Edited By Hana S. Noor Al-Deen
Chapter Three: Being Your Own Chief Marketing Officer: Student Perceptions of Personal Branding
Being Your Own Chief Marketing Officer
Student Perceptions of Personal Branding
HOLLY KATHLEEN HALL AND MARY JACKSON PITTS
Brand positioning is defined as “the active communication of one’s brand identity to a specific target market” (Labrecque, Markos, & Milne, 2011, p. 44). Business organizations need a well-managed, readily identifiable brand to sell products and services. Branding is no longer just for products. Personal branding, emerging in the 1990s, functions much like company brand positioning, communicating a certain image and building relationships (Lair, Sullivan, & Cheney, 2005). According to Peters (1997), personal branding urges everyone to use the same concepts taken from product branding and apply them to ourselves:
That cross-trainer you’re wearing—one look at the distinctive swoosh on the side tells everyone who’s got you branded. That coffee travel mug you’re carrying—ah, you’re a Starbucks woman! Your T-shirt with the distinctive Champion “C” on the sleeve, the blue jeans with the prominent Levi’s rivets, the watch with the hey-this-certifies-I-made-it icon on the face, your fountain pen with the maker’s symbol crafted into the end . . . . You’re branded, branded, branded, branded. It’s time for me—and you—to take a lesson from the big brands, a lesson that’s true for anyone who’s interested in what it takes to stand out and prosper in the new world of work. (para. 1–3)
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