A paradoxically sounding statement that is, when talking about Personal Branding (PB). Then again, looking at the dynamics of it, one could very well argue it’s validity; not every strong personal brand is based on the actual person that carries it, rather on the image that person has created around his- or herself.
Contradicting, there are many arguments to be made that presenting a fabricated image is never as strong or impactful as showing others ones’ true persona. As the famous Oscar Wilde quote goes; Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
HERO’S & ZERO’S
Truth be told, when it comes to examples of famous personal brands, it seems that both arguments are supported, although it’s hard to tell how ‘real’ a brand or person is. Recently we had a brief session on PB and discussed some of our hero- and zero brands. Many of those are professional athletes, entertainment legends and revered business moguls. People that do things that not many others can, which makes their brand a unique one in it’s own right. Hero’s that inspire us to do more and become a brand because of their accomplishments, but also because we are able to follow how they achieve their goals. What they endure, how they train, suffer and push themselves to become a hero. Or just because they show their wacky, crazy, human side that adds to their achievements. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Captivating is enough.
Take a star like Miley Cyrus, who isn’t the greatest singer, dancer or performer we’ve ever witnessed. Sure she sings a good tune, but so does the average music student. It’s the highlights in her social life, PR stunts and ever continuing controversy that make her the well known act that she is and fans love her because of the lack of embarrassment she has in sharing those moments with them. As long as everything goes well and they play nice, heroes will stay heroes even if we see them in their PJ, with a bucket of BJ, watching OC reruns.
The real mess comes when they actually mess up. When they show that they are in fact a human being that makes mistakes. Because then the brand and it’s persona really suffer a blow that is not easily recovered from. Tiger Woods’ brand value dropped 65 million over the coarse of the past 7 years, according to the Financial Express, because of multiple indiscretions in his personal life. A big tumble for golf’s favourite son. Don’t be too human.
BE HUMAN.BE SUPERHUMAN
So, all and all, it’s good to show your real face. If that face is indeed a pretty one that receives the right attention when in the limelight. People should enjoy your human form, if not in a exemplary way, than at least in a way that inspires.
One of our personal (branding) favorites is the king of football’s PB, Mr. Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And not because he is the role model every parent would want their kid to become. He’s definitely not a role model per se, but he does represent something that everyone would wish they had a bit more of; the general confidence, swag and manner he handles himself with in life as a selfmade outcast. ‘Zlatan against the world’, starring Zlatan, produced and directed by Zlatan.
Zlatan shows us his human side all too often and isn’t very shy about it. But the fact that his personal brand seemo be embraced so strongly, is the combination of those human aspects with his super human accomplishments, that are not to shy either. Talk the talk, then walk the walk.
Come find us at The Hospitality Group Amsterdam or ‘s-Hertogenbosch if you think you are human, and go put on a cape if you think you are superhuman. Your welcome…