Article

Manuel Yanez
Manuel Yanez 13 April 2016

Personal Branding is Not a Trend

Working on your personal brand is following a more than 40,000 year communication imperative

Before huge international brands existed and branding became popular, personal branding was the most powerful communication weapon on earth.

The first traces of man existence on the planet were precisely the personal brand.  On the cavernous walls found in Altamira in the north of Spain where prehistoric paintings were discovered we can clearly see man's efforts to leave a personal statement.  Hand prints from particular individuals were left stamped on the wall to mark who made the paintings and which clan owned that cave.

Clear testament of human creativity development. It is what being human really means. Today we are in constant communication 24 hours a day 7 days a week, we are part a global web made possible thanks to our ability to communicate.  The paintings on those cavern walls were made between 10 and 40,000 years ago and they are the first human traces of the need to communicate.

We communicate mainly in three ways. Orally, by hand and face gestures and in graphic form. The first two systems are every they happen in a determined instant and are received by one person or a small group. They last as long as our memory allows. Graphic communication on the other hand is permanent sometimes lasting for more than 40,000 years as in Altamira caves. 

With these first human prints we see the importance of not only leaving images of animals and hunting rituals but most importantly the human need to make a mark. The hand prints made there by specific individuals were left to communicate, to make a statement. I painted these walls: I am.

Establishing the rank of the individual and his position within the clan has been of great importance in human history.  We have seen family names turned into family shields that establish where a person came from, who is his family and what his rank depending on specific colours ans symbols. All the way up to the highest position: The King family shields were of the utmost importance. 

As world population grew to conform billions of people and with the arrival of the industrial revolution the individual disappeared. Now the place where he was borned became his brand. The flag is the branWith globalization international companies became the thing. International product brands took the place of local and individual brands.  For a couple of hundred years product brands gave individuals their identity, what we eat, the products we buy and use have marked us and presented us in a particular way in our social circles.  Today with the democratization of media and information the personal brand has recovered its importance.

There are many reasons. Social media is a link between individuals and a way to communicate who are we and where do we belong. What we stand for is how we leave a mark. People know us by our personality, our values by the way we talk and see the world they know us by our personal brand.

If someone wants to hire us or work with us they generally make a quick check of our social media profiles to see who we are and how we act.

Finally today we are back working as individuals, home office and freelancing we are becoming entrepreneurs. Our reputation is our main value, reflecting and communicating who we are, how we think and what we do takes us closer to future clients that identify with us helping us to develop and grow.

Personal Brand is not a trend it is a communication tool with more that 40,000 in existence. Decades ago the individual got lost inside international corporations, Today we have recovered our value as individuals we have a voice and we are being listened to. We are being hired, we are building social and professional relations based on our brand. Today corporations are paying attention to what we have to say. Our personal brand is our most valuable possession, again.

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