Chapters 9 & 10 – “Building Brand YOU!” – by Omar Abedin

Chapter 9 Doing a Quick Take on YOU (much harder than it sounds)

Remember the quick take you did on the burger brands in Chapter 4? Now, you need to do the same exercise for yourself. A quick review of who you are… through the eyes of a marketer. Remember, you are the Chief Marketing Officer of Brand You. Here is the form – please keep your responses simple and be truthful, because if you kid yourself, you are only kidding yourself…

Brand ‘YOU’

Product Offerings
(What are you ‘selling’?)

Characteristic Attributes
(What people can always expect you to be!)

Symbols & Signals
(What colours, styles etc. are you known for?)

Brand Personality
(3 descriptors of your personality)

History & Reputation
(What reputation do you have? Baggage?)

Associated Benefits
(Functional, Emotional and/or Sensorial)

Core Consumers
(Who loves you the most?)

Position / Role
(Leader/Follower, Father etc.)

Brand Capsule
(What is your Consumer’s core idea of YOU in 3 words?)

Once you have completed the quick take, share it with your key consumers – your boss, your spouse or significant other, and a few close friends who you can trust to give you honest feedback – firm it up and lock it down. If there are areas that you find you are not happy with, figure out what you would like those areas to say… we will figure out how to make that happen in the coming chapters.

A few tips on how to approach your quick take.

Be tough on yourself. If you find weaknesses, or ‘areas of opportunity” as they are often euphemistically referred to as, recognize them for what they are, so that you can fix them over time. Ignoring them won’t make them go away anyway.

If you find strengths – and there will be some! – note them down so that you can build on them. Those are your leverage points – they will come in very handy as you are building your brand identity, and trying to move forward with strengthening your personal brand.

Chapter 10 Your “consumer” & the “categories” you play in (how is this a source of advantage for you?)

What are you? In marketing terms, into what category of product do you fall? Who do you compete WITH for the rewards that you seek? To make it easier to understand, let’s use McDonald’s as an example. McD’s is a fast food brand. So is Burger King. So, what are you?

For example… Athlete? Banker? Pediatrician? Plumber? Ad executive? That’s easy, you say? Well, here are some things to think about.

1. The categories you choose must be in consumer terms – e.g. to your spouse, the categories might be husband, handyman, father to your kids, and so on. To your boss, they might be analyst, chief cook and bottle washer, accountant, sales person, or whatever. And to your friends, the categories might be completely different – support mechanism, designated driver, chess wizard or music aficionado.

2. You – and your brand – will likely fit into multiple categories. Understand that, embrace it, and manage it.

3. Know with whom you are competing in each of your roles. In the office, it’s fairly clear. You and your co-workers are vying for the attention and praise of your boss. Right? Well, once you are properly branded, you stop competing on the stupid things, and start competing where it really matters – on your terms.

4. Choose the category that suits you best. That’s right, you get to choose the category that suits your unique strengths and allows you to position yourself for the most flattering exposure, in the best light possible. This takes some creativity and thought, but if you are able to define the category properly, you become the only – and therefore the default – option. A classic example is the way Apple computers chose to define the category they play in – personal computers. They divided the world into two types of people – PC users and Mac users. How powerful is that? Just brilliant. So how do you find the perfect category for you? It’s simple, but not easy. Define it in such a way that makes it impossible for it to be anyone BUT you.

So, take a few minutes and think about the four points above. How do you want to define yourself relative to everyone else? That is the beginning of true differentiation, and the source of your greatest strength as a brand.

Now, let’s talk about who you are competing FOR – your consumer… their hearts, their minds, and in many cases, their wallets. You want to be first and foremost in your consumers’ mind, right? So when your boss has a problem, he turns to you first. When he or she has to let people go from their team, who do they never even consider axing? When your spouse has issues, to whom does he or she turn to first? What about your children? Your friends?

You need to truly understand your consumer to have any chance at dominating their thoughts and actions in any given area. And more importantly, recognize that knowledge is not absolute, it is relative. If you know your boss better than the other members of their team, that is a source of competitive advantage for you… but if you don’t, then it puts you at a disadvantage.

What about your spouse? Do you know him or her better than anyone else? How many marital infidelities occur and long and otherwise ‘healthy’ marriages end because one person “doesn’t understand” the other in the relationship? I’m sure you know someone who’s life has been thus affected… if it’s important to you, if this person, your spouse or significant other is truly a “consumer” in your life, you NEED to know them well, better than anyone else does, and they and everyone else in your life needs to acknowledge that.

