Personal branding

It seems that personal branding became a kind of hype recently. As with all such contemporary hypes one should know in advance that all kinds of quick fix / ready made solution providers will attract attention for it is in a nature of man to seek solutions that request as low pain as possible.

But one has to take in account that if anything, personal branding is painful and requests clear mind, discipline in explicit identity definition and lifetime perseverance.

It is easy to define fantasy brand identity – but then you have to deliver the promise with each and every step. On the other side it is also true that it is easy to deliver “no promise” – but no promise brings no value and thus void personal brand. It is thus extremely important to define personal brand identity according to Standard Branding Model(c) and then follow values defined. How to do it is thoroughfully explained in Brandlife.

So the purpose of this post is to attach to already explained procedure one additional hint not really covered in the book. The hint has nothing to do with branding on first sight, but…

It is in nature of human, that means memetic reality, that all that exists gets supported by three pillars. One can find those that argue that those three pillars support whole reality, but for this purpose I will refrain to enter question of reality outside memetic reality – meaning the symbolic reality specific and confined only to humans.

Those three pillars are wisdom, power and beauty. They act like tripod. All three exist by definition; all three have to  have similar length (meaning: one should never never be overdeveloped on the cost of another), but at the same time the entity can stand in three legs/pillars even if their lengths are slightly different. That is a privilege of three legs in comparison to four or more.

The intriguing part of those three pillars is, that each one is defined through other two. Take wisdom for example. Wisdom without power and beauty is intelligence. It is not enough to be intelligent, as we all know. Wisdom comes only when intelligence is balanced with power and beauty. We know intuitively that intelligent man that has no power is futile in fact. As much as if something is constructed with all intelligence and power, but lacks beauty, then such a thing, like a building, or a car or any human action can bring no added value since it is sooner or later rejected.

Same goes for power. Power that is not infringed by wisdom is destructive. Power that is not infringed is potential power; and potential power without control brings damage by definition. All great architects but as well scientists found out sooner or later that they can not avoid beauty when trying to construct something powerful. Beauty is not added after, but is integral part of added value producer like man.

Likewise we know that adding beauty (design) to a product or a brand after it has been produced, leads to failure. Design (beauty) does not come at the end.

And of course one can not only be beautiful without restrictions (wisdom) and some power to enact that beauty. Flower power movements and permissive education movements fail in the very beginning. Change can not be achieved but through resistance. Beauty does not exist as absolute, but as enacted through power and restrained by wisdom.

So what is here the lesson for personal branding? One that wants to develop personal brand has to think over all three pillars that support his brand. He has to evaluate by himself or with external help where his specific personal wisdom, power and beauty lie and especially how are they balanced. Based on analysis one should the focus on that pillar that is the weakest one.


That I will leave for another occasion.



Andrej Drapal