In a recent article called, “Does your personal brand bling it?” I listed 11 types of personal brands, along with examples of each.
What makes a personal brand authoritative, inspiring, caring or …?
If you want your personal brand to be a shining example of a particular trait, you need to know what it takes for a personal brand to function as a beacon of hope, a bridge to consensus, or _________ [your own aspiration].
To lay the groundwork for this conversation, let’s establish an important distinction. Many people think product names and brands are interchangeable. But each term has a distinctly different meaning.
The product is not the brand.
What it stands for is the brand.
Take an iPhone for example. The product is the phone. Now what cause the buzz is its exceptional design as a mobile communication device. The brand is everything that Apple stands for, that led you to choose the iPhone and enjoy using it. Your desire to connect with the, dare I say, “iBrand” and continue to enjoy the “iUser” experience is what motivates you to buy the next version of your iPhone, the one after that, and the one after that.
Let’s relate this to people instead of products. Back in 1973, if you had said to a friend, “I just love Oprah!” You would have been talking about the teenager who had not yet begun her broadcast career. Today, if you say ‘I just love Oprah,” you are talking about the many qualities her personal brand represents.
I chose Nelson Mandela as the example of an “Inspiring” personal brand. Now let’s take a look at how the person becomes the brand.
Mr Mandela did not set out to develop a brand. Instead, his brand was formed when his values, ethics and choices coalesced into an entity that others related to – for different reasons – throughout the various phases of his life.
- As a young lawyer fighting against oppressive colonial laws and practices
- As an astute political leader committed to ending apartheid
- As a radical and militant political leader, hailed as a hero by some, reviled as a terrorist by others
- As a convicted criminal who served a 27 year “life” sentence
- As the political leader responsible for the peaceful transition from white to black rule, and the climate of reconciliation and human rights awareness that replaced the long feared “blood baths” of reprisal
- As the first elected black president and co-holder of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize
- As a respected international conflict mediator
- As a senior international statesman and patron of numerous organizations battling poverty, HIV/Aids and other human rights violations
Nelson Mandela’s values, ethics and experience blended to form concepts and create the perspectives which drove his behavior and led him to choose to take the actions that ultimately transformed his nation.
When you fuse all of those elements together, a cohesive brand is created that colors all of that individual’s actions, choices, relationships and meaning. These intrinsic elements of Mandela’s brand are picked up and reflected back by its fans.
And since we are being continually impacted and influenced by life events and people, our personal brand “formula” is always evolving, which keeps it current and relevant.
Many South Africans who formerly reviled Mandela as a terrorist and communist supporter are today loyal fans who admire and sincerely appreciate his contributions.
The books, movies, tributes, and other honors listed below came about because of the price Mandela paid and the unusual way he responded to pain that price exacted. The tributes and honors laud the extraordinary spirit with which Nelson Mandela lives and his unique determination to thrive in any situation.
According to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, there are 125 Streets, roads, boulevards, avenues, bridges, and highways named after him. A more thorough search identified more than 140, including 10 in the United States. Take a look at this map to see where they are.
There are also:
- 58 books, written by or about Mr Mandela
- 7 movies on the life of Mr Mandela, starring Danny Glover, David Harewood, Morgan Freeman, Dennis Haysbert, Clarke Peters, Sidney Poitier and Idris Elba in the lead role.
- 33 Stadiums, squares, plazas, parks, gardens and trails named after Mr Mandela
- 41 Halls, buildings, housing developments, structures etc named after Mr Mandela
- 43 Schools, universities, educational institutions named after Mr Mandela
- 15 Bursaries, scholarships, foundations named after Mr Mandela
- 512 Awards and events named after Mr Mandela
- 43 Sports-related honors and awards presented to Mr Mandela
- 8 Student Union honors and awards presented to Mr Mandela
- 295 Honorary degrees presented to Mr Mandela
- 170 Civic honors, freedoms of cities/towns, and honorary citizenships presented to Mr Mandela
- 424 Other awards presented to Mr Mandela
- 32 Musical and theater tributes referring to, or dedicated to Mr Mandela
- 100 Statues, sculptures, art works and monuments presented to, or dedicated to Mr Mandela
- 91 Patronages held by Mr Mandela
- 36 Miscellaneous (products, businesses, fauna and flora, objects etc.) named after Mr Mandela. These include, poems coins stamps plus:
- The Mandela Bar at Bristol University, UK
- Madiba New York Restaurant in Brooklyn, US
- A South African Airways aircraft
- Several racehorses, from Argentina to New Zealand
- Protea cyneroides (‘Madiba’) – a striking, deep red King Protea
- An orchid named the ‘Paravanda Nelson Mandela’.(singapore)
- A sea slug, called Mandelia Micocornata
- A newly discovered nuclear particle
- A new species of spider, called “Singafrotypa Mandela”
For more tips on developing your own cohesive personal brand, (and perhaps one day getting a sea slug or spider named after you!) click the subscribe link just below this post’s headline, or visit authenticpersonalbranding.com