So remember – knowing your consumer really, really well is a source of competitive advantage for you. Or it can be. And if you don’t know them as well as someone else, you could seriously lose out. Here’s how to ensure that does not happen.

The consumers in your landscape – even the ones that really matter – are unique. They have completely different needs, wants and desires. Different genders, different ethnicities, different ages, different lifecycle stages… so different. Yet these things are easily recognizable and it’s hard to build a true understanding of a book by looking at its cover. So, you need to go deeper. You need to understand their values, their habits and their self-image, because these things drive the perceptions that drive their behaviour. In order to get the behaviour you are looking for – e.g. that raise or promotion from your boss – you need to understand the perceptions that you have to create in your boss’s mind to make that happen. He has to believe that you are the best candidate for the job, the ideal candidate… in fact, the obvious and only choice.

Our perceptions are driven by our values, and those, along with our self-image, create the habits that we live our lives by. Here’s how to build a deep understanding of your consumers – and you should answer these questions for all your key consumers, but at the very least, for your boss, your spouse, your family and your friends.

1. What do they do in life to express who they are? What do they care about? You need to understand their passions, their hobbies, and their interests, and not with a cynical view either. Remember, you are trying to truly understand what makes this person tick.

2. How involved are they in your life? Are they ‘into’ you, and what do they do to reflect that? Do they like to spend time with you? Are your interactions positive or negative?
3. What do you mean to them? What is your role in their life? Are you the chief whipping boy on your boss’s staff, the guy who gets lumped with the worst assignments? Are you the spouse’s true valentine?

4. What triggers them to think of you? Are you the go-to person in times of difficulty? The person your child turns to for comfort? When do they turn to you? Or not…

5. What criteria must a replacement for you meet in order to be considered? I know that’s cold, but heck, how many people do you know that have been replaced overnight by someone younger, smarter, more qualified, and less expensive than the person being replaced? I bet you can think of one or two people who fit that description… and this happens in business and in our personal lives. Ask yourself the tough questions now, and you may save yourself a great deal of unnecessary soul-searching later on…

6. What behaviour, attitude or belief would cause them to reject you, or someone else, entirely? For example, if you continually display a chauvinistic attitude towards the women in your life, you may end up without a spouse or a job. Which would be worse, I wonder?

7. What type of people do these consumers tend to gravitate to? Who do they identify with? Are you that type of person? If you don’t even know with whom they want to be, you can’t answer that with any certainty.

8. How important are you in the lives of your consumer? Is their importance in your life matched by your importance in theirs? While the balance is seldom exactly equal, it should at least be in the same ballpark; otherwise you are doomed in the long term.

9. And at the end, demographics do matter. If the age difference between you and your boss is 25 years (you are the older one), the chances of increased levels of strife and discord are higher. It makes the answers to all the above questions even more important for you as you try to build a real understanding of your consumer… so that you can do an even better job of being the unique and differentiated brand that they choose every day, every time.

So, let’s assume that you are on your way to building a deep understanding of what motivates and drives your consumer, and the attitudes, values and beliefs that they hold. Let’s get to work putting together a powerful perception plan that can get them to believe what you want them to believe about you – so that you can get that next promotion, land the big job, or marry the girl of your dreams. And in case you were wondering, that’s actually the easy part… ☺ It’s much harder to bring that to life through your action plan, but there’s no need to worry. We will get there together. Read on.

133 thoughts on “Chapters 9 & 10 – “Building Brand YOU!” – by Omar Abedin

  1. It is true that building a perception in your consumer`s mind is important but sometimes if you have multiple consumers, it can be difficult to manage different perception plans simultaneously and it may leave a person confused or disturbed.
    For example, if pleasing your boss and building the perception of most responsible employee requires you to sit long hours at office but doing that frequently may not leave a positive perception of you with your spouse, it is going to be difficult to manage the two plans simultaneously.

  2. Although it is easy to define who you compete with in office, it is difficult to do so in your personal lives because many of your competitors, e.g. your siblings are also your consumers. You compete with them to build a better perception in front of elders/other family members on one hand whereas on the other hand you are also trying to build a positive perception of yourself in their minds. This may cause you to be biased in one of the two roles.

