How to Create Your Personal Brand Touchstone

marilyn_monroe_dress1Do you want to launch your personal brand into the stratosphere?

There is one thing you can do to catapult your brand building to the next level.

This one essential key is to define and illuminate your personal brand touchstone.

Your touchstone should evoke images that make a direct contact with your audience. A touchstone is what you are known for, the core of your genuineness or value.

Examples of Touchstones

The woman in the picture in the white dress, who is she? I would guess almost anybody on the street can recognize her as Marlyn Monroe. I would even go farther and say you could describe the picture and people would still realize who you were talking about.

Many would point to  BMW as luxury, or the ultimate driving experience.

Apple with innovation and usability and design.

Take the FedEx touchstone, “an unrelenting commitment to deliver”, if you have a package that absolutely has to be there tomorrow who are you going to use?

I’ve done some consulting for large corporate clients like US Bank and Wells Fargo and it was a requirement that  the systems were IBM “enterprise level” systems. I could have argued all I wanted that there were other more stable and useful applications and servers out there. Every time the conversation came up on changing to less well know names it always came back to “we want to be with the leader in the corporate solutions”. This perception came with IBM’s strategy of marketing on a strategic level to corporate leaders. This strategy and focus has worked well for them.

Keys to Your Brand Touchstone

One of the quickest ways to jump start your personal brand is to identify your highest value touchstone. What is the one thing that you can be known for that you excel at?

Next you want to put yourself in your audience shoes and ask the question…

If I had to do X I would go to or work with Y?

If I absolutely had to get a package to New York tomorrow I would use FedEx.

You need to evoke the same autonomic response. This response is so ingrained into your audience that this occurs involuntarily or in a automatic way.

Your prospect thinks of X and YOU comes to mind.

Once you define your core touchstone you next step is to hone in on this. You showcase this constantly, you literally emphasize this over every thing else.

Focus on your niche.

Also realize that you don’t have to be known by your touchstone to the whole world. This is important to understand.

Don’t think you will be missing out on opportunities focusing on a niche. Being sought after in your niche is a much easier task than the world as a whole. Without focusing on your niche it might be nearly impossible to be known.

Get this one concept down and you are immediately ahead of the pack. Focus your efforts on being notable to this key set of people. When you do this it becomes that much easier because all you have to do is find out how to reach this audience. This is much more attainable goal than taking on the world.

For example, Aaron Wall and Rand Fishkin are associated with SEO, John Chow and Shoemoney have their popular blogs, Michael Arrington is all things tech, and Guy Kawasaki is a venture capitalist / social media geek. Would these guys have been able to be known in the same light if they didn’t focus on one smaller niche? Most likely not. Instead of being a an octopus with 8 legs, be a scorpion with one deadly tail.This is the path to getting traction and solidifying your touchstone in the industry.

An older but excellent post tell your personal story is one of keys you should follow. If you have something unique about how you got to the position you’re in, don’t be afraid to share it. People love to relate to others and they’ll remember you for who you really are.

Final Keys to Your Brand Touchstone

Your touchstone must be something you are capable of sustaining. It must also be something that you constantly and almost religiously over deliver. This is the key to gaining fans and giving it that continual push.

If you are continually over-delivering, especially with a niche focus your growth with your personal brand will be exponential.

You touchstone must also be something that is easily recognizable and easy to explain. Clear, concise, and recognizable is what you are going for.

Sit down now and define your touchstone. Then outline your plan for showcasing and publicizing your personal brand touchstone.

This one step done in a authentic and intentional manner will propel your brand to the forefront of your niche.

–If you have any examples of effective touchstones please leave a comment below.

About 

Is chief doer at You Brand, Inc. and also master curator at the WordPress content curation platform Curation Suite.

Scott Scanlon

Is chief doer at You Brand, Inc. and also master curator at the WordPress content curation platform Curation Suite.

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25 Responses

  1. kumar says:

    Thought provoking as to how one must create their own personal brand. Very helpful for all business beginners, how special does a touchstone have to be?

  2. A touchstone should be specific. for instance if you are a Tennis coach and you would want to make sure that you focused your efforts on people and industries that serviced Tennis and spend your efforts and money advertising and making connections with those kinds of people. That way when they think of Tennis they think of you and your coaching program and training offers as well as your useful tips and the valuable advice you have given them to help improve their game.

