What does it mean to brand yourself? More specifically, how does the Internet allow users to create a new brand to the World Wide Web? These questions often arise when affiliating yourself as a user of any online network and ultimately challenge users to maintain a cohesive and congruent image of themselves.
Branding is essentially portraying yourself to the public in such a manner that is positive in reflection to you, the brander, and the target audience, the receiver, communicating a direct message of your choice. The Internet is the latest medium to expose yourself to others, where “others” can be categorized as potential employers, customers, friends, or any persons seeking a need to fulfill an unmet desire. With the Internet as a resource conglomerate for nearly any purpose, branding comes in a diverse variety and presentation. It is not illogical to assume that Internet users can ultimately brand themselves in any way, shape or form. It is also not illogical to think that Internet branding will be a necessity, generating much effort on the brander’s behalf to communicate the intended message amidst other marketing clutter.
CNN.com recognizes the modern craze of Internet branding. In an article posted a few months ago, Mark Tutton, author of Me 2.0: Branding Yourself Online, elaborates how an Internet user can go about achieving a particular brand in mind. With a condensed yet helpful version of how one can gain personal (hopefully positive) publicity, Tutton gives many steps to newly, unbranded users starting with an internal analysis and ending with helping others in hopes of reciprocity.
As our class is initiating into the semester and sifting through the latest challenges our professor bestows, we too are faced with our own brand, mostly in reference to our blog and what we are hoping to portray. As branding is an on-going process especially as trends come and go, we as Internet branders must remain attentive to our target audience and follow the tips provided by CNN’s Mark Tutton.