  3. Although it is easy to define who you compete with professionally, it is difficult to do so in your personal lives because many of your competitors, e.g. your siblings are also your consumers. You compete with them to build a better perception in front of elders/other family members on one hand whereas on the other hand you are also trying to build a positive perception of yourself in their minds. This may cause you to be biased in one of the two roles.

  4. Although it is easy to define who you compete with, it is difficult to actually do so because many times your competitors are also your consumers. For eg. your coworkers or your siblings You compete with them to build a better perception in front of elders/other family members on one hand whereas on the other hand you are also trying to build a positive perception of yourself in their minds. This may cause you to be biased in one of the two roles.

  5. Although it is easy to define who you compete with, it is difficult to actually do so because many times your competitors are also your consumers. Your siblings for instance. You compete with them to build a better perception in front of elders/other family members on one hand whereas on the other hand you are also trying to build a positive perception of yourself in their minds. This may cause you to be biased in one of the two roles.

  6. Many times your competitors are also your consumers. Your siblings for instance. You compete with them to build a better perception in front of elders/other family members on one hand whereas on the other hand you are also trying to build a positive perception of yourself in their minds. This may cause you to be biased in one of the two roles.

  7. While reading this chapter I couldn’t help recall Seth Godin’s presentation I had seen at TED. He exactly talked about how we are incharge, in control of telling people(consumers) about ourselves.
    In his talk he states that internet has ended mass marketing, which holds true for products as well as human beings, and to bring in any change one needs to have an idea. One that differs from the ‘tribes’.
    I think this reinstates the concept of building our own category discussed in this chapter and how fruitful it can be to position our standing with our core consumers.

  8. Very interesting read. I think what struck me the most was that it is important to know exactly what is your competition in each role of the life-just like for products and brands. Once we are clear what we are competing for, we have the right focus and we stop fretting about things that should not matter and are not worth our energies. A person can only have that focus if the person is branded and has a clear competitive positioning.

  9. After reading this, it reminds me of the consumer profiling i studied in class. Hence this was the deeper version of it and is a good way of making us understand how to know our consumers better. It’s good that these steps could be applied in our professional lives and our personal lives too. After going deep into what your consumer wants or strives for, means that you could be a controller of what they choose in their life, which inturn makes them satisfied.

  10. I believe knowing your consumers really well is a competitive advantage but I think keeping a ‘positive’ image about your brand in the eyes of each and every consumer is impossible. On the other hand, knowing your consumers better than your competitors is a completely different story altogether.

  11. Chapter 9 is straight forward and is pretty much self explanatory. Chapter 10 however covers the most important points regarding knowing your consumers. It is very important to know what your consumers want. May be your ways of doing stuff (even if its the right way) doesn’t amuse your consumer. We normally hear people saying things like “be who you are” or “don’t change yourself for anyone” etc. I would say in this way you really need to change yourself to an extend so that you can satisfy your consumers. Also it is important to know how your consumer sees you. If he or she sees as someone as least trustworthy and unreliable for performing a task then this can be a problem and you have to change that. Again it is all about what your consumer wants.

  12. The ‘brand me’ quick-take seems like an excellent way to see where a person stands, however, by taking it yourself, wouldn’t it seem like self-flattery? What if I’m a pessimist and have nothing good to say about myself? Asking my consumers i.e. my friends and family to take it would be a better option in my opinion. What do you say, Sir Omar?

    Also, is it possible to evaluate an individual’s worth in monetary terms?

  13. These chapters answer my question posted in response to chapters 1 and 2. Now I understand that a category must be associated with your brand which refers to choosing an occupation or profession for yourself. As soon as this is done, the rest of the steps are much easier to accomplish.
    Moreover, it is not only important to identify the conscious wants of a consumer but also the ones that he/she is completely unaware of or oblivious to. I think that is where the real fun begins because you find out something which can be so useful but at the same time unidentified by your potential target market. This reminds of the Febreze Fabric Refresher case study which explains similar ideas.

  14. Taking the quick take about myself was rather strange as it instantly outlines my perception about myself. But does it matter what we think about ourselves? Consumers judge on the basis of the idea that is sold to them on the media. Similarly, I feel it is essential to create a brand YOU via the medium ‘word of mouth.’ The question is, is it really that necessary? Because, there will always be one consumer that will not be satisfied. Can you really satisfy them all? Its impossible.

  15. At this point in time when we are about to graduate, I feel doing a quick take on ourselves will atleast help us later with our job interviews. It might as well help us choose the right job for ourselves. Definitely a good exercise to do. BUT again, it is very hard to define ourselves.
    I did a similar exercise in one of my other courses, and it felt really awkward talking about my myself.

