Exploring Your Brand Identity | Personal Branding Blog - Dan Schawbel

I’ve been fully engulfed in the world of branding lately through work on one of my accounts. Throughout the branding process I’ve observed a fascinating dynamic between how corporate brands try to be more human while personal brands are trying to be more like businesses. While dissecting the core elements of a brand I was intrigued to not only put those pieces back together for the client I was actually working with, but also for myself.

I’ve related corporate branding to personal branding before, but would like to specifically call out these elements for people to relate their brand, too, from more of an internal perspective than a “consumer-facing” perspective:

Brand Identity

Brand Identity is comprised of three main elements: Mission, Vision, and Mantra. Each of these embodies a specific component of the brand that forms the overall identity. I use these as a way for me to see what I would like to accomplish both short term and long term in my career. Each of these are created from my existing brand elements, so if there is not something in there that I would like to have, I need to make that, possibly by trying new things. That may mean getting a new job, studying new topics, participating in organizations or industry events, etc.

Brands by nicolasnova.

Mission: When thinking of your brand mission as yourself “Why do I exist?” No, not as a human being, but as a professional. As a professional, what goal are you trying to accomplish? This idea should be viewed from a broad, yet unique and ownable perspective.

Vision: What do you want to be? Where do you want to go in life? This plan should be somewhat specific, measurable, and achievable. No one needs to know exactly what they want to do with their lives, but you should have some sort of plan mapped out for the near future.

Mantra: What is your core brand promise? As a brand, what do you have to offer? This should be succinct, memorable, and descriptive of you as a professional.

Once you really digest all of the elements of your brand identity you will know yourself “like the back of your hand.” You will easily be able to put your brand in any context, whether it is for job interviews, networking, or overall career strategy and goal planning. Think of yourself as a brand manager. Know your brand inside and out – what it stands for, how it got to where it is now, where it’s going, and what its core elements are.


David Trahan is an Associate Account Executive at Mr. Youth in New York City.  Previously, he has held positions with The Advertising Council, Goldman Sachs and The Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He holds a degree in marketing with a concentration in advertising and promotion from the Pforzheimer Honors College and Lubin School of Business at Pace University. David is also a mentor in the Alumni Mentor Program at Pace and is a member of the AD Club of NY Young Professionals Steering Committee. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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