Your Personal Brand

With all this talk about and coverage devoted to Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday today, it got me thinking. Is there a more recognizable sports figure or brand than Michael Jordan? Has any athlete in the history of sports left as large a footprint globally? Has any single figure merged pop culture and sports so seamlessly? I can’t think of any. Some might argue that Jordan saved the sport of basketball (games were shown on tape delay, believe it or not). He undeniably made wearing baggy shorts and a bald head (thank goodness for me) popular. And he certainly made Nike a shoe and apparel juggernaut, helping the company ascend to one of the most recognized symbols (the famous swoosh) and catch phrases (“Just Do It”) in advertising and promotion history. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to “Be like Mike”, the byline in yet another famous series of commercials created by Gatorade, another of his endorsements that quickly dominated its brand category because of its association with arguably the best basketball player of all time. At the peak of his popularity, Jordan sneakers accounted for more than half of Nike’s annual shoe sales. This eventually prompted Phil Knight and Nike executives to give Jordan a stand-alone brand, the Jumpman. And more than a decade after he retired, a stroll through any shoe store reveals that little has changed. You’d think he was still playing, in fact, since Nike continues to release new, as well as re-release retro sneakers. (Click here for proof.)And his competitive nature and unquestioned greatness is carried on by the scores of modern athletes– not only in the NBA but other sports– that have chosen to wear the Jumpman logo.

Yes, Jordan has created one whale of a brand. But guess what? Even though you might not be able to buy a sneaker or tee shirt bearing your logo, you too are a brand. And even though executives aren’t meeting weekly and spending millions of dollars to tell the world about you, messages are nonetheless being sent daily to the world. About who you are. About what you believe in. About what you’re made of. And as the brand manager of YOU, Inc., you can either sit idly by while your brand is accidentally crafted. Or you can take an active role in crafting it yourself. Read my previous blog, “The Brand Called You“, and watch the attached video to learn more.

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About bbluford
I am an executive finance professional with a love for process and application development (MS Access, Excel, Quickbooks), mostly as it relates to Accounting and Business Functions. I also love to write and share ideas with other people in this world. I'm an admitted Gym Rat who works out excessively. The best summation of me is that I love to teach and to learn.

7 Responses to Your Personal Brand

  1. Great message, Bobby. I work on my brand every day and everywhere. I work on excellence and mindset. It is your thoughts and what you put out that makes your brand. I look at keeping a positive mindset and making sure that my thoughts and what I accept is positive. Things such as “can’t” I don’t allow. Things like “try” are out of my vocabulary. Success is all there is. Something I tweeted a while ago is, Can’t is defeat of the mind, try is accepting failure, Failure is yet another illusion, SUCCESS is all there is! I try to live by this.

    • bbluford says:

      You do live by it, B! Always have. You embody self-discipline, dedication, and faith in success as much as anyone I’ve ever known.

    • Brian,
      I agree with you whole heartedly “can’t” is not part of my vocabulary either. At least it wasn’t before my body giving little choices to utter the words from time to time as much as I may deplore it. But aside from that I know your comment on “can’t” was not meant for those that have physical disabilities/chronic illnesses that give them little choices of stating just that.
      I say can’t in very few situations, I may mutter it under my breath when things feel far too hard for my body to do, but you know what, I generally find myself doing it anyway. So my “can’t” infuriates me enough that 99% of the time I find I am doing it anyway. Or at least trying and I have to say 80% of the time I do succeed.
      So now I address the word “try”, again in the category I fall into (not liking to categorize myself either), has to come into play at times. Man those two flights of stairs, muttering “I can’t” but then I try. I always succeed I know that, but they can be so intimidating, as so many things are now.
      I don’t use the word quit-this I removed from my vocabulary. I may find some need to say I can’t at times but I will never say I quit. Simply because I won’t.
      Limitations of any kind are hard to accept. Boy, what a shortcoming for me. I do not accept as soon or as fast as many believe I should. Once it is accepted it is gone forever. I am never accused of not doing enough but often told I should slow down.
      I live by the words “Believe and Know”, Awareness over Fear, and “Safety over Speed”. Safety over speed would apply to my running.

  2. Oh my Gosh!!!
    Talk about inspirational!
    Thank you for sharing. You DO need to be thankful for everything you have, be happy, and most importantly never give up on yourself.

  3. Julie Manriquez says:

    Bobby,
    I love when you write, “…as the brand manager of YOU…” If we all thought about this each day and were cognizant of our personal “brand” and how it is perceived to all who touch our lives, we might re-think a decision, a comment, a choice! Thank you Bobby…so motivational…and I love your brand!
    j

  4. bbluford says:

    Thanks, Julie! It’s amazing how little people take this into account. Think about it. Every time you go into a store, you remember how it looked, how it smelled, how people treated you. This one interaction can mean tens, hundreds, even thousands of dollars gained or lost for that store. We should look at our daily interactions the same way. Even when someone doesn’t overtly make you aware of his or her disapproval, it is unlikely he or she will speak highly of you to others in the future. Worse yet, he or she may go out of the way to speak negatively. Either way, you will likely feel the ripples of that in ways you never imagined. We should all keep that in mind.

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