Creating a brand that mirrors my growth

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Creating your own brand requires a degree of understanding about yourself. As a masters student I am still in the process of creating my brand and understanding where my career could take me, so I look to others as examples. 

According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is “thought of as a single entity—a particular set of beliefs that distinguish it from other brands.” So a brand for a specific person is what makes you different than everyone else. What are the beliefs and ideas associated with your work ethic and performance?

A screenshot of Justin Trudeau’s Twitter bio that shows how he tweets in French and English to represent both national languages in Canada.

As a journalist, we talk and learn about branding ourselves everyday, but I find it difficult to define a single brand for myself. I’m still a student so I haven’t started my career yet and there is still so many directions my career could go.

Instead of focusing my brand on what I do, I was to focus on why and how I do it. I want my brand to speak to my work ethic and to show my passion for telling stories. Even though I don’t know where my career will lead me, I can still create a global brand that speaks to my interest in exploring other cultures and telling stories across the global community.

One of the brands I admire the most is the personal brand of Justin Trudeau. As Prime Minster of Canada he represents his community around the world and does so expertly.

His strongest outlet, at least to me, is his Twitter. Social media can be an extremely powerful part of any brand as it allows people to reach wider audiences. Trudeau, uniquely, tweets every single post in two language: English and French. While this may seem like a small part of his personal brand it shows his commitment to representing his country, whose national language is both English and French.

Another aspect of his brand that I admire is how he integrates his personality in such a professional field. For those that don’t know, Trudeau is known for incorporating funky socks into not only his fashion but his diplomacy.

Vanessa Friedman wrote in her article, Justin Trudeau’s Sock Diplomacy that,

“In each case, Mr. Trudeau’s socks were not just fun, though they kind of were, especially compared with the usual politician’s navy or black; they also contained a message of solidarity. Rarely have a man’s ankles said so much.”

The Canadian prime minister says it loud and proud (and devoutly) in special socks for Eid and Gay Pride. Photograph: Canadian Press/Rex/Shutterstock

One of the reasons I admire Trudeau’s creative sock selection is because he has expertly incorporated his personality into his professional brand. This seems like one of the most challenging parts of working in journalism. Our audience wants us to have a personality, but how can we balance professionalism and private life?

Trudeau is an expert of his own brand. Whether he’s tweeting in multiple languages or wearing cool Star Wars socks at a political event, he is showcasing his international brand. I want my brand to be that strong and cohesive.

Watching people like Trudeau and strongly-branded companies like Apple, I can better identify my brand. So while my brand at the moment may center around being a student, I have plenty of good examples to follow as I transition into my career in a mere nine months and begin molding my global brand.