Most people interested in personal branding have spent time developing thinking through what their brand means and represents and they’ve developed a personal branding statement, etc.

Focus is Critical

Whether its job search, career advancement, or a small business endeavor, staying true to your mission is key.  Sending mixed messages to the marketplace or to your customers can be the kiss of death.

Your brand statement should be easy to remember and repeated wherever possible. There are countless studies out there that talk about the thousands of messages we all receive every day, so being memorable is critical.

Brand Extensions

Brand extension is a strategy in which a company builds on a well-known brand identity by using the same brand name in a different product category.

Proctor and Gamble is one of the most skillful marketers in this area and has refined this to an art.  The Crest brand is an excellent illustration of brand extension.  Crest has entered the tooth whitening, toothbrush, mouthwash, and floss categories.

“Cheetos Lip Balm & More Bizarre Brand Extensions”

This past week the Wall Street Journal had a terrific article  by Mario Marsicano on how a loss of focus can damage a brand.  It’s almost funny, if it wasn’t so tragic.  Maybe some of the “name brands” in the article can take a hit, but your personal brand can’t.

Here’s a short excerpt and I suggest you read the whole article to learn from other’s  mistakes:

“…This also reminded me of Burger King’s other recent brand extension — a new fragrance called Flame by BK. This meat perfume was obviously a promotional stunt designed to sell more burgers, but in general, corporate brand extensions are serious attempts to grow a brand beyond its initial range of products. Sometimes the tactic works, and other times it just leads to good comedy.”

Don’t lose your focus and try to be all things to all people. Be true to your brand identity and stay focused.


Beverly Macy is the Managing Partner of Y&M Partners and teaches a social media class at the UCLA Extension.  She also co-hosts Gravity Summit events and provides personal branding coaching.