.' And so many of the articles and services offered include 'And Why You Need It' in the title.

So much time and energy is wasted by authors fretting about their 'author brand' and working with these charlatans instead of getting on and doing what they are good at.

Think about any human being who could possibly be considered 'a brand.' Einstein, The Queen, Salvador Dali, Che Guevara - take your pick.

Did they spend hours with a snake-oil salesman 'discovering their personal brand'?

Did they heck!


Sue Imgrund said...

Quod erat demonstrandum

Barbara said...

Amen to that.

Sue Imgrund said...

Oh, come on Barbara - surely I can sell you a nice little workshop on discovering and expressing the Bloggin' Barbara brand? I sure it would get your blog a couple more hits at least? ;)

Sue Imgrund said...

Typical of these articles. Surely this is just common sense? Why wrap it up as 'branding'?