Uniqueness and authenticity in personal branding or Why I started this blog

Hi there!
I’m Alice. I currently live in USA, California and it is my third country in the last 10 years. I have a BA  in both Marketing and Theater, but I have always been passionate about fashion and the expression of the personality through appearance. This kind of diversity of interests might be perceived as odd, but in the context of personal branding, it makes perfect sense. I believe that exploring human nature from different perspectives gives to the picture a comprehensiveness. For example, science can be seen as a different point of view of the same things – humanity and the universe. From that perspective, it is small wonder that physics complements psychology, as well theater complements marketing in the field of personal branding.

Look of the day: Soccer Mom 2

Awareness of interrelation between the seemingly not related subjects came when I read “Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition”. There were ideas lurking behind others: I had already seen similar ideas somewhere. Then I understood, that I had compared this book with Stanislavski’s “My Life in Art” which contains the famous Stanislavski method – an actor’s guide for building character. It was a strange feeling, like enlightenment, but back then I couldn’t quite grasp the idea.

Then I understood that it was the authenticity that brings together marketing and theater. The concept of authenticity as a consistent integrity of lifestyle for the sake of declared goals, determined by values. Authenticity is a basis for recognition and loyalty to the brand. The authenticity of character built by the actor that makes us believe in the reality of what is happening in the movie or play. Jack Trout and Konstantin Stanislavski – people from different dimensions and epochs concurred that “making the audience believe in what you do” wins people’s hearts, minds and, yes, pockets too.

I think the meaning of authenticity in light of personal branding is explained perfectly by Neil Gaiman in “American Gods”:

“You got to understand the god thing. It’s not about magic. Not exactly. It’s about focus. It’s about being you, but the you that people believe in. It’s about becoming thunder, or power of a running horse, or wisdom. You take all the belief, all the prayers, and they become a kind of certainty, something that lets you become bigger, cooler, more than human. You crystallize.”

Personal branding is what comes after self-awareness, after discovering and acceptance of your own authenticity. Personal branding is a way to stand out from the crowd, to be unique and desirable, no matter in what context: job, relationships, entrepreneurship, anything. Authenticity is about being yourself, natural. The concept of holistic personal branding is about being a bigger, better version of yourself, being “in the image and likeness” of the idea of greatness, or mercy, or power. It’s your answer to the question of life the universe and everything – why am I here?

In the context of personal branding, it’s common to talk about uniqueness, because branding based on the concept of differentiation, being different. But this concept is not applicable to the personal branding, not exactly. The truth is, people, actually, don’t like those who are too different. It’s an instinct, a matter of safety. When unusual become eccentric, or even creepy? Where do we put the dividing line between uniqueness and commonality? Where’s the equilibrium between curiosity of something unusual and rejection of something that makes us feel fear? The answer depends on many factors, that one has to discover. I believe that this quest must be initiated by each person individually. This is how the created image becomes authentic. The only advice that could be given on this journey is “Follow the breadcrumbs”…

There is a lot of interesting and insightful things that are written about personal branding by stylists, coaches, psychologists, business-trainers, PR, and marketing professionals, from their own perspective – I appreciate them all for sharing their thoughts because personal branding is comprehensive and multi-dimensional as people are.Based on my experience and knowledge of theater and marketing I would like to reconsider and consolidate useful information into a framework – “breadcrumbs” –  that would help to create a viable and authentic personal brand and these are the“what and why’s” of this blog.