New Year Resolution: Become Brandful in 2014

As you make your new year resolutions, consider adding one to your list: being brandful. Becoming brandful means closing the gap on who you want to be and who you really are. This can apply to you personally, or it could apply to an organization such as your employer.  When an organization becomes brandful, its external perception (the customer experience) matches the internal culture (employee experience). When you are personally brandful, you acknowledge your passions and interests and actively pursue them on a regular basis, including in your work-life. Merging your personal brand with the brand of your organization can bring greater value and meaning to your personally and to your employer.

Why else should this be on your new year’s list? I believe 2014 will be a year of authenticity. With the rise in social media and escalating global competition, consumers are no longer easily fooled by traditional advertising and marketing. They are getting close up and personal with brands and becoming more involved with the products and services they love. Becoming brandful allows both individuals and organizations to keep the curtain raised and be transparent, without worry. When you are, who you say you are, there is confidence.

Put a resolution on your list that not only catches you up to everyone else, but thrusts you ahead. Here’s to a healthy, happy and prosperous 2014!

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Graduating? Don’t Look For a Job. Look for a Brand!

It’s almost that time of year again. Who will get a good offer and who will not? Who will just settle for any offer and who will go for their dream job? Who will struggle and who will transition seamlessly into the workforce? Who will go above and beyond and who will do the bare minimum? Who will be a long-term hire and who won’t last through the first month? Who will fit into the culture and who won’t?

As many graduates look to join the workforce, they think about what they want to do.  They  look at their experience, knowledge from the courses they took and any skills they can utilize on the job. They think about a career and the best way to get started within a certain trade or profession.

I challenge this way of entering the workforce. Why not think about your absolute favorite brands? The ones you know and use the most. Think about where you spend your time or where you want to spend your time. This can and should help steer your job hunt. It will make you more competitive than other candidates. And it will help you build your personal, authentic brand.

For example, before I graduated college, I had a summer job, but it wasn’t just any summer job I could find. I actually didn’t even search the posted or available jobs. The tactic I took was to think about what I loved to do. At the time, it was travel and tourism, so I thought about a potential job that would give me access to these activities. What came to mind was possibly a concierge or tour guide at the fanciest hotel in town. (I lived in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.) I decided to reach out and contact the human resources department at the top hotels to see what might be available. This approach put me in the driver’s seat, in terms of what I wanted, that matched my personality, interest and skills. I ended up (not sure if it was luck or the approach) with the perfect job at a great hotel downtown, as a concierge/tour guide.

Now my career has taken many turns and twists since then, but I have managed to focus first and foremost on what organization best matches my passions and personal brand – everything that defines me as a person. The specific job has usually fallen into place with this as my focus.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

(If this is your first time reading my blog, please read more about The Brandful Workforce – a workforce that genuinely promotes the brand of the organization. Also check back as I will be making a youtube graduation speech for Class of 2013! Contact me at if you would like a preview.)

Being Brandful Is Taking A Risk to Be Yourself

I saw an inspiring video with Barbara Corcoran. She started out with nothing and went on to be one of the most successful real estate entrepreneurs. The video clip ends with her telling the audience the worst advice her mother ever gave her (and most of the advice was good): “Don’t go out and start something on your own. Build up your resume first.” Barbara says that she never meets anyone who was disappointed to have tried a new venture, to have taken a risk, even if it failed. On the other hand, she says that most people she meets are disappointed to have never tried what they always wanted to do.

Just like the saying: “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I like to think “It’s better to have tried and failed than to have never even given it a shot.” We need more folks to take risks, but not just financial risks. Being brandful is taking a risk on doing something that you love, falling in love with a product, and following that passion over a certain promotion or career ladder. By the way, ladders have made may to lattices and not all momentum is upward. I see many folks that have invested so much into their profession or career, only to find out along the journey that they are really passionate about something else. Don’t allow yourself to become trapped. Thank you Barbara for inspiring my blog today.

Click here to see the short video clip of Barbara Corcoran