When we think about branding, it is usually associated with the way a business represents itself: its values and authenticity.
Think more deeply and you come to realise that the success of a brand is also measured by how individuals within an organisation represent that business.
Personal brand and company brand are now so intrinsically connected that the employee mirrors the values and footprint of the employer.
You are your own brand
It may be argued that businesses are no longer looking for employees, they are looking for partners who can come into an organisation and who possess similar brand characteristics: they are looking for people with a personal brand.
The rise of personal branding isn’t new, nevertheless individuals are now more aware of the image they portray.
More and more people are defining themselves as brands: they are representing subject matters or general qualities and they play a strategic game to be recognised for their values and expertise.
Alison Gullick knows all about strategic branding. A marketing professional, Alison understands the importance of brand impact and used this to her advantage to relocate city and start life anew.
Alison cultivated her brand by telling her story through her own personal website: www.alisongullick.melbourne
“I wanted to show that my experience was as a marketer in the technology sector. I wanted to show that I was tech savvy. I was looking for what was new in this space and at thought leadership opportunities.”
Master of your domain
Having a personal domain meant Alison stood out from the crowd.
“I was looking to send a concise message. I was looking for roles based in Melbourne and having a .melbourne domain made it obvious where I was based and what I was looking for. It gave a clear and concise professional direction.”
Once the domain was purchased, it was a matter of putting up a one page website, which Alison managed to do within half a day.
“I reached out to a friend of mine who is a graphic designer. He designed it, built it in HTML and then we found a host.”
Alison was the master of her domain and controlled the message coming from it. She says part of the power of the brand she wanted to portray was that the domain makes the brand memorable.
“I didn’t have to go with a long domain name. The .melbourne domain was simple to get and allowed me to tell people what they needed to know through the domain itself.”
Take advantage of brand positioning
The most successful brands are those that are innovative and that stand out from the pack. They forge their own identity, no matter how big or small; no matter whether business or personal, or the integration of both.
Alison used the creation of her brand to her advantage, with the domain as the icing on the cake. In fact the domain played an integral role in her end game – to land a thought-busting tech job in the marketing space.
“The .melbourne domain in conjunction with the website created a concise brand positioning that illustrated the areas of employment I was looking for. I knew how to stand out and this attracted an employer who was looking for someone dynamic that they felt aligned with their own brand and deliverables.”
In Alison’s case the domain proved a powerful tool. The website built around the domain, www.alisongullick.melbourne acts as a compelling example of how to build a stand out brand.
“People who are looking to send a message can buy into a domain that very clearly articulates what their differentiator is,” Alison says. “I have a friend who is a graphic designer who registered www.graphic.melbourne to host her professional brand website. It represents the portfolio of her work. It is brilliant and positions her as owning that space in Melbourne. The tailored domain presents an opportunity to own a space within the industry.”
The biggest opportunity in the domain name space is to own a segment. It is an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often, but is one that creates a memorable brand and depicts who you are, your value position and what you are trying to achieve. That is all that any brand expert can ask for.