Personal Branding From The Super Bowl Ads

By Kathleen Smith How do you build up your personal brand? What have the Super Bowl ads shown us? Do a few stunts, throw in some special effects; a few celebrities and people will know what you stand for, right?

Building a personal brand is a challenge as your brand develops over time and through your actions. Adding a badge, jumping on to the most recent social media platform or showing up at a party in a super furry coat make get you some initial reactions, but is this the essence of your brand? Sex and flash will get you attention, but will your audience and community respect you in the morning.

For recruiters, as with any sales position, the brand is a hybrid of the person and the company they represent. The most dynamic recruiting brand is one where the company and the individual’s brand are in sync.  Our challenge as recruiters is one, building our personal brand, and two, making sure that our company reinforces and leverages our brand.  Worst case scenario is when a recruiter believes that they don’t have a brand and relies on their company’s brand to be theirs.

Building a personal brand is remembering key ground rules:

  1. What you say, how you say and how you stand up in the community continually and consistently is the basis of your brand;
  2. Understanding your audience, keeping your messages on target and knowing what is memorable about you drives your content;
  3. Consistent messaging that is of interest to your community with a “lift” every now and then. This lift being something extraordinary that differentiates you, and excites your audience;
  4. Understanding, knowing and practicing the golden rule for your community.

Understanding your audience and why they want to hear your message, gave Budweiser the win, according to the USAToday Ad meter. The Super Bowl ads showdown illustrates the more the ad resonates with your brand image, the more successful you are. Years ago, Budweiser came out with their “Whassup” Super Bowl ad, which was targeted to only a small section of their audience and annoyed the rest of us. After that, their ads were more in line with their overall brand to engage their entire community.  Now, not all of us can add a puppy to our branding strategy nor would this work for IT recruiting, but understanding what your tech talent cares about – which, by the way, has nothing to do with how badly you need to fill your current requirement- and how they want to be treated, will resonate for your brand.

It’s great to have something that excites your audience, and you need this every now and then to spice up your engagement, but remember to stay within your brand basics. One of the all times best Super Bowl ads was the “herding cats” ad by a large technical company. Great ad, well executed, definitely got everyone’s interest, still does, but can you remember the name of the company?  And what does herding have to do with technical proficiency?  A great lift was the Snicker’s ad with Betty White, which reinforced the need for the product, and what happens when you don’t have it, with a great celebrity twist. Again you are not going to get Michael Jordan or Enimem to stand in for you, but what veteran support event, STEM mentoring program or community event can you be part of?

As recruiters, sales people or marketers, we tend to rely too much on tools, and not enough on engagement. Yes it is great that you have lots of endorsements, or likes, but is that your brand or is it clutter?  Or are these detractors?  According to the USAToday ad meter, 49% watch the Super Bowl for the ads, with only 34% actually watching football. And only 10% watch for the half time show- sorry, Up with People, Janet Jackson and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Most of us don’t have a $4 million ad budget to remind our audiences that we are here, but we do have multimillion moments every day to show up in our communities.  Reinforce why people want to engage with you, want to work with you and refer their friends to you – that’s your personal brand.

Kathleen Smith is the Chief Marketing officer for ClearedJobs.net. You can connect with her on Twitter at @YesItsKathleen. Follow ClearedJobs.net at @ClearedJobsNet

This post was originally published from ClearedJobs.Net. It was republished here with the author's permission. 

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