What do the Kardashian’s, P Diddy, Queen Latifah, iPad’s and Snooki from the Jersey Shore all have in common? For better or for worse it’s Branding, my dear!
It’s a new year, and before you can declare that it’s time for a brand new you, you need to know what your brand is in the first place. We cannot change what we don’t know or acknowledge.
Are you one of those people who says, “I don’t care about what people think of me. I am who I am?” Well, who exactly are you? And why don’t you care about what others think?
While I don’t believe anyone should solely base their goals, dreams and personal decisions on what other’s think, if you don’t at least consider it, you may be limiting yourself in ways that you’re not even aware – personally, professionally and financially.
Could you have a false impression about how you come across? We’ve all met people like that. Size 14 thinks she’s a four. Corny thinks he’s cool. And Ghetto thinks she’s classy. Personally, I can remember early on when my bubble was burst. I was about 14 years old, and, as I approached a group of neighborhood kids, a guy said, “Here comes wild Deya.” I couldn’t understand why he would say that. I thought I was a fly and fabulous young lady. I was. But I also got into a lot of fights with jealous young ladies around-the-way. I was an only child and very small for my age. I had a lot of heart, a lot of mouth and talked a lot of trash. While that same mouth and attitude kept a lot of bullies from taking advantage of me, those same characteristics cast a certain image of me – wild Deya. My feelings were hurt when he called me that, mostly because I had a crush on him. At the same time, it was an early wake-up call for me. Who you want to be and how you want to come across has to manifest in your actions and daily lifestyle – not just once in a while or on special occasions.
We must create our personal brands on purpose with purpose. Every day, we get a chance to improve upon it – that is, if we’re focused. A good image doesn’t just happen because in our hearts we believe that we’re good people. Bottom line, people don’t have time to invest in finding out who you are deep down inside. Either you show them or you don’t.
Think about it. We buy the brands that we like because they’ve been designed with a particular image, style, taste and emotion attached to them. Everyone from Gucci, Mac make-up to Payless took time to brand itself; we covet them or we reject them. Have you ever bought something because of its brand name, even if it wasn’t that much better than the off-brand, even if you couldn’t really afford it? Likewise, have you ever rejected something or someone based on its name? In other words, you drew an opinion about someone or something based upon their reputation, what it represented to you or others.
So again, I ask you, what’s your name brand? Why is it valuable, and why should anyone buy into it? We place value, judgments and even emotion on names when we hear them. In entertainment, the names Usher, Patti or Whitney evoke certain thoughts in our mind. When people hear your name, what do they think? How does it make them feel?
I recently conducted an extensive interview ( Click Here to listen to full interview ) about what it really means to strategically “brand” oneself with a global branding guru to the stars and to corporate America, Melissa Dawn Johnson, author of Brand Me, Turn Your Passion into Profit NOW. As you will hear in our interview, not only is branding crucial, but it also has a direct impact on how you’re valued.
Make your name one that represents high value by having good character and integrity. Stand up for what you believe in. Develop what’s in your heart, mind and spirit. Let your words ring true by following up with a spirit of excellence and action. In 2011, if you really enjoy name brands, create your own. Invest in you.
Deya “Direct” Smith is a producer on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, creator and host of Girlfriend FM. She can be reached at DeyaDirect@aol.com.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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