Tag Archives: Personal Branding

Personal Branding

How Much Does Appearance Matter?

Linda A. Jackson

Perceived attractiveness was correlated with perceived competence and likeability in a meta-analysis by Michigan State University’s Linda A. Jackson, John E. Hunter, and Carole N. Hodge.
Physically attractive people were seen as more intellectually competent.

Nancy Etcoff

Similarly, women who wore cosmetics were rated more highly on attractiveness, competence, likeability and trustworthiness when viewed for as little as 250 milliseconds in research by Harvard’s Nancy L. Etcoff, Lauren E. Haley, and David M. House, with Shannon Stock of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Proctor & Gamble’s Sarah A. Vickery.

Models without makeup, with natural, professional, “glamorous” makeup

However, when participants looked at the faces for a longer time, ratings for competence and attractiveness remained the same, but ratings for likeability and trustworthiness changed based on specific makeup looks.

Etcoff’s team concluded that cosmetics could influence automatic judgments because attractiveness “rivets attention, and impels actions that help ensure the survival of our genes.”

Most people recognize the bias in assuming that attractive people are competent and that unattractive people are not, yet impression management remains crucial in the workplace and in the political arena.

-*Where have you seen appearance exert an influence in workplace credibility, decision-making and role advancement?

Related Posts

©Kathryn Welds



Women’s Branding – Impact of Rebranding at Marriage, Divorce

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Playwright, esthete, and bon vivant Oscar Wilde anticipated current attention to personal branding in his comment, “Names are everything.”

It is well-known that women who change their names at marriage are more difficult to find and connect to their pre-marriage professional accomplishments.
This is a “Brand Equity Risk,” and may result in reduced “personal brand value.

However, “rebranding” at marriage was prevalent among about 19,000 women who married in 2012, surveyed by TheKnot.com and www.WeddingChannel.com.
A significant majority – 86 percent – changed their birth names to their husband’s surname, with just 14% choosing another option such as:

  • Retaining their original name (<8%),
  • Hyphenating both partners’ last names (6%),
  • Creating a new surname, often from parts of each partner’s name.
Brian Powell

Brian Powell

Just three years before, Indiana University’s  Brian Powell and Laura Hamilton of University of California – Merced, found that that significantly fewer respondents – 71 percent of 815 survey participants – believed a woman should change her name at marriage, and half of those said it should be legally required.

Laura Hamilton

Laura Hamilton

This suggests that there is an increasing sentiment toward rebranding at marriage.

Richard Kopelman

Richard Kopelman

However, Baruch College’s Richard Kopelman, with  Rita Shea-Van Fossen of Ramapo College, Eletherios Paraskevas, Sacred Heart University’s Leanna Lawter, and David Prottas of Adelphi University, reported significantly decreasing incidence of women changing birth names at marriage from the 1990s to the 2000s. 

Claudia Goldin

Claudia Goldin

Likewise, Harvard’s  Claudia Goldin and Maria Shim, found a similar trend in their evaluation of  New York Times‘ marriage announcements, Massachusetts birth records, and Harvard alumni records: Fewer college-educated women kept their birth names in 2004 than in the 1970s and 1980s.

Maria Shim

Maria Shim

They noted that older brides and those who graduated from elite educational institutions were more likely to retain their original names, as were  those with occupations in arts, writing, and media.

Rita Shea-Van Fossen

Rita Shea-Van Fossen

Wayne State University’s Ernest Abel and Michael Kruger echoed Goldin and Shim’s finding that older brides are more likely to retain their original “brand.”

Ernest Abel

Ernest Abel

Women who married between ages 35 and 39 were six times more likely to keep their original names than women who married when they were 20 to 24 years old, reported Abel and Kruger in their analysis of 2575 wedding announcements in the New York Times.
They found that women who married in 2007–2008 were three times more likely to retain their birth names than those married in 1990–1991.

Stephanie Coontz

Stephanie Coontz

Diana Boxer

Diana Boxer

Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen College said that many of the women who changed their names in the 1970s did so as a counterpoint to marital inequality in obtaining credit, renting an apartment, and owning real property.
Other cross-cultural gender-specific identity practices were outlined by University of Florida’s Diana Boxer and Elena Gritsenko’s Women and surnames across cultures: reconstituting identity in marriage.

Education, age, religious affiliation, cultural traditions, and sentiment seem to over-ride typical advice for building a brand:  Repeated exposure to a consistent message over time.
Brand strategists who consider threats to corporate brand value could contribute to post-marriage rebranding decision-making by quantifying the potential long-term financial impact of women’s  nominal changes after marriage and marital dissolution.

