Relationships are only as strong as the value placed on the relationship by the least interested party. In other words – reciprocity defines the value of a relationship.

Consider: a guy may invest a great deal into a potential relationship with a girl (flowers, concert tickets etc). However, the bonds of their relationship are only as powerful as the invested interest of the girl (reciprocity). Without her interest, their relationship carries no water.

The same is true with your personal brand. Your personal brand is only as meaningful as the value others place in your brand. Your relationship with your constituents, your personal brand will wain without regular contribution.

Consider: the hebrew word for love is ahava, from the root word hav, which means to give. The principle represented by this word as that the love present in a relationship is only as strong as the level of investment from every involved party.

Relationships and your brand take regular investments

Your relationship with your constituents will wain without regular investment. Thousand of parties invest immeasurable hours, dollars and efforts to generate brand/relationship equity with your target constituency. Your avenue of influence, your brand mind share, will dissipate without regular investment. In the digital realm, twitter value, blogging, subscription, community participation, Google Rank, technorati authority and even your one-to-one relationships demand regularity. Without proper pacing, your bridges will burn.


Generate brand/relationship equity

Key Takeaways:

  • Your brand value is determined by your constituency.
  • Relationships demand regular investment generating relationship equity from both the personal brand holder (you) and the brand subscribers (your constituency).

Key Action Item:

  • Whatever your personal branding activities, be they publishing online or in print, attending conferences or participating in digital social media, perform these actions with regularity. Never sit still. Always be investing, always be optimizing, always be building.


Jon Burg is a Senior Emerging Channels Strategist with Digitas, a leading global interactive agency network. Jon blogs about the evolution of marketing, media and technology and the resultant impact on the human experience at Future Visions.