Working life is filled with routines and familiar comforts that provide a sense of security. It's all too easy to get caught up in your job and not give a second thought to your professional brand until it's time to make that next career move. Staying 'busy' and within the confines of what's comfortable can invite complacency, hinder personal growth, and limit your potential for innovation. To build and effective personal brand that serves you in your current role, and in future ones, it's helpful to understand the distinction between brand planning and brand strategy. When it comes to differentiating between personal brand planning and personal brand strategy, here are our top 7:
1. Understanding Personal Brand Planning
Planning is an essential aspect of organising and executing tasks. It involves setting goals, outlining steps, and establishing timelines. Planning provides you with structure and clarity, ensuring that you can efficiently accomplish your desired outcomes. However, it tends to focus on the shorter-term and may not always account for the broader context or evolving circumstances.
2. Embracing Personal Brand Strategy
Brand strategy, on the other hand, goes way beyond planning. It is about thinking critically, analysing different factors, and making informed decisions to achieve long-term objectives. Strategy considers the ever-changing environment, emerging trends, and potential obstacles. It guides you in identifying opportunities, anticipating challenges, and positioning yourself for career success.
3. The Strategic Thinking Mindset
Differentiating between planning and brand strategy requires a shift in mindset. Strategic thinking urges you to move beyond the immediate tasks at hand and consider the longer-term. It encourages you to challenge the status quo, explore new possibilities, and embrace change. When it comes to building your professional brand, strategic thinking enables you to adapt, innovate, and thrive in the face of uncertainty, whilst remaining consistent and relevant.
4. Asking the Right Questions
Ask yourself thought-provoking questions and instead of solely focusing on "what" and "how" questions related to your plans, you should also be asking "why" and "what if" questions. By delving deeper into the purpose behind your actions and exploring alternative scenarios, you can uncover new insights and make more impactful decisions.
5. Being Flexible and Adaptable
While brand planning provides structure and keeps you accountable, it is important to remember that strategies are more than likely going to evolve over time. Being flexible and adaptable will enable you to adjust your plans based on changing circumstances, and as our Founder, Sallee said in a recent LinkedIn article:
"Change is rarely comfortable but that’s no reason to avoid it, it’s happening anyway – with or without you!"
Embracing uncertainty allows you to build resilience, seize unexpected opportunities and navigate unforeseen challenges with grace.
6. Collaborating and Seeking Different Perspectives
Differentiating between brand strategy and planning becomes even more valuable when you engage in collaboration and seek diverse perspectives. By involving others in your strategic thinking process, you gain valuable insights and tap into a collective pool of knowledge. Collaboration enables you to challenge your assumptions, identify blind spots, and uncover innovative solutions.
7. Trusting Intuition and Embracing Failure
Sometimes, our instincts can guide us towards unconventional paths that may be outside our comfort zones. In any career, being open to taking calculated risks and embracing failure as a stepping stone towards growth and learning is a must. By learning from your mistakes and trusting your intuition you can refine your strategies and propel yourself forward.
While brand planning focuses on short-term tasks, brand strategy empowers you to think critically, adapt to change, and make informed decisions. By embracing brand strategy as one of the key drivers of your professional brand, asking thought-provoking questions, being flexible, collaborating, and trusting your intuition, you will be able to navigate whatever uncertainties get thrown at you with ease. You have the power to shape your own career and by embracing the art of strategic thinking and applying it to your professional brand, it'll get you there in the most effective way possible.