Monday, April 16, 2012

Branding, Bragging and your Brain

I speak with my clients often about the need for a strong, clear Personal Brand.  The stronger your brand, the more memorable you are and likely the more recognition and rewards you will receive.  A new study has shown that there is an additional benefit to the creation of a strong branded message...your Brain likes Brands.

In a new study, presented at the Radiological society of North America by Christine Born, M.D., it was shown that when people are presented with a known branded image, their brains processed these images in the same part of the brain associated with positive emotions.  Unfamiliar brands, however, not only activated areas of the brain associated with negative emotions, they also took more effort for the brain to process. The MRI scans of the brains in both male and female subjects reacted similarly.

In short...  the MRI scans show that brains respond better to name brands.  The results of the study are interesting, certainly from the perspective of why we might prefer one product over another.  I think though, that it also has some interesting implications for the need to not only develop a clear Personal Brand but to learn to Brag about it too!

At a Corporate level, this study definitely seems to support the perceived value of marketing and advertising efforts.  The more often you can be 'seen', the more familiar your audience becomes with your branded message.  This familiarity in turn creates positive associations at the brain level that work to your advantage. Why would this prove any different for the perceptions and branded images we have of those around us?

If Corporations benefit from targeted marketing messages about their products, then you too can benefit from the delivery of clear and consistent messages about your product - You!  All too often we make the mistake of wanting our work to speak for us.  In the 'busy' world of business though, our work can go largely unnoticed.  We must therefore learn to find our voice and speak up on behalf of our efforts; we need to learn to Brag Better!

Start with a clear idea of who you are and what you stand for - Your Branded Message.  You want to be delivering clear and consistent messages.  Then look for ongoing ways in which to demonstrate, support and speak about yourself within these terms.  The more consistent and clear your message, the stronger the brand.  The stronger the brand, the more comfortable your audience will be with the messaging and the more positive the associations within the brains of your audience. This... is powerful.

Given that few people do this well, do it consistently or do it strategically, it needn't be Big Brags to be effective.  Small but pointed reminders about what you bring to the table, or that highlight your key skills, are often all that it takes.  Don't dilute your branded message by trying to be all things to all people.  Get to the heart of 'you' and sell that... over and over.

(think you still might need some extra help and direction with creating your Bragging Campaign? Check out our new online program - Bragging Rights - for strategies and tactics to help you not just get seen and heard... but get ahead!)

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