  16. The highlight of this blog to me is ‘what you want to be’, as in; not everybody would be comfortable with a larger than life image hence would not aspire for it. So once that is defined and since there are no right/wrong answers, the rest should be in line as well.

  17. The quick take reallyyyyy helped in defining my brand capsule. It gave a clear picture of where i am currently and where i would like to be. This helps me set achievable targets for myself and defines a clear path for me.

    Its true that we need to know our competition in order to survive in this competitive environment. However, it may vary with different roles. For example, our personal and professional competitors may be very different and therefore, the way we deal (in terms of behavior, attitude and belief) with them will also be very different.

    Also, I truly agree with the fact that knowing your consumers well is a source of competitive advantage for you because this is how you will be able to meet their expectations and maintain your importance in their lives.

  18. To create a valuable brand, it is very important to understand the key customers and how to target and place your brand to make it important for them.The consumer focus is essential for any brand and it helps to create the brand that is competitive and stand out as premium brand.

  19. This chapter helped me list down attributes of my brand, it was a tough one, but very interesting. To create mnyself as a brand i need to know my USP, what other people associate me with, i think everyone should go through the quick take exercise…. I agree that knowing who your direct consumers our, what they expect from you will help polish our brand into a desirable brand.

  20. Even since the evolution in the field of marketing from selling concept to marketing concept, it’s extremely important to identify the actual needs of your core consumers before designing any product, same goes with personal selling. It’s important what your consumers really want in real so you may address it with perfection & it also will help you to make your brand more strong in their mind which cannot easily be replaced with any other competitive personality.

  21. The exercise in the start of this chapter is something i have never attempted before, and of course it wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Telling such details of yourself not only opens you up on the inside but also makes you realize there are certain things in us which we try to overlook and ignore. Like for e.g History and Reputation. Many would state a very optimistic answer to that, however, the thought provoking part is if someone was to ask that question to your peers and family, is the answer expected to be as pleasant?

  22. Well this activity will require a lot of research :). first you have to categorize yourself and differentiate yourself from others and then start doing research on your consumers about what they like what they do and what turns them On.

    All this does make a lot of sense because without knowing your consumer you can not sell you skills and earn salary, love etc its like this equation Value of others in my life = Value of me in others life, to be successful.

  23. By doing a quick take on your own brand, you will get to know both your strengths and your weaknesses. This chapter tells one very important thing: never shy away from your weaknesses. Instead to build a successful brand it is imperative to recognize these weaknesses and improve it. Also the chapter talks about the need to understand the customer’s requirement to help create a successful brand.

  24. Doing a quick take on yourself is so much harder than some of the biggest power brands in the world. The toughest for me to figure out is my brand capsule because it poses the biggest challenge of taking so much insight and presenting it in a matter of three words. Won’t everyone who you consider your core consumer probably see you in a different light which makes it rather tough to put out in 3 words?

  25. The Brand You Quick Take is an intriguingly simple measuring cup for our own brand equity and something to be utilized.

    My compliments on Chapter 10. Those are probably the most insightful views on obtaining customer insights I’ve ever come across!

  26. Quick Take gives you a complete understanding of what a brand actually is – what meaning it holds in the mind of customers as compared to what image it’s trying to portray. A brand is a perception and in today’s highly competitive world, it’s a challenge to be noticed, recalled and preferred as a brand. This holds true for both commodities and people. However, doing a quick take on ourselves can be biased to some extent because we will be writing down stuff that we want to write – the image that we want to portray. The actual image, however, may be way different from what we intend to create..

  27. Honesty towards one’s self is the best way to progress as a person and increase his brand equity. So firstly, a person should accept who he is, so that he may identify his flaws. It is imperative to stay positive because no one is perfect. Working on your flaws and building up on your strengths would be a good start as suggested above. Clear understanding of one’s positioning aids the process so that the person focuses on what matters to him the most rather than worrying about the irrelevant things in life and bother himself about it.

  28. Conducting the quick take on myself was quite insightful. Awkward but insightful regardless. I think we should perform the same exercise on our competitors as well. To see where the gap lies and highlight what we are good at and what they are good at. But before doing that it is really important to first of all know who your consumers are. Once you have identified them then you can direct your efforts at satisfying them and position your brand in a way which appeals to your target.

