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*A Book Review*

The Personal Branding Phenomenon

By Peter Montoya

by Michael C. Gray

August 1, 2003

A key tenet of marketing is to find something unique about what you offer as the basis of your sales message. Even if what you offer is a commodity, there is always one thing unique in your business -- you.

A big mistake made by many small businesses is to try to develop an institutional image like most big companies. People do not like to do business with institutions, they like to do business with people.

Peter Montoya has focused on this piece of the marketing puzzle. Today there are many individuals who have gone beyond being celebrities to becoming symbols or brands with enormous marketing clout. Examples that immediately come to mind are on the cover of this book -- Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart and Michael Jordan.

According to Peter Montoya, personal branding isn't only important for promoting a product, business or political cause, but also for promoting yourself for advancement within your own organization. It involves developing your personal reputation.

developing a personal brand, it's OK to share some human weaknesses because you are projecting yourself as a real human being. If you project an image that is wildly different from your private self, you risk being perceived or exposed as a phony and losing your credibility.

Montoya lists "eight laws" or categories to focus on in developing a personal brand. They are specialization, leadership, personality, distinctiveness, visibility, unity, persistence, and goodwill. He then evaluates how several prominent individuals rate in these areas. Then Montoya explains how the reader can perform a self-evaluation of what his or her personal brand is now and steps to take to improve and build a good personal brand.

As educational as the book is relating to its subject, it's also worthwhile to study as a marketing piece. Montoya repeatedly encourages the reader to visit his web site for supplementary material, to subscribe to his newsletter, to attend seminars and to get personal coaching from his company.

Read The Personal Branding Phenomenon to learn a key skill for promoting yourself and your business.

Buy it on Amazon: The Personal Branding Phenomenon

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Find out how you can develop your reputation into a brand to promote your product, business, political cause or yourself for advancement within your own organization.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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