Personal Branding

share a coke

In the last couple of months, I have been thinking regularly about the word BRANDING.  QuizUp is a trivia game I play on my iPhone/iPad, I especially like the “name the logo” section of the game. I think of myself as knowledgeable about global brands & their logos, so I regularly test my wits with other people from around the world & have won a fair amount of ties but lost some too.

What is a Brand? According to, a brand is a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer. A farmer can brand by making a mark  by burning or otherwise, to indicate kind, grade, make or ownership on animals like Cow or Bull. During the slave trade, people branded their slaves as a mark of ownership.

What is Branding? defined branding as “the practice of designing all of your marketing materials so that they have the same look and feel“. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.

Before we go on, I will like to quickly reference the “share a coke campaign” by Coca Cola.

  • The campaign originated from Sydney Australia in 2011.
  • The idea came from a 151-word brief, the pitch came from 2 different companies.
  • It sold over 250m in a country of about 23m.
  • It won 7 Cannes Lion awards in 2012
  • The campaign has been re-launched in over 70 countries
  • They’ve set new standards in marketing using social media.
  • They made the campaign about YOU, using your name, your identity while they leveraged on their global iconic brand
  • The US campaign raised sales by 2% as it reversed an 11 year slide.

This campaign was launched in Nigeria last year & it was centred around YOU as an individual. People rushed the product just because their names were on the bottles & cans, they identified themselves with the product.

Now I don’t have the numbers in terms of sales, but I believe it was a huge success as it’s been relaunched again & this time with more personal expressions on the products.

I took that detour to say this ” Your personal brand & branding is very important“. Coca Cola recognized that & leveraged on it. Do you recognize it?  Are you taking advantage of it?

What are you known for? When we think of track & field athletics, we firstly think of Jamaica, we think of Usain Bolt. The history of Basketball will not be complete without mentioning Michael Jordan. Boxing as a sport is synonymous to the name Muhammed Ali. In IT & Tech, we mention Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc.

Your personal brand is firstly who you are, then what you do. To understand who you are, you must conduct a SWOT analysis of yourself. What are your natural strengths? A fish is at its optimal best in water, but totally useless on land.

Where are your weak points? How can you turn that into strength or totally minimize it. What opportunities can you take advantage of? Where are areas of threats & how do you eliminate them?

Not to brag, I’m naturally an organizer, a planner,a leader, I love things to be done decently & in order, I’m very meticulous. I’m a quick learner & very committed to my words (to a fault – Ps15:5 MSG), committed to a chosen course or cause & I don’t give up easily. I speak the truth always & I’m always learning, always looking for a solution & a way out of any difficult situation.

I am terrible with names, but good with faces & I get threaten by people that have low self esteem, they always feel I am too proud because I am bold & confident. I love people & thrives within a team, I get frustrated by people that are slack & lazy, but I’ve learnt to adapt, be compassionate & have empathy.

This is why I’ve succeeded in almost all of the projects I’ve handled in my career so far. It’s the same reason why the 7 areas of my life are set & on-point to a large degree. It’s still a work-in-progress but the number of my victories equals the number of my challenges. I always WIN in the end no matter what.

It’s been observed that work is enjoyed more when your personal goals & objectives align with that of your job or business. There is a huge internal motivation & passion when things are aligned in this manner. Now I know people have to keep soul & body together & provide food on the table, but we should not be miserable doing it.

You need to discover who you are & let that affect what you do, so that every thing about you has the same look & feel. In 2014, I took a course at the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School on Leadership & Professor S. Friedman defined Integrity as Oneness, being WHOLE to be the same, unshakable in every circumstance.

God has the best plan for us all (Is55:8-9; Jer29:11; John 10:10 MSG), far beyond what we ever dreamt of or imagined. You must be known for something, find out what it is & be the best in it.

After conducting a SWOT analysis & knowing who you are, align this with what you are doing (now or will do later), then start to follow those who’ve made it in that chosen field or endeavour. People say “experience is the best teacher“, but I say “other people’s experience is the best teacher“.

I have taken time ( and still do) to study & observe successful people from the Bible to ancient times to modern contemporary days, just to learn what they did & how they became successful. Learning these has become my passion & that dictates the books I read, what I watch & observe.

It takes time to work on a brand & to make it iconic. It’s a lot of work & it takes discipline & perseverance, but I tell you it’s rewarding at the very end.

What is your personal brand? How are you working on your branding?

This is my snippet. I AM SHALOMESQ!!!


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