-*What are the benefits to personal brand value of keeping or changing original names?


Twitter:    @kathrynwelds
Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary
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Guy Kawasaki Disrupts Again: Innovative “Artisinal Publishing,” Entrepreneurship to build Brand, Visibility

APEGuy Kawasaki’s new book and most recent book have departed from his focus on business strategy, marketing, and storytelling to focus on tactical “how-to” guides.
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book echoes his earlier imperatives to “add value, make meaning”, whether writing or developing an entrepreneurial idea.

This reference manual enumerates the benefits of self-publishing (aka “artisinal publishing”) compared with traditional publishing models:

  • Content and design control
  • Longevity
  • Revisions   
  • Money
  • Direct connection
  • Price control
  • Time to market
  • Global distribution
  • Control of foreign rights
  • Analytics
  • Deal flexibility.
Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

He acknowledges drawbacks, but argues that “artisinal publishing” trumps traditional publishing models despite:

  • No advance
  • No editing team
  • No corporate marketing team
  • Possibly lower prestige
  • Self-service distribution
  • Self-service foreign rights and translations
Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

Kawasaki crowd-sourced the origami butterfly concept for his last book cover, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, and applied the same social approach to “beta-testing,” proof reading, critiquing, and editing this volume.

He candidly acknowledged the value of a professional copy editor to ensure that “artisinally-published” books look professional: even with massive iterations of crowd-sourced review, the copy editor found 1500 issues for correction.Enchantment

He provides clear cost delineations in 2012 US dollars and suggestions to fund the development process, such as engaging in affiliate fee arrangements for products and services mentioned in a book and taking advantage of discounts through the Independent Booksellers Association.

Kawasaki candidly reveals that publishing a book may not be a revenue generator, citing his experience of making more from speaking engagements than royalties on his more than a dozen traditionally-published books

Despite his track record of evangelizing Apple products, he advocated using Microsoft Word for manuscript layout because many who collaborate on an “artisinally-published” book may require this format.

A seasoned marketer, he demystified distribution channels and suggested:

  • Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing),
  • Apple (iBookstore),
  • Barnes & Noble (Nook),
  • Google (Google Play),
  • Kobo

He clarified the implications of producing digital media in contrast to physical media in discussing distribution through Gumroad for direct sales or printed books.
The latter requires the self-published author to collect, record, and report sales tax for sales within the same state or locale.

As a founder of Alltop and a Twitter evangelist, Kawasaki provided recommendations for promoting awareness of “artisinally-published” books via social media, Net Galley reviewers and bloggers, as well as virtual book tours.

He offers recommendations for independent author and publisher resources including:The Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers (14th Edition)

If You Want to WriteIf You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland, which he said “changed my life by empowering me to write even though I didn’t consider myself a writer.”

Kawasaki provided an unexpected “pearl of wisdom,” applicable to many life situations beyond building personal brand reach through “artisinal publishing,” from book enthusiast Marilyn Monroe who said,

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

-*What has been your experience in traditional or “artisinal” publishing?

Related post:
Business Influence as “Enchantment”

Questions to Discover, Communicate Personal Mission, Brand

Tina Su

Tina Su, former software engineer at Amazon.com and author of Think Simple Now: A Moment of Clarity blog, shared self- assessment questions that have helped her and others focus on life purpose and mission.

From these, she developed a personal vision “to ‘never work again’, by living a life following one’s inner calling, exploring one’s potential, generating massive value, and living fully in every moment.”

• What activities, people, events, hobbies, projects make you smile?
• What have been your favorite activities in the past?
• What have been your favorite activities now?
• What makes you feel great about yourself?
• Who inspires you: family, friends, authors, artists, leaders, historical figures?
• Which qualities inspire you?
• What are your natural skills, abilities, gifts?
• For what do people ask your advice, help?
• What would you teach?
• What would you regret not fully doing in your life?
• What would you regret not being in your life?
• When you are 90 years old, what achievements will matter most?
• What achievements relationships will matter most?
• What are your 3-6 deepest values?
• What were some challenges, difficulties and hardships you’ve overcome or are in the process of overcoming?
• How did you do it?
• What causes do you strongly believe in or have personal meaning for you?
• What message would you like to effectively convey to a large group of people?
• How can you use your talents, resources, passions and values to serve, to help, to contribute to people, beings, causes, organization, environment?

The answers to these questions can answer the questions addressed in a personal mission statement, as Tina demonstrated in her bold direction.
• What do I want to do?
• Who do I want to help?
• What is the result? What value will I create?