  29. quick take on ourselves is very difficult because we have to know our strengths and weaknesees properly.

    secondly, customer knowledge is really important otherwise we can destroy our efforts and brands.

    i loved this activity on myself.


  30. I am yet to have a Quicktake for myself but I have shortlisted couple of friends in my circle and people from professional and academic arena too. These people will be of some help for me in order to evaluate me on a given metric or criteria. An indirect one – on – one conversation with people would be an important part too just for getting the insights from people as to where we stand and whether have we made any improvements yet or not.

  31. I found chapter 10 to be very elaborate and it answered many questions I had in mind at the start of the book. The quick take on myself was a very interesting exercise but I feel it would consist more of how I desire to be perceived by others rather than how they actually perceive me as a brand. I think it would be more interesting and probably more appropriate if someone else does a quick take on me.

    1. Yes, getting other people to do a quick take on you is a very useful and indeed integral part of the exercise. However, you must do one for yourself as well, if only to see how much of a gap there is between the way you see yourself, and how others see you. The bigger the gap, the more self-deluded we are. As the old saying goes, you can kid everyone, just don’t kid yourself.

  32. it is of utmost importance at the end of the day to know what you stand for.. not everything thing is aligned and when you know what you want from your life you’ll be able to establish your brand accordingly.

  33. I don’t really agree that a quick take on ourselves is so difficult. We must be always prepared with an answer to ourselves what the other person thinks of us in terms of the pointers explained above. But yes defining myself in just THREE words is next to impossible. This I feel can only come with experience or with continuous work on maximizing our brand equity as learned from the previous chapters.

    Moreover, I strongly agree with the point that in order to attain competitive advantage we need to know our consumer really well or else we’ll lose out.

  34. Doing a quick take on me was an interesting exercise, which might have given me insights on myself previously unaware of. Such a powerful tool. But I can’t rely that much as quick take on me must have been biased. Rather I will do this exercise with my friends and family and influence then in getting an authentication from them about the positivity I think of myself: P. But on a serious note, quick take is a short, simple and time efficient application in assessing the brand’s perception at hand.

    Chapter 10 has been the most insightful and encompassing chapter that I might have ever read and experienced. The step by step process follows a funnel approach, starting with multiple categories that suit you to choosing the category that suits you the best. The key here is customer knowledge. People’s perceptions are driven by the value the people have. Waiting and understanding the consumer’s behavior and acting accordingly might make you a successful brand with a moderate brand equity, but creating values from scratch makes you a power brand with virtually infinite brand equity. If Steve Jobs would have spent time in understanding consumer’s value then we might have not known who Steve Jobs was, but instead he created values altogether. It’s his boldness and his rebellious nature that even after his death, the Apple brand is driving by his Legacy. In my opinion, that is what a power brand is all about.

  35. its not easy to do a quick take on yourself but it makes you realize the harsh realities of yourself as a brand. Better to get started towards building brand you sooner rather than later.

    There was a part about being the ‘go to’ guy for your boss, spouse and kids, etc. While you want to be the go to guy in most situations, is it wrong if you would not want to take that role on in certain situations? Does it make your brand any less desirable? If yes, then are there any other ways to counter it?

  36. A more meaningful picture and a better more effective way would be to do a Quick take of yourself with someone you idolize or benchmark. That way one can compare and contrast whether the two even meet down the road.
    I tried doing mine but could not decipher it in good, bad or even logical terms, maybe cause biasness played over

  37. This chapter gives a really good in-depth understanding to figure out what your consumers really want, which I believe is the fundamental question if you want to develop a power brand. I especially like the idea of having a quick take on brand YOU, it could provide a really good insight about your strengths and areas of improvements as well as how your brand is being perceived by the consumers.

  38. Knowing your core competency and what your competition posses are really pivotal. Initially one should be aware of his or her true competitors and then must have insight about their strengths and weaknesses, once that would be known then it will be easier for one to compare them with his own and would allow him or her work upon those point where he lacks behind his competition.

  39. I completely agree with the thoughts mentioned in this article. Our perceptions are definitely driven by our values. Two people living in two different parts of the world may have a different perceptions about a certain brand based on their values. So how do we satisfy both? Can the same brand communicate different messages to different people?

  40. A really good insight about knowing what our customers want and shaping our brand according to that. It would help one establish a strong and successful brand.

  41. I realize that doing quick take on any brand is far easier than doing it on yourself. But if one can manage to do it, then I think nothing can stop from building the brand called YOU.

