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At the final qualification match for World Cup, England where playing against Greece. At one minute to the end of the game, The English team were awarded a free kick, David Beckham stepped forward to that the kick and their place were guaranteed, and He managed to curl one of his lethal free-kicks past the defenders and the Goal keeper. Why did you think he took the kick? He was the best man on the pitch to play it. Remember bend it like Beckham? He has overtime been associated with such kicks.

There are some things in us that make us different, right from our name to our personality. We are all different as individual but how best do we enhance our individuality? Our identity makes our brand as an Individual. It is who we are and how people perceive us. At the mention of your name what comes to mind. What do people remember you for or identifies you with.

Apple is suing Amazon.com in an attempt to stop the online retailer from using the name ‘Appstore’ They claim that Amazon’s name is too similar to its own ‘App Store’. They claim there will be confusion. Apple has also wanted to register the ‘App Store ‘ trademark in the US but Microsoft has opposed the move, saying it is a generic name used by companies and individuals that offers apps.

We see the extent corporate organisation go to protect their names and identities. I guess you won’t have any problem if someone decides to trademark your name. This is all about brand integration. Putting their mark on everything that represents them.

The word Branding began simply as a way to tell person’s cattle from another by means of hot iron stamp but now it has grown to be a means of identity for a product or service. Organisations spend money to maintain consistency and a better recognition. You can see reasons why Coca Cola keep creating awareness about their brand despite their position as the Number 1 Global Brand.

However, branding should not just be limited to companies; individuals are brand on their own and thus there should be conscious effort to make a positive impression of who we truly are. The definition of positive impression may be relative, that is what an individual deem positive may not be generally accepted but it remains part of the brand identities for such individual.

There are numerous ways to integrate an individual brand but top most is INTEGRITY. It is not a one day affair, it is built over time. It could take years to develop but all can crash in minutes. Tiger Woods was 21 years when he first became world number one. He was world number one for 623 weeks; but at the exposure of his private affairs, things began to take a u- turn, product endorsements were affected and his game was terribly affected and now you can imagine why David Beckham launched a lawsuit against a US Magazine about his private life being published.

As individuals, our integrity is very important; the trust that our friends and associates have in us will open ways for us and make them recommend us to other people.  The celebrities are more affected because of the extent their brand has gone, so as we all work hard to be celebrated in life, expectations will be high, we need to jealously guard our integrity. Consciously develop a good perception about ourselves. Recognition and perception of a brand is highly influenced by its usual presentation.

Effective Personal branding makes you stand out. You need to develop your IDENTITIES. What is your best colour or your favourite quote? What will your friends remember you for? What is your passion and what you love to do?  You should be able to develop your style around this. Pablo Picasso is best known for co-founding the cubist movement, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and worked in. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortune throughout his life, making him one of the best-known figures in 20th century art.

This is where our creativity comes in, something to recognise us with, apart from our names and personalities. Cristiano Ronaldo registered the CR7 and CR9 trademarks because he plays with shirt No 7 for his Clubs and it will be used for merchandising. Roger Federer has got his ‘RF’ logo. This is not just about sport men but individuals too can create an identity for themselves.

Our day to day activities too should also reflect who we are. If your friends were going for skydiving, do you think they will invite you? It depends if you have associated yourself with such activity. When people knows you for whom you are, they will respect your choices and treat you with respect. You know what to get and where to get it.

The main issue however is INTEGRATING the brand, all your identities must align and not confusing. It is process that takes effort but it worth it. Have you thought of having a personal website? You can showcase your work on your website as an online portfolio and resume. Make use of the amazing internet technology to enhance your brand. Friends ask for your email would you prefer to give @yahoo.com address or @yourname.com?

You could also have a social media resume. Your social networking activities tell a lot about you. Your profile picture on Facebook is also quite important because that is what people see you to be. Your status update and twits also says something about what you represent and associate it. Get involve in social networking as long as it is going to enhance your brand and integrate your personality.

Personal brand integration is a long term process aimed at creating that right perception about who we are. It should be aligned and not confusing. Anywhere people meet you; they recognise you for who you are. Your conversation and the ways you address issues. Your Signature and style should be reflected in your activities. Remember you are a unique individual and nobody will blow your Trumpet for you. You need to celebrate yourself, identify those things that make you unique and we will remember you for that.

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