An individual's brand can be just as important as a corporate one.  Most corporations start with an idea of what they want their brand to be and build off of that.  The issue is that goals and reality rarely coincide in the market.  We end up instead with out-of-touch executives and ineffective corporate hierarchies.

My 9-5 job is helping companies understand what the brand is they have ended up with.  By recognizing your strengths and public image, you can build on past success and create an even stronger brand.  What you end up working with will always be different from the image you've built up in your mind.  It can be difficult to shift your strategies to this new paradigm, but you will nonetheless become more successful.

An alternate model, which I am still working to develop, is to change your internal structures and corporate culture to fit a particular brand.  Whether or not this model will be successful is something that remains to be seen.  This is where you come in.

Over the next month, I will begin to outline this new model here.  I welcome as much feedback as possible from you, my loyal readers.  Let me know what you think works, what you think still needs development, and what you think is utter nonsense.  I'll try to implement as much of your collective opinion as possible.

To start out, I will analyze my personal brand.  Eric A Mann Marketing Solutions is nothing more than an extension of my own identity, and Mindshare Marketing is but a further extension.  I will put together a short survey for all of you sometime this week, please take the time to fill it out and get back to me.  If nothing else, it will be a learning opportunity for me to see your honest opinions (it will be anonymous, so I welcome critique).

Here is my first set of questions:  As a consumer, what are the most important elements of your favorite brand?  What about Coca-Cola convinces you to spend up to 200% more on a bottle of soda?  What about the iPod keeps you loyal to Apple over its less expensive (and sometimes higher-performance) competitors?

Likewise, what are the most important character elements of your favorite employee/supervisor?  What about his or her personality gains more respect from you over others?  What characteristics do you have that keep your employees loyal to you?