  42. Quick take of yourself and evaluating it with yours social circle but with time and checking the consistency of yourself to your values and your social circle to their values can give you positive feedback type of improvement in your growth.

    Interesting, fingers crossed for the next chapters…

  43. Interesting Chapters! its really good to get quick take in order to get the perception and importance of yourself in consumers mind. Also this is the way you can know how you can survive in spirited environment and knows your faults and potential.

  44. I realized that doing a quick take on yourself is quite difficult as it really makes you wonder but as I made my father do a quick take on me, it became easier to do so. Customer insight, especially of those who you value is vital for building a stronger than before brand you.

  45. Haha woah, the quick take was HARD! It definitely took some time to figure myself out and it made me see myself from a different perspective altogether, like the chapters you mentioned in Chapter 5, to truly understand yourself you need to pull yourself apart and figure out who you are and what you have to offer. I saw myself outside of my skin and reflected on what I saw and then understood a tiny speck of myself in regards to what others have to say about me.
    And probably the best part about this chapter is, that it highlights that branding is not only about understanding ourselves, catering to me, myself and I, but also about the people who you value and cherish in your life, understanding them gives you a clearer vision of who you are and why they stick with you through thick and thin. Definitely something that I will keep in mind!

  46. I loved the quick take exercise and it helped me to figure out my weakness and strengths. One should be brave enough to accept his flaws and negative aspects. And we should work on our weakness so sooner or later they also became our strength.

    Also it is important to know who your consumer’s are and what perceptions they have about us. And working to destroy the negative perception of what they have about us is indeed effort taking and time consuming. But to be a brand rather than a product it is important to be done.

  47. This chapter gives us the idea of importance of doing a quick take and how to on yourself. It can prove to be a very powerful tool to help understand your own strengths and weaknesses which in turn can help improve yourself.

  48. Quick Take on myself sounds scary yet intriguing at the same time..honestly i tried answering a few questions in my mind but i’d really want to take the time out to do the exercise in detail. I was having a hard time trying to answer some of those questions. It can be such a stepping stone for anyone who wants to live his/ her dreams and figure out what they want from life and where they stand at the really is about taking the leap and crossing the bridge.

  49. I think everyone is aware of his/her own weaknesses and strengths. But the quick take exercise makes you look for the reason behind the score allotted by the respondent that automatically makes you realize the areas of improvement.

  50. Chapter 10 makes it clear that knowing your target market does not only mean knowing their demographics but also their values and personalities and attitudes that lead to certain consumer behavior.

  51. It seems fairly easy at the beginning but as we get deeper in doing our swot and understanding our environment, we also identify customers who we are actually wasting our life trying to sell ourselves to. At times who think is our core customer isn’t and the other we have been ignoring is the one who really wants us in their life. So, as a brand its essential for us to know who our customer is and what he/she/it wants from us…..

  52. I found the quick take exercise very interesting because it tells about the real you and it cannot be changed by a “quick retake” as for every consumer they perceive your brand fire dance differently , as every consumer have different benefits, role or history with the brand so cant be one for everyone, so floating the same quick take and floating in different consumer and getting a whole diverse response may help you in dealing with those consumer exclusively but how it will help creating a zone of authority or a brand which is for all

  53. looking into the various categories one falls , one really get worried of managing different perception about him in numerous categories. it becomes quite easier when one finds out what he has common that is being liked by all and also that which is detested by all. however one cannot adjust with the values, beliefs and self image of every person but what he can do is that to avoid those values, beliefs and image that distant him from his consumers. and neither can one build different perception for himself in all different categories but what he can do is too look what perceptions can cost him his consumers and how to avoid those perception. moreover, there is one very good solution given in these chapter is to find a idealistic replacement for one self in all categories and to look for people that ur core consumers like . its like making a list of do’s and dont’s in all categories of consumers. furthermore, it is also imperative to see what is ur core of expertise in all consumer categories and what are ur weakness. this will help one to understand what his brand equity is in all consumer categories and how he wants to improve it.

  54. Its amusing how we have a certain image of ourselves in our minds, yet this quick take seems to really break through and differentiate from our own perceptions of ourselves and what the others think of us. I found the “Choose the category that suits you best” the most difficult. To separate yourself from what you STRIVE to be, or you strive to be good at – and what you already are good at – is not easy. Plus, one may always think they’re not GOOD ENOUGH to belong to a certain category as yet! I feel like putting myself in, for examples a business/companies shoes after doing this exercise, helps me understand the importance of knowing WHO you are all the more.

