I Second That Emotion
People Make Buying Decisions Emotionally –
So Appeal to Those Emotions with Personal Branding
A classic, oft-told story illustrates the power of emotional marketing. Back in the 1970s, Listerine was the #1 selling mouthwash by a wide margin. To be blunt, it was kicking the butt of Scope, the #2 brand. And no matter what Scope’s manufacturers did, they couldn’t make any headway against Listerine’s respected brand identity.
Then, after years of frustration, they hit on a solution. Two simple words. Two words that catapulted Scope to #1, where it remains today with more than 50% of the mouthwash market.
Those two words? “Medicine breath.”
True story. In shooting down their nemesis, Scope’s marketers didn’t use logic or claims of quality. They appealed to consumers’ emotions, to their fear that if they used Listerine, their breath would smell like a doctor’s examination room. By all accounts, the tactic succeeded spectacularly.
What does this little story have to do with Personal Branding? Everything.
Building a Personal Brand means making a personal, emotional connection with your domain. So lock those template brochures your company gives you in a desk drawer – or better yet, throw them away – and use Personal Branding to make more money than you previously thought possible.
Personal Branding 101
Just what is Personal Branding? Well, we all have a Personal Brand; most of us don’t even realize it. So let’s clarify what it is, and what it is not.
- A Personal Brand is not a personal image.
- A Personal Brand is not a person.
- A Personal Brand is a personal identity that stimulates precise, meaningful perceptions about who you are, what you stand for, and what you do.
A Personal Brand is a projection of your best qualities to the “public” you want to attract. It’s what you’re known for – a summation of your achievements, your personality characteristics, and your service and value to others. Michael Jordan has a great personal brand; Monica Lewinsky does not.
A good Personal Brand is built around a demonstrated benefit (single focused attribute) to a target audience (domain).
Your Personal Brand is best promoted with Personal Marketing. Personal Marketing promotes you, not just your services or products. It’s marketing built around your Personal Brand, targeted to your domain.
A financial advisor loves to sail, and she lives in a wealthy harborside community.
- She defines her Personal Brand: sailor, experienced financial advisor, captain for high net worth investors who want to preserve their wealth and guide it to safe harbor.
- To promote this Personal Brand, she creates a full-color brochure presenting her Personal Brand in a friendly, sailing-themed context.
- The piece looks inviting, and arouses curiosity; it appeals to her fellow sailors, and presents the services (and single focuses benefit) she provides.
- She sends this brochure, as part of a complete direct mail plan, to a carefully selected database of consumers who live in and around the harbor.
- Because they are fellow sailors, her prospects have a connection with her before they even meet her, and she finds that sales resistance drops dramatically.
That’s Personal Branding in action.
Forget About Logic
Does this seem counterintuitive? Why would anyone care about where you went to college or what your hobbies and leisure pursuits are when you’re trying to sell them life insurance or the hottest no-load funds?
That would be a valid question – if people made buying decisions based on logic. They don’t. Instead, people buy emotionally, and use logic to justify the purchase.
Look at McDonalds. The best burgers on Earth? No way. But the emotional appeal to families and kids makes them the world’s leading fast food company. It’s all about making prospects feel comfortable with you before you ever meet them.
It’s a fact: people do business with people they like, and with Personal Brands they admire. When people buy services and products from you, they buy because of the emotional connection to your Personal Brand.
No More Vanilla Marketing
It’s likely that your competitors rely on boilerplate brochures to promote themselves. These vanilla marketing products are worse than worthless. You need to stand apart and promote your Personal Brand, and “vanilla” marketing will reduce you to another faceless drone selling the same products and services as everyone else.
Personal Branding is a mindset, and a necessary investment in your career. Colleagues and managers will tell you you’re nuts, and you’ll find yourself spending more money on marketing than you ever have before. But if you do it right, an effective Personal Brand can rocket your income. You’ll attract higher-quality clients, spend less time cold-calling and more time making money, and establish a business that will weather economic storms while the competition struggles.
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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.
“It is the responsibility of the individual to reject the prospect of mediocrity and to strive for the betterment of society as a whole” ~ Mark Montoya