The Story Behind “Brand Inside a Brand”

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THE ORIGINAL DISCOVERY

I’ve been Inspired, which is a word I don’t take lightly.  It means, something outside of my control has breath life into me to focus on something that my small mind would not have done on its own.  The breath is not enough, it has to include positive motivation to take action.

This time my inspiration came from an observation while working at Intel and planning my next move–just in case my dream job (working on the Employee brand ambassador program) didn’t come through.  That’s a whole other story and lesson for the people.  Let’s save that for another post.  

While in this state of observation I noticed that there were certain people that had their own brand while still working inside a company. Their brands were so strong that the untrained eye may not know they actually work for a company.  They were fusing who they are personally with what they did professionally.

A few people who came to mind, Ekaterina Walters (formerly of Intel), Scott Monty (Ford) and Justin Levy (Citrix).  

I wondered, what was it about these folks that allowed them to build such a brand while still working for a company.  

I approached Ekaterina Walters at a conference in Boston, INBOUND and had a conversation about being a Brand Inside a Brand.  

After our conversation I came to realize that I had built my own brand that transcended and enhanced my work as an Operations Manager for Intel.  My personal brand gave me the opportunity to become one of the first employee brand ambassadors for Intel and later work on the strategy for building a community for those same ambassadors.  

I decided to take a look at my 8 year career at Intel and reverse engineer what allowed me to become what I named a Brand Inside a Brand.  What allowed me to move from a so-so Operations Manager position to a dream opportunity that allowed me to use my greatest strengths?  I discovered seven core skills that now serve as the bedrock for the Brand Inside a Brand Coaching program I’m running. 

THE PROBLEM

The dream of working 20-30 years for one company is just that, a dream.  You can expect to work shorter stints with different companies and potentially in different industries.  That means  you have to adjust how you plan your career.  You have to have a suitcase packed and ready to go when it’s time to move on.  Give it all you got while you are there, but be ready to go. 

The only things you are allowed to take with you are your skills, your connections and the name you’ve built at that company and in the industry.  

That means you have to change the way you think and do your work if:

  • you are the guy or gal who has their head down working extremely hard for the company, but totally ignoring your own development.
  • you are in marketing and building the heck out of your companies brand while your own is pretty much non-existent
  • you are not engaged in social media (at least LinkedIn with a complete profile with a professional picture)
  • you think you are too high up on the food chain for anything to ever happen to you (surprise! you are not immune and you’ll probably have the toughest time adapting to change because you are accustomed to your ways). 

Besides the external forces that are closing in on you, you also need to make a change if you are dying inside because the work you are doing has zero connection to what you truly value.  You don’t feel like you are having an impact and work has just become, well, “work.”  You don’t have die with your music inside.    

THE SOLUTION

Turn yourself into a Brand Inside a Brand.  Become a force to be reckoned with and have more impact, build more connections and create more opportunities for yourself, inside and outside of work.  

There’re rules to this game, I wrote me a manual.

There are 7 core skills I suggest you focus on.  They can be put into 3 clusters:

Before you get started you want to Assess yourself and your work environment

I. Build: Relationships, Community

II. Manage: Time, Projects

III. Lead: Thought leadership, Storytelling, Social media

Over the next few post, I’ll be breaking down each of the clusters. 

HOW I DECIDED TO WORK IT

One-on-One coaching.  I decided to stick to my high touch-ness (is that even a word?  Well it is now) so instead of just taking on anyone who wants to come on board, I have a short form at the bottom of my coaching page that I’m asking interested folks to fill out so we can get to know each other.

Once I get the form, I follow up within 24hrs and we can take it from there.

If we decide to work together, we start with an assessment and create a custom plan just for you.  We’ll use Google docs / drive as our accountability space, we’ll have scheduled video calls and you’ll have access to me in between calls via email and text.  This is a co-active process so I’m going to be with you ever step of the way and not just leave you hanging.

Here is my coaching page if you are curious what it looks like.  Stay tuned for future post breaking down the elements of becoming a Brand Inside a Brand. 

Do you have a Brand Inside a Brand story you’d like to share?  I’d love to talk with you. Email me: Mike@AmbassadorBruny.com

About The Author

Mike Ambassador Bruny

I have a deep desire to help spread entrepreneurial thinking as the solutions to many of our problems today. I am a project kind of guy who loves to get things started. When I'm not in search of contract work (projects) that I can do during the nights and weekends I can be found working as a mild mannered Digital Content Manager for Babson Executive Education.

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