Randall Hansen

Randall Hansen

Randall Hansen offers a different, but compatible The Five-Step Plan for Creative Personal Mission Statements.
• Identify Past Successes
• Identify Core Values
• Identify Contributions
• Identify Goals
• Write Mission Statement

Like any self-assessment process, developing a personal mission statement is an investment of time and attention spanning several days or weeks.

-*What questions have been more revealing in developing your personal brand?

LinkedIn Open Group Brazen Careerist
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Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

©Kathryn Welds

Lessons from Business Storytelling in Constructive Personal Narrative

Business Storytelling books and resources have proliferated, drawing many lessons from Hollywood’s storytelling business and from advertising, public relations, and marketing.

David Epston

David Epston

Michael White

Michael White

Yet business readers may be less aware that more than two decades ago, Australia-based family therapists Michael White and David Epston asserted that people experience personal problems when the stories they tell about their lives do not represent their actual experiences.

They offered ways for people to “re-story” of “re-author” their personal narratives in their now-classic Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

Michel Foucault

Years after White and Epston built on French philosopher, Michel Foucault’s Post-Structuralist/Modernist analysis of narrative, Paul John Eakin integrated literature, cognitive science, ethics and social criticism in his intriguingly-titled books, Living Autobiographically: How We Create Identity in Narrative and How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves 

Eakin echoes Foucault’s view that cultural and social “discourses” influence the narratives people develop about themselves and others, and he, like White and Epston, suggests that personal narratives can be modified to reduce subjective discomfort. How Our Lives Become Stories

Though White and Epston led their clients’ introspective analysis of personal narrative, philosophers like Foucault, and perhaps even Eakin, would argue for the viability of self-guided introspection.

-*When have you used stories to help others solve problems?
-*When have you heard stories that helped you resolve issues?

Related Resources:
Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire

Whoever Tells the Best Story WinsWhoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact

The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business 
Tell to Win

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story

The Leader's Guide to StorytellingThe Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative

Winning the Story WarsWinning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future

LinkedIn Open Group Psychology in HR (Organisational Psychology)
Twitter: @kathrynwelds
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Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

©Kathryn Welds

Glass Elevator and Nine Principles for Personal Branding, Career Impact

Ora Shtull

Ora Shtull

Ora Shtull points to the small number of women leading Fortune 500 companies to argue that women can benefit from adopting nine practices to enhance personal branding.

Her book, The Glass Elevator – A Guide to Leadership Presence for Women on the Rise, focuses on: The Glass Elevator

• High-impact communication through asking strategic questions

• Practicing confident body language in posture, body position, and vocal projection

• Listening to learn and understand• Developing a collaborative relationship with your manager• Partnering with team members and direct reports to deliver results• Expanding your network by being likable and generous• Asking for what you want with “win-win” in mind
• Sharing your differentiators• Adopting a positive outlook, even if at first it’s “as-if”

Shtull developed a comprehensive Leadership Presence Coaching model based on the principles of Influence-Engage-Connect, and a related assessment

-*Which of Shtull’s recommendations have most helped you ride the “Glass Elevator”?

Related Posts:

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Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

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Igniting Purpose and Passion

Robert Fried

Robert Fried

Robert Fried drew on principles articulated in his previous book, A Marketing Plan for Life, linking a 12-point business marketing plan to clarify life purpose and interests.

He suggests applying these marketing principles to defining personal life purpose, value proposition, brand, and “elevator pitch”:

Define the business you’re in:

• What’s unfinished for me to experience?
• What’s unfinished for me to give?
• What’s unfinished for me to learn?
• What’s unfinished for me to heal?
• What ignites my passion?
.When did I experience joy?
.When did I lose track of time?
.What were my childhood dreams?
.Who do I admire?
• What can I do best to serve others?
• What is my true purpose in life?
• What actions do I need to take to realize my true purpose?

Peter Montoya

Peter Montoya

Fried cited recommendations from Peter Montoya and Tim Vandehey‘s book, The Brand Called You

What business am I in? What do I offer? Who am I?
What do I “stand for”? What are my core values?
What talents, strengths, character traits make me “unique”?

Tim Vandehey

Tim Vandehey

What is my specialty? How do I demonstrate this expertise?
How do I demonstrate the value? How to I communicate the benefit?
How do I “make a difference”?
How do I consistently communicate the alignment between my “offering” and its value?
What should people care? What is my cause beyond profit-making?

  • What are my demonstrable differences? “Features”? “Benefits”?

