Whether you take the time to build your brand or not, you’re creating it as you read this. You can be intentional about building your personal brand in a way that best represents what you stand for, believe in and what makes you unique. You can also unintentionally be creating a personal brand that hurts you and is contradictory to who you are and different from your goals and dreams. Take a for example Kmart vs. Target. (Yes, Kmart is still open) Kmart is an example of what being unclear about your brand can do to your success. What in the world does the “K” in Kmart mean? Does anyone even know? In their famous “blue light” campaign, they tried to attract customers back to the store under the guise of their bold and new rebranding. What they did was create more confusion for the consumer. Then, in an attempt to grow through acquisition, they purchased Sears for $11B and drove that store into the ground as well. Why? They have struggled with the fundamentals. They are not clear on what their strengths and X-Factor are. Their identity and brand, thus, suffered causing their business result to suffer. Target, on the other hand, has done a magnificent job of summing up their brand clearly, “Expect More. Pay Less”. Their logo, a bullseye, is elegantly aligned with their store name. They make it simple and easy for us to know what to expect from them. We can take a lesson in brand development fundamentals from this example. Know your strengths, Know your X-Factor, Know your audience, Sum it up succinctly and reinforce consistently. Alternatively, leave it to chance and fail. Below, we’ll touch on the basics of brand building so you can get into medical device sales like a CEO because you are the chief executive officer of your brand.
Know your strengths
Take the Strengthsfinder test to understand your strengths. If you have not done this, I think you will enjoy it. By focusing on your strengths, you will be able to create results in a fulfilling and satisfying way. Leverage your strengths by including them in your brand.
Know your X Factor
What is your personal style? I guarantee you that there is no one on this earth identical to you. Take advantage of that! Your X Factor is all about understanding what sets you apart from others. Be able to articulate this in a simple way. Check out and do Sally Hogshead’s marketing assessment that will take you five minutes to complete. You will obtain the keywords that resonate with your X Factor and will help you build these words into your brand. She says it would cost several thousand dollars to get a marketing consultancy firm to do this for you and she does it for free. Take advantage of it!
Know your audience
Check out these recruiter statistics about recruiters to get you started. To best appeal to your audience, you have to know about them. Know their interests, where they hang out, what their pain points are etc. I will illustrate an example of knowing your audience and appealing to them well by sharing the Black & Decker tool company case scenario. In their brilliant branding strategy of their Dewald professional line of power tools, they were able to transform the failing Black & Decker Professional Line of power tools into a booming cash cow; Dewald Tools. Professional builder customers associated the Black & Decker brand to the DIY (do it yourself) consumer. When Black & Decker came out with their Professional Line, this Pro customer segment could not get past the DIY brand they had established so well. To overcome this perception, Black & Decker famously rebranded their Black & Decker Pro Line with the new and well-known name Dewald. Along with this rebranding, they added the yellow color of safety that these workers were used to seeing in their work sites. Within the first year, the results produced by the new brand were astonishingly better than the previously branded tools had ever produced. The tools were the same excellent quality as before. They just needed to appeal to their audience better. Knowing your audience will help you showcase your skills in a way that will be sure to attract your target audience of recruiters and hiring managers. Do the research and make sure your brand appeals to your target audience.
Sum it up
Have an elevator pitch that sums up your excellent brand. You worked for it, so use it! Be ready to talk about it at the drop of a dime. An excellent Harvard Business School tool, “The Art of Pitchcraft”, graciously coded and provided for free by (@mjumbewu) on GitHub that will help you put together your elevator pitch within 30 minutes. The exercise takes you through multiple screens categorized as Who, What, Why, Goal, Review. It will give you a series of questions on each display. After you answer them, you will be able to see the review at the end. It will put your responses together in an elevator pitch complete with a summary of how many seconds it will take for you to deliver in addition to a word count. Hit the email button right next to the summary and your elevator pitch will be in your inbox within seconds. You never know when you’ll run into a medical device sales rep, recruiter or hiring manager that will open up an opportunity for you to get into the industry. Be ready with your elevator pitch at all times.
Reinforce across all mediums and platforms
Now that you have packaged your strengths and X Factor in a summed up way that appeals to your audience, you’re ready to go! Reinforce this message across all mediums of communication and social media you work with; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email and anything else you may be using to get ahold of recruiters and hiring managers in the industry. I’m excited for you to put these tips and tricks into action. Please share your experiences below and until next time, persist until you succeed!