What is YOUR brand?

Firebrand specialises in the Marketing and Design fields, as a result, day in day out, we consult with our clients and interview talents who are in branding, marketing, creative etc…so we talk about brands a lot!

Every brand has a personality, style, aura, promise…whichever way you might want to call it.

For every talent I meet, half way thru the interview when they least expect it, I always pose this question to them “if you are a brand, what brand would you be and why?”. The talent’s response can tell me quite a lot about the talent, here are some nuggets of what I glean from that question:

1) How well and how quickly the talent thinks on his/her feet and how well they articulate what’s on their mind while under pressure because most people would not expect that question, its not a standard “job interview” question.

2) Insight into how the talent’s sees himself/herself. There is no right or wrong answer for this question. The brand they pick is an interesting conversation topic but for me, the real juice is the reason why they picked it.

I would say 85% to 90% of people answer they are “Nike” because of “Just Do It”. Brand recall for that tag line is incredible! Kudos to Nike. However, I tend to think that the “Just Do It” as the reason why they chose Nike is a little unimaginative. C’mon, I am sure we can do better than that! I have had some brilliant, creative ones. One talent said “Tiger Balm” because she is proudly local Singaporean and with a global outlook like Tiger Balm. Another claimed to be “Toyota” because he is unpretentious, family oriented, reliable and affordable! Some ladies will espouse to be niche high end brands such as “Loewe”, “Prada” but would turn their uppity noses on Louis Vuitton because  “aunties shopping in the fish market carry LV”

Also with social media so ubiquitous in our lives, whether you realise it or not, we are branding ourselves every time we post something on facebook, twitter, linkedin – giving out big clues to the people in our social media connections on who we are, our thoughts, our political views, sense of humour,  our diet (e.g. what we had for breakfast, lunch and tea) and our hygiene routine (TMI – too much info). So much information out there in the internet. Have you Googled yourself and see what comes up? If you have not, try it.

Another question I ask during interviews is “if I were to ask people that know you, ex-supervisors, colleagues, best mates…what words do you think they will use to describe you (another words what is your brand in the eyes of people that know you)?” I find that if I ask someone to describe himself/herself, most people will struggle to come up with the right words for fear of thinking too highly of themselves but if  when it is using someone else’s words, then hey the flowery, flattering words come out by the truckloads.

In case you are curious, I am “adidas”. Why? Because adidas = heritage, performance driven, stylish with substance without being just about fancy designs, colors and marketing hype (i.e.Nike),  and oh! it looks darn good 🙂

So what is YOUR brand?

Photo courtesy of adidas

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