Sunday, January 11, 2009

Book Review of Be Your Own Brand

This is a review of David McNally and Karl Speak's excellent book, Be Your Own Brand. The authors define a brand as a relationship; people's perception of that relationship becomes your brand. So it's not a question of whether or not you have a brand, if you have relationships you have one. This book focuses primarily on someone's personal brand and their relationship with their friends and family and associates. However, the principles translate smoothly for business branding as well. Branding is the art of identifying the perceptions you would like people to have of your relationship and then go about creating them. The first section of the book helps you create the DNA of your brand by focusing on important things like your vision, your values, and your purpose. Next, you begin creating the perception you would like people to have of your brand. Once you've defined your brand you have to start going about creating that brand experience for your client’s or the other people in the relationship. The authors help you to put together your brand manifesto to identify what you'll need to do in order to create your brand. Your brand manifesto defines the style, standards, and the relationships that will be important for your brand. The book comes with plenty of written exercises to guide you through the process of creating your brand manifesto step by step. Finally, once you've created a brand you have to manage it in order to build brand equity. The authors discuss a technique called the brand promise for sharing your brand with your employees and a brand platform for sharing your brand with others. Last but not least, you need an ongoing process to manage your brand to make sure your promises are being kept. This builds trust with clients, over time and will translate into brand equity down the road. One of the things they authors share their most important about branding is consistency. If you go to a Gap store in New York you should have the same experience if you were to go to a Gap store in Los Angeles. All of your important relationships should have a consistent brand experience with you and your organization as well.

I have used this book is my branding bible for many years. I've used it not only for my own life and business but shared it with many of my coaching clients as well. Every person I shared this book with has found the process of branding very rewarding. I strongly recommend that you pick it up and complete the exercises to experience the full benefits of the power of branding. One of the authors, David McNally, has just developed a new program called the Influential Leader. For more information on this program or other great programs from David, you can e-mail him at

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