  3. BrainBivi says:

    A very informative article.Its so true that in order to attract customers your personal brand touchstone must be unique and crowd pulling. Great take

  4. Jahnabi Das says:

    Very useful article who are concerned with building their own brand. While reading the post, I was thinking of my personal brand value. As I continued to read this article, the steps I should follow became clearer and I shall follow it now on.

  5. Indira says:

    hi! This blog is nice for the begeniers who wants to set up their new business.They shou;d create such touchstone tthat it should reflect thier brand quality and customer satisfaction as wel as interest.

  6. sruthi says:

    I have been interested in personal brand building for a while now and have been looking for a great place to start.This article was very informative and helpful for me to create a new brand. Do you have any other suggestions of places for me to start?

  7. Sarah says:

    Great article. There are so many things to think about when you are trying to get a new product or brand out there and known. I think a lot of people try to get their name known by just getting it out there, anywhere they can, and end up wasting time, energy, and money with areas that aren’t helpful – where people won’t truly pay attention to the message. This whole article was great, but I truly enjoyed and agreed with the part about finding your niche – I think this is the best way to get your brand known, if it is done successfully.

  8. Wigirl says:

    Great Article! I am looking for a way to make a living on my own terms and this helped me out alot!

  9. NC says:

    A very useful article. In today’s world of cut throat competition, a unique personal brand touchstone is a must to attract customers.

  10. Rajan K says:

    I started to identify the hightest value touchstone before itself. But focusing on niche is new to me and im sure i will get a set of people soon. Thanks for your sharing.

  11. Jenna says:

    Wonderful article you have written.I do have my business and right now i am trying to improve my marketing branding skill to expand it.Thanks for all those good ideas.I will apply few of them for sure.

  12. Mike says:

    You can find plenty of good examples if you observe vehicles while you drive. Many companies have their personal brand touchstones on cars and trucks.

  13. miroro says:

    Personally, I like the idea of having a personal brand touchstone, but I don’t know if I have the time and patience necessary to put into making this work. This is already a competitive area, I’m not sure if I personally can stand out. Am I interesting enough would be my biggest concern. The tips were very helpful, though.

  14. Javier says:

    Good article. Create a luxury brand touchstone seems to be very expensive (a lot of mony spent in advertisement), so i think i would try something easier. In my humble opinion we should focus in our own niche and create a brand image that represents us, our feelings and ‘way of life’ (e.g. Cocacola, Disney). It’s important to remain authentic to ourselves to create something fresh.

  15. senthil says:

    I have been interested in personal brand building for a while now and have been looking for a great place to start.This article was very informative and helpful for me to create a new brand. Do you have any other suggestions of places for me to start?

  16. raakesh88 says:

    A very interesting and true article.For attracting the customers everyone has to create their personal brand touchstone.This is very important in attracting the customers.Thanks to this blog and article.This will be very helpful for everyone.

  17. angie says:

    This was a brilliant article. These tips are great and can really be used towards many types of “products.”

    For example I am thinking about starting a Blog with my sister, and all of these great tips can really relate to us as well. Our Blog is like our product! We need to create a touchstone that will make people recognize our Blog. Then we need to find our niche. We don’t need to make a Blog that everyone will love, just what our group of people will love.

    “Your touchstone must be something you are capable of sustaining. It must also be something that you constantly and almost religiously over deliver. This is the key to gaining fans and giving it that continual push.”

    Completely necessary for a good Blog. Our followers will want updates regularly, and we will need to really love what we do.

  18. Rocky says:

    I think this is really a great explanation about touchstones.
    If one think that something should be achieved within a specific time then that person should dedicate his hard work to achieve that target.
    Then that achievement is also a touchstone related to that target.

    One should get involved in his brand touchstone and keep tracing that it is personally great.

  19. Valerie says:

    This was a great article, very interesting read as well. I’m sure it’ll help a lot of people looking to start their own business

  20. sindhuramesh says:

    This was a good article. It help me a lot. it has lot of useful information about the products. I am looking for a way to make a living on my own terms and this helped me out a lot.

  21. Creating a touchstone for your brand story is important. Thank you for all the good feedback.
    .-= Scott Scanlon´s last blog ..One Source for Top Headlines =-.

  22. Focusing on your niche is a great reminder for someone in a niche industry. Funny how easy it is to forget that sometimes. “Realize that you don’t have to be known by your touchstone to the whole world. This is important to understand.” Thanks for the article.

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