Brand a Business—Brand Yourself

What do you know about branding?

When you see those golden arches, do you know a McDonald’s is up ahead? Do you think everyone “runs on Dunkin’” or heads to Starbucks on their way to school? These companies have invested time and money in building their brand and ensuring that customers recognize them and what they stand for. Building a brand is an extremely important process for a company. A brand is the “face” and first impression of a business. A well-established brand seems credible and will eventually lead to a loyal customer base for the company. In turn, the company will grow and prosper.

Customer loyalty and company growth, however, depend heavily on customer service. I’m sure we have all been to a restaurant where we received sub-par service. Perhaps we have had just the opposite experience, where waiters have gone above and beyond to make our meal one to remember. Customer service is a factor that can make or break a customer’s perception of a business and can be a signature attribute of a company’s brand.

Branding is essential not only for companies, but also for you! What do you represent? Do you have a signature phrase to live by? Are certain values and morals dear to you? These are important things to consider when you’re establishing yourself as a young professional. While you may not realize it, your name is a significant part of your personal brand. Give meaning to your name and what you stand for as a young professional by becoming more active in your community. The more active you are at school, in community groups, or in extra curricular activities, the more people will get to know you. Build your résumé, stay classy, and be proud of the activities you participate in. You are the creator of your individual brand.

Now that you’ve built your brand, what’s next? Enhancing your brand is similar to providing great customer service, but also a little bit different. Be sure to demonstrate team loyalty and respect. If you give 100% in every situation, you will serve your team well. Whether it is in DECA, school, athletics, or other organizations, work with your teammates in a positive and productive manner. Your teammates will want to work with you, your teachers will know they can count on you, and you will eventually develop a great reputation.

As DECA members, we strive to connect our classroom instruction to our DECA experience to become academically prepared individuals. DECA reminds us that
marketing for a Fortune 500 company is just as important as marketing yourself. Remember to use all the skills you’ve learned in your marketing and business classes and apply them to your personal brand. A better brand means a better you!

Follow Emily Socha on Twitter @emilysocha.

Categories: Branding & Promotion, Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Chapter Resources (Home Page Teaser), Leadership