Are you in this century yet?

01Apr09

I put together a presentation for a client not long ago on “21st Century Brands” – it was about some new fundamentals of  branding, the brand platform for this century, today’s brand profile, and so forth.  Insert consulting terminology of choice. 

The underlying principles of branding are unchanged.  Branding is about making it easy for people to choose your product or corporation or organization again and again.  It’s how you do this that we have to stay on top of.  

It occurred to me that we, as individuals, should be paying attention to these 21st century consumer or corporate brands and making sure our own personal brands are in 2009.  I mean, we have had 8 years to think about this, right? 

Here are four attributes of 21st century consumer or corporate brands: 

  1. They are digital – they know how to brand on the www – this includes social media and emerging media
  2. They are global – whether they are a global brand or not, they are aware of the implications for them of competing in a global economy – of global consumers
  3. They are personal –  they “get” their target audiences at a deep level – targets are narrower and narrower – in no ways do targets fit into old demographic segments
  4. They are green – seriously, not just PR green

With a little twist here and there, you can see how these 4 attributes make perfect sense for our personal brands, too.  For example, as a personal brand, your target audience are those people or groups of people, who are most important, absolutely critical, to your future success.  Do you really “get” what is most important to them?  Or, what the relationship should be, from their perspective?

What are your thoughts on these 4 attributes?  What others should we think about if we want to be in the 21st century?

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