Discussion on Personal Branding

elysium design utopia

*This is a continued conversation from the discussion about Online Branding*

Branding doesn’t necessarily have to relate only to corporate identities, meaning it can apply to personal identities as well.  Each of us are a part of our connected, digital age, partaking in different forms of social media, creating an online presence documenting what we want others to see – essentially curating our own personal branding.  This is an important aspect in our digital age, to the point where celebrities have a publicity team who help them to collate their online presence in order to further their personal brand.  This can also mean that the online personal brand does not necessarily match up to the reality of the person, as you are presenting, a part of, or an idea of you in order to further the presence.  This is because we focus on strengths rather than a full picture…

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2 thoughts on “Discussion on Personal Branding

  1. I think it’s worth acknowledging, while looking at personal branding, that this isn’t something which exists entirely outside of the analogue, physical world. In many ways we’re all presenting a very specific version or brand of ourselves to everyone whether online or off. Significant factors of difference exist, of course; as you’ve touched on in that great quote, the web allows us to build an identity not constrained or labelled according to our physical bodies and everything that comes with them. BUT, I’m just saying, we all filter ourselves in loads of different layers and present our own specific brand of usness to others. Me as an example; The persona I give on YouTube and Twitter is heavily edited and selective to only include elements of myself I’d want that audience to bear witness to, then there are separate online personas like my personal Facebook account where, though my audience there all know my personally, I still perform a certain self matching with the expectations which come with it. THEN you get to “real life” where I still edit myself, altering my behaviours in specific ways depending on who I’m hanging with, not saying certain things or, for example, not arguing with people the way I might with family members. AND THEN I’m still arguably altering myself in how I present to family members who’ve known me forever and seen me at my worst, filtering out thoughts and choosing what I say, biting my tongue for instance. EVERYTHING we do, EVERY interaction is performance in some capacity, putting on a persona, presenting a personal brand.

    I guess the point of what I’m saying is that I’m not convinced that a presented personality being selectively edited to meet a brand standard (brandard, if you will) necessarily makes it any less authentic or more fake. Some of Judith Butler’s essays on gender performativity might be worth looking into and adapting to talk about this topic, or I vaguely remember a Donna Haraway reading which touches on these issues? Anyway, yeah. Good stuff.

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  2. In linking up with the above comment, I too would have to agree that creating a personal brand is not a characteristic we’ve exclusively developed because of the internet, as philosophy suggests that we are not so much our own personalities when interacting with others, but rather an exemplification of the values/attributes we would like to exhibit to that particular individual or group. However closely aligned to our actual self that may be is dependent on us, but the addition of the internet has had an enormous affect on how convincingly we can sell the idea.

    Take for example the scenario regarding former ‘wellness’ blogger Belle Gibson, who is now incidentally being legally accused of fraud. If she was communicating with her audience in person it would probably have been much easier to tear through the facade of her supposed illness, as we have the empirical evidence of her physical self to compare with her claims. However, as online presence is essentially a communication of values devoid from the true self, it is much harder to define. The takeaway from this as you have also put it, is the power the ‘online’ aspect of such branding can have on conveying these ideas, especially when the medium is our only avenue of accessing information on a topic. Cross-referencing has become as important as ever, both inwardly and outwardly.

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