Personal Branding is a Long Journey

I recently had the privilege of presenting at the American Marketing Association’s Art of Marketing Conference, doing a session on Personal Branding. You can check it out here:

I’ve been thinking a long time about the primary influences of my life, the ideas and experiences that shaped my perspectives and approaches to my career. While I think I’m introspective by nature (I tend to look back to see what/why I made certain decisions), I’m curious as to how someone would apply the creation of a voice for a brand to the creation of a voice for a career.

I thought about this again over the weekend when I went to Nordstrom with my wife. She loves shopping for shoes, and I was intrigued by two lines from Michael Kors. One is called Michael by Michael Kors, the other is… wait for it…Kors by Michael Kors.

The difference between the lines was subtle but noticeable. Michael is for younger, flashier shoes. Kors is for more expensive, urbane shoes. I was struck by the personal branding of the fashion industry and how he, in particular, would apply his two different names to the two different lines.

In the end, people — in their careers — could be considered brands, where other folks have emotional connections, “promises” and “expectations” of what you will and won’t deliver. Thinking about the brand you are and what you’re becoming is a career-long journey.

What is your journey looking like? What are the 3-5 words that describe you? How did you get here? Where are you going?

I love questions like this, and the exploration of the answers.

Let me know what you think — I’d love to hear your feedback.

Christopher Foster, VP of Marketing
As a father of two and a seasoned Marketer, I’m striving for balance: romance with my wife, being a good father, contributing in excellent ways to my company, creating and maintaining good friendships, being physically active, and stretching my career to engage the San Diego marketing community. I’m writing this blog to post some ideas and observations that often are inspired by the wonderful students I have the opportunity to teach at UCSD Extension. In addition, my past and present colleagues, network, and co-workers create indelible moments. I try to link some of these ideas in the blog, and I’d love feedback from anyone who reads it.

By Christopher Foster, VP of Marketing for Modern Postcard

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