  55. Doing the quick take really gave me a reality check! Not only because it took me quite some time to figure myself out, but also because it highlighted quite a few negatives in me. However, it did help me in knowing myself better, and believing in the few positives I have in myself.

    While the quick take is an obvious way of self-exploration, I believe knowing your audience (the ones who matter to you in your life) is also a form of self-exploration because their existence plays an essential role in shaping and molding you as a brand. This holds true for the brands we consume as well: it is the consumers (the target audience) who to a certain extent makes the brand, similarly in our everyday lives, our bosses, colleagues, co-workers, family and friends help us evolve as a brand.

  56. Quick take on myself answered the concerns on how to differentiate myself from others. Now i know I am different (might not be good enough to shine) but i know where i stand and how i can improve myself. The best part of this activity was getting it checked by friends and family as its really hard to be neutral about yourself. Again feedback plays an important part in this exercise, because our consumers (friends and family) are the ones dealing with us therefore what they have to say about us plays an integral part in learning who we are.

  57. This chapter identifies me as someone that I am what I made myself to be. Doing this quick take was mesmerizing by the fact that it made me realize my true self interms of weaknesses and strengths. And weaknesses must be attended to even as a brand because as much as you capitalize your strength, once that weaknesses is found out by your competitor (which he eventually will because he is also researching on you) will lead your brand down a road of agony. This can only be done by doing such reassements of your self after which you must also invest on finding out how other brands percieve of you – knowing of which will further help you to increase your defenses in the battlefield of brands.

  58. I felt that the ‘brand me’ quick take is a great way in trying to analyse our own personalities.
    I had never looked at myself from this perspective ever before. If the same is done by all the brands in Pakistan today, things would become much better.
    By creating a brand identity in this way, they will know exactly who to target, what long and short terms goals they are to achieve and how they would go about achieving them. The message conveyed in commercials that they create will be directed towards that particular segment of the market. What needs to be told to them is that even if that target market is a small segment of the overall society, the messages will be effectively reaching the right people effectively and it is not necessary that they aim for a very large audience just to penetrate well in the market.
    This identity creating process helps set brands apart from others thus making them relateable and valuable to the right consumers. It is a great way in attempting to know who the consumers are after which brands can work on meeting the expectations and maintaining their own importance in the eyes of their consumers.

  59. quick take on myself seems very insightful. But what actually struck me is that who are we competing with? our relatives, friends, who ? also i feel it is equally essential to take a quick take on our competitors, where do they stand? what competitive edge do they have over us? without such valuable insights on our competitors, i feel we will never be able to build a brand of our own.

  60. The quick take exercise helped in realizing the type of person I am. Although, I haven’t asked any of my core consumer to evaluate my quick take, but I do believe that if the quick take has been completed with honesty then most of the points will be agreed by the consumers.

    We do have got competitors but the real question is are they really competitors? Every one in the family knows who is most loved by father or mother and why. Unless we are not living in the world of hypocrisy than at least in the family there must be no competitors. It is a natural phenomena that elders help the young ones to thrive in their professional and personal life which would also lead to living a better life than your elders.

    On the other hand, in the workplace, competition do exists. Despite the fact that team work is stressed upon by most of the organizations but there are people, probably in the team, who would think that their colleagues are just a waste of resource for the organization and are not doing justice to the company and the salary they are getting. This requires a very pro-active approach towards new things, ideas, concepts and implementation of the same.

    If there are certain areas where we may lack at our workplace then the next moment is the right moment to work on this lacking and to show others that you know it by working on the new thing (new thing at-least for ourselves). This attitude will allow us to add more tangibles to the overall product we are offering (Product Offering); we will be attributed as the know it all person (Characteristic Attribute); will be noticed, known and recognized by our appearance such as clothes we wear (Symbols, signals); will be called as the active person of the team, informed person of the team; and most importantly learned and reliable person of the team (Brand Personality); the guy with lot of achievements, after spending some time with the attitude (History & Reputation); person that can be in charge when boss is not present (Associated benefit for the boss); not only the boss but top management may be (Core consumers); will be attributed as a prospective Leader of the team (Position); we for the critical and important tasks (Brand Capsule).

  61. This (understanding of your consumers and knowing what do they care about) reminds me of one of my Marketing teachers who keep telling us that when he was in the field making sales, he has to keep himself updated about football and all star players despite of the fact that he actually hates football!

