Back in 2010, I was just cutting my teeth on being a Personal Brand Strategist.
I was connecting with colleagues, learning everything I could (and testing it out), taking online programs, and of course, spending many a late night consuming books about having
a Brand, branding, and what all of this meant for entrepreneurs (especially women entrepreneurs).
One of the books that had been recommended to me at the time was a book called Primal Branding by Patrick Hanlon.
I remember quickly reading it, taking some notes and moving on to the next one. Some concepts made sense, others didn’t seem relevant at that point in time.
This past weekend I was perusing my kindle library and happened upon Primal Branding, which Hanlon wrote back in 2011.
I decided to reread the book and see if my perspective had changed 5 years later (and yes, yes it has).
So first, let’s define some words:
relating to, or denoting the needs, fears, or behaviors, that are postulated to form the origins of emotional life…
in other words, tapping into a person’s deep emotional core
the act of differentiating and positioning a Brand through visual and verbal means (my definition)
After much research, Hanlon had identified 7 key markers…a Code…that the most successful Brands have in their DNA.
When I first read this book 5 years ago, it seemed more relevant to corporate companies than entrepreneurship and personal brands…now I find that there are many valuable concepts that entrepreneurs should be incorporating into their Brand in order for it to be magnetic and beloved (especially as we seek more opportunities for connection and community).
It is this ability to understand and apply these concepts that allow personality Brands to create raving fans, build massive communities, and have a level of impact, influence, and income that others dream of. In this post, I’ll use the Personality Brand of Marie Forleo to illustrate each marker and how she has used it in her Brand.
Let’s take a quick look at each one and how it can powerfully impact a Personality Brand.
The Creation Story
Every Brand has a story…it is the WHY of how you and the work you do came to be. It is the start of your relationship with your Right People and the first threads to believing and belonging (concepts your Brand must have). The Creation Story provides structure and context to your Brand. It is the Heroine’s journey that your Right People connect with…your story is their story. What is your story and how does it include your Right People?
Example: Marie’s Creation Story skillfully tells how she was/is a multi-passionate–preneur who took those skills and turned it into a multimillion-dollar business.
For an entrepreneur, the Creed is the most essential message that you must share with your Right People. It is the rally cry of your Movement; it synthesizes your Core Values, your Mission, and what you want others to believe about you (yes, it could also be your tagline). When I work with clients, I call this “finding your billboard message”. What do you want people to believe?
Example: Marie Forleo’s– “The world needs that special gift that only you have”
Icons are also known by the more common concept of ‘logo’ (although sounds or smells can be icons as well). Icons are sensory in nature and can imprint the Brand’s essence into our psyche immediately.
Often the entrepreneur as the ‘face’ of the Brand can become the icon. What are the sensory touchpoints of your Brand? Icons can also be the specific colors you use, imagery, and typography.
Example: Marie has the “M” she uses, she is the face of her Brand and she has Marie TV.
According to Hanlon, “rituals are the repeated interactions that people have with your enterprise”. As it relates to entrepreneurs and personality brands, I believe that rituals are really every touchpoint that you make with your Brand. It is the understanding and planning out the client journey that creates the consistency and facilitates the know, like, and trust factor that is so important in today’s digital landscape. How have you defined and planned for the rituals your clients will take on their journey with you?
Example: Marie has her weekly Marie TV series, she tells you what she wants you to do next, and her Audience Journey is clearly outlined.
One of the biggest challenges for a Personality Brand is drawing a line in the sand. For all of the raving fans, that must be haters as well. A strong Brand must magnetize and repel. It must clearly define what you stand for and what you don’t stand for. People must be able to quickly decide if they are “in” or “out”. Why talk to people who could care less about what you have to say?
Example: Obviously Marie has her detractors and haters…but it does not stop her from sharing her message
Iconic Brands have what Hanlon calls ‘sacred words’.
Tall, grande, venti anyone?
I call this your Brand Lexicon. Those words that are unique to you and your Brand. I don’t mean your industry jargon, but rather words that call to mind your Brand Voice, Vibe, and Personality. What words are signature words in your Brand?
Example: Marie signs her emails “all my love”, be an “MF insider” everything is “figureoutable“
This is YOU.
The visionary, the catalyst, the rebel, the sage…however you want to describe yourself, you must also call yourself “Leader”. This doesn’t mean flamboyance or flash, it means strongly held beliefs, confidence in your abilities, a vision of how the world can be different, and a mission to make it happen. It means vulnerability, conviction, and a tireless capacity to want to make an impact. How are you leading in your Brand?
Example: Clearly Marie has taken on a leadership role for aspiring women entrepreneurs.
All of these markers are important but equally important is your ability to trust your intuition, to get out of your own way, and to commit to crafting a Brand that leads from her Core Values and beliefs.
If all of this sounds like where you want you and your Brand to go, why not join me over at The Red Hot Brand Studio on Facebook? Learn how your Brand can impact, influence, inspire, and make the income you’re worth.