How staying closer to your inner self can actually help you build a more significant and powerful personal brand.
In the year 2010, I was running an e-commerce business from India, and we were selling Indian ethnic fashion to Indians living abroad. We were naïve to e-commerce and were learning & growing at the same time, and like any other new e-commerce business, we also had a few bad deliveries.
A client from UAE, was very upset because we messed up something in his order, and wasn’t able to quickly issue his refund due to some banking trouble at our end. Though I was constantly in touch with him to assure that we aren’t fraud, and we’re trying everything we could.
He was so upset that he left following up with us cutting his losses, and I was sensing that. Finally, one day, we could issue his refunds totally, and I called him.
He laughed heavily, and said… Gaurav, Thank you. And I was relieved from my guilt.
Another story belongs to Sairee Chahal, Founder of Sheroes.com, and client of my current business of digital marketing advisory.
A group of people from client’s team was working with me personally on some messed up stuff at their end, that they weren’t able to figure out for a bit extended time. Usually, the founders aren’t involved in daily stuff so unknown with the fact who did what, she wrote an email to her team, almost yelling at the delays and asking to figure out the issues asap, and I was in email loop.
I jumped into the conversation, and I took responsibility for not being able to resolve the matter in due time and keep the show running. I emailed her, “Sairee, I find myself responsible for the failure.”
She just sent me back a smiley.
May be what I did spontaneously was been interpreted act of taking the ownership towards the larger goal of her business.
Your behavior is your branding.
And that’s the whole point.
Our subconscious choices, spontaneous reactions, and natural behavior in cases of emergency reflect who we are as individuals. In fact, you cannot design a separate private and public behavior for yourself.
The more you try to act and manipulate, the harder you’ll have to work to maintain the consistency of your public reflection. And, the closer you stay to your inner self, the easier it will be.
Branding is not something that we create on demand; branding is something that we reflect, and the good news is that we can correct the imperfections.
So after a careful and honest analysis of your own reflection, if you feel there is a gap between what originally you are, and what you feel you must become in order to grow yourself, grow your business, and have better opportunities in life; you can course correct. But there is no shortcut, no manipulations, no makeup. You must evolve from within, give up on a bad habit, bad behaviors, and adopt the new desired one.
For example, when you find yourself impressed with a brand, or with its overall brand philosophy, and/or with the behavior of employees of that organization in a 1-on-1 experience, you can imagine how the founders personally are.
Every wonderful brand culture reflects the personality of its founding team, and how they cultivate the internal culture, what they value.
So, if you want your brand to reflect a new desired brand personality, it starts with changing yourself.
People love to do business with people they find emotionally well connected with. Logic appears when you lose emotional connectivity with someone.
One of the biggest myths of branding is that only authors, celebrities and film actors need to build a personal followership and a personal brand since they need to constantly sell themselves. But we all must sell ourselves constantly to survive physically and intellectually.
The truth is that people follow the people they believe into. People follow the people who inspire them, whom they can connect with emotionally, and characteristics wise.
The more original thought process you have about certain topics or ideas, the more influential you’ll look from outside, and the more easily you’ll be able to get your things done where you depend on people to achieve something.
You’re a walking story. Be an interesting one.
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(First published & guest written by Gaurav Pandey on Branders Mag.)
#branding #digitalbranding #startups #sme #smallbusiness #india