Some might be concerned that marketers now want us to extend branding from products and corporations to countries and individuals. Why should everything be commercialized, they may ask? Yet, have human beings not always worked on their image and tried to fashion themselves according to certain ideals? In Renaissance France, the 'in' man wanted to be a 'gentilhomme', well versed in poetry and literature, with loads of panache and wit, and capable of horse riding and fencing. So the six steps to develop your brand are the following:
1. Purpose. You want to have a higher, guding principle in your life - making money alone will not do. Rather, think where you would like to make a difference: what is your contribution to humanity?
2. Passion. What gets you excited? Whatever you do, your passion (or non-passion) will come out, so identitfy what you like to do and go for it.
3. Planning. Develop your brand does not happen overnight. It requires continuous work. Plan and strategize, and work on developing your own brand.
4. People. Your brand is related to the people around you. A strong individual brand reflects the people network around you.
5. Play. Brand development has to be fun. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it. And you and your brand will see much appreciation.
6. Perseverance. There will be fat and meagre years. In meagre years, stay put and continue on the road you embarked. Hard times build character, as some say. A strong brand develops its distinctive characteristics in tough times.