“Perception is Reality” … I’m sure you’ve heard that expression one-too-many times in your life. So what does this saying actually mean? Basically, it means that how you perceive things to be is what you believe is true even if factually it isn’t!
GEMANALOGY highlights the three phases of Personal Branding that include: Extract, Express, and Exude – all the phases intentionally start with “ex” in reference to the external factor pertaining to personal branding – in other words Perception! Needless to say, therefore, Perception is a key to the success of your Personal Brand …
… so where’s the misconception?
Perception should serve as a scorecard and not as an objective! You should not customize your personal brand to meet people’s expectations and hence their perception. You should aim at using perception as a reference upon which you measure what you intend to communicate via your personal brand and what’s being perceived by your intended audience.
Let’s clarify that with an example:
As part of my personal brand building process, I had to go through a Personal Brand Assessment that results in a report that showcases my personal brand persona, leadership competencies, strengths & weaknesses, and much more … This assessment is based on what I believe my brand stands for, and how people perceive my brand! According to the latter, my brand persona can be described by the following attributes: Evangelist, Creator, Driver, Confidence Emitter, Motivator, Extrovert, Mover, Expert, and Self Starter. On the other hand, when I was asked what I believe my brand persona stands for, here were my answers: Motivator, Giver, Creator, Evangelist, optimist, Fan, Confidence Emitter, Calmer, and finally Driver. My role is to match the perception of my brand, and what I believe my brand stands for. As you can see from the two lists above, identity and perception in my case are almost identical and hence my brand is in good standing.
Now, suppose one of my brand personas, as perceived by the audience, is Egocentric or Conceited. Remember, I started this post with saying “Perception is Reality” – therefore, if people perceive me as such, it could be potentially damaging for my brand. I would therefore have to revisit my brand communication and see what I should avoid or do more off to muffle these attributes and highlight more positive and constrictive ones instead. This is how you use brand perception to adapt your brand for a better delivery of your unique promise of value.
Hence the fact still remains to be true: Perception is the most important thing about your brand! However, you should not build your brand based on perception; you should ultimately build your brand and see how it is perceived by your intended audience, and accordingly adjust until you match what you intend to communicate with what is being perceived! Think About It!
Before I take off, if you’re keen on understanding your brand in-depth as portrayed in my example above, I would highly recommend you take the 360°Reach™ FREE Personal Brand Assessment. Let me know if you’d like to move beyond the free version!
- Personal Branding – GEMANALOGY – A Diamond in Rough (johnantonios.com)