The 8 P’s of Personal Branding
While studying at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (recently recognized as the 2015's top marketing MBA program by US News & World Report), I learned about the “4 P's” of marketing. This is also considered the “marketing mix,” which includes product, price, place and promotion. Any brand considers all of these P’s as they develop and market their offerings to their consumers. The 4 P’s have since been expanded: some consider the 5 P’s which also include “packaging,” and I’ve even seen several lists of 7 P’s. My favorite 7 P formula is from Brian Tracy’s 2004 article, “The 7 Ps of Marketing” in Entrepreneur Magazine where he names these in his list: product, place, price, promotion, packaging, positioning and people. I think these 7 P's are the most critical in developing anyone’s personal brand, in addition to one more that I will add: presence.
Here are some questions to help you apply this 8 P framework as you develop your own personal brand:
Product: What are your attributes? What are your values? What are your unique gifts? What skills, education and experiences do you have? How would you describe your authentic self? All of these components comprise what you're offering to the world, your “product.”
Place: What industry do you work in? What function do you serve? What organization do you work for? In what geographical area do you live?
Price: Based on what promise you can deliver on, what can you charge for your offerings (salary, rate)? What does the market demand? What is the market’s willingness to pay for your attributes, experiences and services?
Promotion: How are you promoting your skills and expertise? Are your social media profiles effectively communicating your background, expertise and value you bring?
Packaging: What does your outward appearance say about you? How should someone with the attributes you have and the value you bring be dressed, groomed, styled, etc.? (Think about this: if you have a strong education, level of expertise and great experiences but your exterior is unpolished, your brand won’t be as strong as it could be.)
Positioning: Where are you positioned in the minds of people who know you? Where are you positioned in relation to your peers and/or others with similar attributes? When you’re not around, what do people say about you? When you are introduced to someone how are you described? Ask your friends, colleagues and loved ones to give you candid feedback to understand how you are perceived.
People: Who is in your network? Who is in your inner and outer circle? Who are your mentors and sponsors? What relationships are you building? If you had the opportunity to build an “A Team,” do you have the right people in your network who you can call? Jim Rohn says, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Who are those 5 people who can help you elevate your brand?
Presence: When you walk into a room, what do people think before you speak one word? How do you carry yourself? What do your posture, facial expressions and body language communicate? What does your digital presence and footprint communicate to the world?
Defining and developing these 8 P's are a great first step in creating a strong personal brand that can help you elevate your career and achieve your goals. I wish you a new year filled with restoration, motivation and elevation in all aspects of your life!