Be like Deepika - put your celeb status to work
Be like Deepika - put your celeb status to work

Deepika’s husband, Ranveer, has a gig promoting JBL, and Deepika posted on his insta feed suggesting he get one for the house and save some money. Sweet. So investing in your personal brand has payoffs not just for you but the entire family!

Even if you are an A-star celeb, there is only so much you can talk about filmcraft. So you fill up your insta feed with fitness, travel, spouse, kids-first-day and assorted other things that have no relation to your actual work. Basically, though your core value to the customer is acting, your brand is built on a lot of “surround” levers like fitness, beauty, fashion, charity, travel. This is common for brands too. So while a Bose talks of sound engineering, JBL has Ranveer partying on social media. One is focused on the core benefit of a headphone (sound) while the other is on the surround attribute (fun).

Read more about Core vs Context (Surround) Branding

Will this work for an individual in a corporate environment? In many cases, yes. So while your ‘core’ skill can be say, brand management, you could become indispensable because you write awesome presentations or are handy with a camera. Or perhaps you are a tech architect, but also the captain of the company cricket team. I’ve been a marketer forever, but have also helped code the first website, been compere for events, written speeches for the Chairman, spoken about self-actualization and self-realization and championed diversity. (Here’s a recent deck I made about showcasing your mastery.)

Why would every brand or person not focus on core? Two reasons – one, it’s hard to keep improving the functionality of a product. At some point the consumer says, heck, this camera is good enough, I am not selling my remaining kidney to upgrade my iPhone. Diminishing returns kick in. Secondly, from a segmentation perspective if one player has occupied by the skill guru spot, you have to take another spot.

To go in-depth into this topic I’d recommend a 4-part series on Personal Branding by Sunder Madakshira You can also read an unusual perspective on personal branding involving Madonna, Marilyn Monroe and your Mom.

There are many concerns with personal branding in general – what if my company doesn’t like it? or my boss doesn’t like it? or isn’t it immodest? Karthik Srinivasan (Author – Be Social), Ashok Lalla and I are going to debate this on Sunday the 15th at Atta Gallatta Bangalore from 6pm to 7.30pm. Just drop in and ask your questions to the panel. No registration required.

Last week I’d shared Damandeep Singh Soni’s piece on leveraging social proof for your brand. This week I’m offering a handy-dandy checklist for download – you can track the implementation of social proof.

If you have questions on personal branding, do write in.


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