Although the concept of personal branding was likely launched by Tom Peters' excellent 1997 article, The Brand Called You, the idea that others perceive you as an amalgam of personal characteristics, experience, and qualities no doubt goes back millennia. And
One of the great things about social media is that a conversation can be extended quickly between sites and even continents. Such was my experience with my College Branding post. The first extension of the conversation was by Lou Caravella of Vital Communications, who wrote a blog post citing mine as inspiration but identifying a fascinating resource I hadn’t seen before and providing his own take.
It was pure serendipity that I read Brand Immortality by Pringle and Field on my way to a conference where I was to speak about branding to a group of enrollment executives from colleges and universities. It wasn’t a giant “Aha!” moment, but I realized that institutions of higher education represent the longest-lasting brands in our relatively young country. The authors of Brand Immortality begin their book trying to defeat the notion that brands are transient and have a life cycle much like individual products. They would get no argument about that from most university trustees and administrators, who preside over institutions that have maintained the same name for decades or even centuries. And, make no mistake about it, colleges and universities market themselves – many to survive, a smaller number to thrive. What strikes me as odd is despite the amount of money that most colleges spend on direct mail, print and web advertising, social media marketing, and many other categories, how little they focus on branding.