  62. So the quick take exercise helped me a great deal to understand myself. I first did the exercise myself and then asked others for their inputs(my brothers and cousins). Its amazing to find out that I and my consumers are on the same page. Now i know that I tend to get impatient and hyper and I need to work on that..

  63. Chapter 10 covers the most important points regarding knowing your consumers. it helps in devising products that consumer will like, mostly as per consumer expectations

  64. One definitely has to be tough on oneself if you are really in pursuit towards improving yourself. If your consumers introduce you to your weaknesses that you never thought of as weaknesses, you have to believe in them. They are not random internet friends giving you feedback, rather they are the chosen one consumers, the most dare one, which matter a lot to your life. Work on those weaknesses and try to overcome them. You would find areas of opportunity in yourself disguised in those weaknesses. I agree when you say that we have to recognize them for what they are, so that we can fix them over time. Ignoring them won’t make them go away anyway. So we need to face those loopholes and mend them.

    Your argument on choosing your category for yourself inspired me. No one can take better advantage of your skills if you choose them to apply in your home ground. Don’t get complacent to those strengths, keep on improving them. If apple ruled it’s specific category, it was because of its consistent innovation coming out of its strength in R&D.

  65. The Quick Take on myself was so cool, i explored myself; analyzed myself from a very different perspective.
    Chapter 10 talks about knowing your competitors and consumers, which also tells you a lot about you, because you compete every other person in a aspect.

  66. the quick take exercise helped in discovering my own self. it was sort of swot analysis of my own brand. when i shared it with few of my close friends they were conflicts in what i believe and in what my friends think of me. however there were many factors that my friends agreed on. in chapter 10, the brands are for consumers since the strategy should also be consumer centered and also one cannot take competitors out of one’s strategy. after all, they are the ones who drive perceptions about the category. similarly when one takes into account ones brand , one will discover how competitors influence his attitude and also the attitudes of his consumers.

  67. This chapter has highlighted an important aspect of what your customer really wants which is required to develop a power brand. The activity of quick take discussed in this chapter really help to understand the strengths, weakness and what consumer perceived about your brand.

  68. So the quick take exercise helped me a great deal to understand myself. I first did the exercise myself and then asked others for their inputs(my brothers and cousins). Its amazing to find out that I and my consumers are on the same page. Now i know that I tend to get impatient and hyper and I need to work on that..

  69. After reading this blog, I’ve understood that the brand YOU cannot be the same or consistent for every category. This is because customers in the different categories may want something different out of a brand hence you would showcase a different brand YOU to different customers. My question is that your set of fire dance associations would obviously differ in this situation. How can brand YOU be a strong brand if this is the case?

    1. Brand YOU changes cosmetically if necessary, but its values, beliefs, heritage and so on should not vary too much. Otherwise you end up with major “dissonance” in the minds of your consumers at some point…

  70. Quick take practice that was being conducted was one of my favorite topics till this blog post. Reason being that at a glance you get to know the brand and other brands which are positioned differently but providing the similar offering can be easily compared. It is a very practical approach which can be developed in developing your own brand as well.

  71. I really enjoyed the Quick take excercise in class. It was on Burger King and it helped me define how I perceive the brand. Doing a Quick take on myself would be a tough proposition, however I would love to see a Quick Take done on me by a member of my family or friends.

  72. So there’s an interesting question posted by Faraz Nafees above, and this is the question that was flashing and screaming in my mind too after reading this piece: How can brand YOU stay consistent to its direction whereby different social settings require a different version of brand YOU? While Mr. Omar has responded with the most appropriate answer, I couldn’t help but think about the answer myself as well. I get where Faraz is coming from, this is a crossroad most multi-taking people find themselves in, it’s just hard to conclusively define yourself as either a marketing student, or a musician, or a sportsman, or a social bird. Each of these, say cohorts, have a different firedance, and let me admit, the ‘dissonance’ erupts often, quite often. But, at the same time, this dissonance/conflict should exist! Conflict leads to resolution, and I think this complexity takes time to settle. It’s a journey to filter out things you want to keep in life, and things that come and you willingly let go of. And I believe as time passes, a consistent effort of branding yourself really leads you to finally develop that personality and those values. It’s a matter of time and quite importantly, it’s a matter of being honest to yourself at the end of the day.

  73. One you identify yourself, you identify your goals and what you want. You know what opportunities to pursue and you know who your actual competitors are.
    It makes you more focused in life.

    A nice read

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