Opinions different on the optimal duration of responses to these value-clarifying questions, but one benchmark is “more than 25 words and fewer than 25 seconds.”

-*How do you clarify your purpose and mobilize your motivation?

LinkedIn Open Group – Leadership Think Tank
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Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

©Kathryn Welds

Business Influence as “Enchantment”

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist at Apple, co-founder of Alltop.com, and author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, shared with Stanford University entrepreneurship students his conviction that business influence or “enchantment” is the foundation of successful entrepreneurship.

He maintains that business influence, or “charisma”, or persuasiveness, is based on the following characteristics and behaviors.

• Smile, engaging the corner of eyes (“crow’s feet”!) of Duchene smile
• Handshake, drawing on University of Manchester research, for the optimal handshake to engage social connection
• Dress equal to audience, not more formally or more casually

• Must trust others in order to have others trust you
• “Believe that the world is a non-zero sum game”
• “Default to Yes: How can I help this person?”
• Create something (product, services) DICEE for the listener
o D-eep
o I-ntelligent
o C-ompleteness
o E-mpowering
o E-legant

In promoting products and services, he advises:

• Branding must be “short, sweet, swallowable”: “Mantra, not Mission Statement.”
[Kawasaki’s mantra is “Empower People”]

• Conduct pre-mortem to course-correct: Pretend that the company failed; use diagnosis to course-correct

• Launch product or service by telling a compelling story

• “Plant many seeds: The world has been inverted: LonelyBoy15 needs to embrace your product and he encourages his contacts to embrace your product.”

• “Put your prototype out there because you never know who your LonelyBoy15 will be.”

• Make salient points, things that matter to listeners

• Overcome resistance via:
o Social proof (“others are doing it, so it must be ok”)
o “Find a bright spot – don’t fix something for the nay-sayers; use what is working”
o Enchant all the influencers. “The higher you go, the thinner the air, and the more difficult to support intelligent life. If you deal with CXOs, you will deal with the dumbest people. Look for the influencer, in the middle or bottom.”

• Make something endure
o Don’t default to using money; cultivate genuine “belief” and “commitment”
o Invoke reciprocity –“pay it forward”.
When the person expresses gratitude, say, “I know you would do the same for me.”
Enable the reciprocity to “alleviate the guilt” the other person experiences
o Build an ecosystem beyond your product including all interested stakeholders, users

• Learn to speak
o Customize the introduction: verbally, photos
o Sell your idea
o 10-20-30 rule: 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font

• Provide value via social media
o Information
o Insight, meaning

o Assistance
o Remove the speed bumps, and obstacles to adoption
o Engage within 24 hours – “fast, many, often: it is core to your existence”

• Enchant up
o “Drop everything and whatever the boss asks: Just do it”
o Prototype fast – exceed expectations, deliver early
o Deliver bad news early, with ways to correct

• Enchant down
o Master
o Autonomy: Empower action, convey trust of others’ judgment
o Purpose
o Never ask others to do what you wouldn’t: “Suck it up”

-*How do you use “enchantment” to influence others?

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©Kathryn Welds

Self-Marketing: Improve your PVI: Sharpen Perception, Increase Visibility, Exert Influence

Joel Garfinkle

Joel Garfinkle

Joel Garfinkle emphasizes the importance of making your accomplishments and contributions visible to peers and executive: Self-marketing as a career development strategy in his book, Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level

His extroverted persona encourages even the most introverted professional to speak up and showcase work contributions to guide career development instead of waiting to be noticed among a field of many able contributors.

-*What practices are effective and acceptable to increase professional visibility?

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3P Marketing to Define, Communicate Personal Brand

Rita Allen

Rita Allen

Rita B. Allen defines 3 Ps Marketing to create personal brand and effectively market yourself in an increasingly competitive, global employment landscape.

-Conduct self-assessment and “due diligence”
-Define brand differentiators and subject matter expertise
-Articulate positioning statement (“elevator pitch”)
-Curate your professional network

-Create your portfolio (resume, CV, performance reviews, awards, presentations, articles, references, testimonials, community and professional service, continuing education)
-Expand alliances with relevant thought leaders

-Practice and refine delivery of your brand message
-Develop strong active listening, presentation, and interpersonal skills
-Continuously enhance your brand

This approach helps answer:
• What are your “value-adds”, your unique differentiators?
• What is your personal brand?
• How comfortable are you articulating your brand?
• How do you continuously enhance your brand?

-*What elements do you consider when communicating your personal brand?

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©Kathryn Welds