Do You Trust Me?

Trust and Personal Branding

I’m continuing on the theme of personal branding as it is something I find incredibly fascinating.  So we now know that personal branding is how we market ourselves in order to improve our image or career prospects (Mike Wood in Entrepreneur – Why Personal Branding Must be Your First Focus).  Within the definition though is an implicit understanding that we are only showing our best side and not the whole picture.  Logically this makes sense, and whether or in person or online we wouldn’t introduce ourselves as great at meeting new people but terrible at driving.  Or I’m a terrible cook but hey, I’m really great at designing websites!  We need to put our best selves forward otherwise it’s imaginable that no one would really get anywhere in life.

Within corporate branding we are asked to trust companies with every advertisement and purchase.  We need to believe that the product will do what it says as we always have options to go elsewhere.  Therefore corporations spend vast sums of money coming up with the slogans and advertisements which convince us to trust us.  The following commercial by Geico is a perfect example of this:

Within the commercial they even discuss how important trust is with a brand.  It is impossible to think of a brand that has not promised something whether it is safety, health, beauty, longevity or simply a better life.

With personal branding it is logical to think therefore that part of the image we must build is one of trust in ourselves.  If we admit that we are not being completely being honest though, how can anyone trust our personal branding?

I think I’m back to my conclusion from my first blog, that there is a middle ground, although I think this one has a pinch of salt on it.  Much in the same way we may buy in to the cereal that promises to help us lose weight we realise that this will only be successful as a part of a combination of factors including exercise and eating healthy otherwise.  Perhaps the formula for a healthy personal brand is one that is truth combined with a healthy pinch of believability.

  Click here to find out more about truth in personal branding.

   Not too sure how much you should reveal within your personal branding?  Click here to find out more about truth in personal branding.

3 thoughts on “Do You Trust Me?

  1. I enjoyed your post. It gave me pause for thought on several platforms. I am definitely one of the people who wonders how much is too much. How much do people really need to know about you, and why do they care? Frankly, I am not all that interesting. I understand celebs using branding. Their personal persona make them who they are – particularly if you are famous for being famous – like Kim Kardashian. However, putting out too much information may have been a factor in her being held at gunpoint and robbed in Paris. Hilary Duff had the same problem – she posted vacation pics on Instagram and her house was broken into. In my opinion, there is a fine line between marketing and accessibility.

    On another note, there has to be truth in advertising – I don’t think it matters whether that format is digital, print, or audio. Consumers are not stupid. Most of us want value for our dollars and if we don’t get, it social media can bring you down just as easily as it bring you up.

  2. Your post was very interesting to read from my perspective because I am a graphic designer and have worked with creating brands for companies and myself. One of the first steps is to make a giant web of all the words you think describe your company or yourself and it is always things like “trust” or “safety” that come up first! Funny how other notice that too.

  3. I totally agree with your formula for a healthy personal brand. I believe a combination of truth and a healthy pinch of believability will make a brand healthy both for the consumer and for the company or person behind it. By staying real and true to ourselves, we ensure we do not get lost in a brand that does not reflect our values, and we show respect for our consumers or clients by demonstrating that we value their trust and well-being. I think something we need to be careful with is that not everyone has the same background and education – while you and I might understand that cereal alone will not help us lose weight, others consuming the product, which is offered and advertised on a large scale, might not see it the same way. Thanks for sharing!

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