We can market ourselves just as vigorously as any product or service.


I was watching the Paris Hilton documentary the other night – and before you roll your eyes, maybe just have a watch it’s free on Youtube. As well as exposing the abuse in a re-education school she attended, she also touched on her brand a lot throughout the documentary. Revealing that she had marketed herself as an airhead, rich blonde with little to no substance. Building her personal brand around bleach blonde hair, Juicy Couture velour tracksuits, dogs in handbags and reckless paparazzi shots, she’s become the epitome of the 2000s for many. 

Paris hilton shoe branding design
Paris hilton showcasing her perfume line

I found it fascinating that at 19 she figured out how to brand herself on a reality show (long before they were popular) and manipulate the paparazzi to create a business empire. She now boasts 19 product lines, 50 boutiques, a club resort and a DJing career. 20 Years later, dubbed ‘the original influencer’, she is the first of her generation to be famous for being famous. Arguably, she is responsible for the careers of so many women who’ve built their businesses on her blueprint of personal branding. Whether you love her or hate her, it’s impressive. 

Sliving Paris Hilton merchandise line

So, what is personal branding? 

Personal branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It’s an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual. The term ‘personal branding’ was first coined in 1997, by Tom Peters. He said that regardless of what industry we work in, or where we live, we’re all CEOs of our own personal brand! We can market ourselves just as vigorously as any product or service. 

Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 branding design

No other player in football understands the power of personal branding better than Cristiano Ronaldo, with his huge following on social media, fan engagement and his numerous sponsorships with brands such as Nike. His brand identity is built around his sport and his supporters. Likely, even people who don’t follow football (like myself) know who he is! His brand CR7 holds several different products, socks, underwear, shoes and fragrance, as well as owning two hotels and a digital agency.

 

Similarly, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has become a household name in the U.K. after heading his free school meals campaign in efforts to end child food poverty. His personal following and brand has increased dramatically – it’s even rumoured he may release his own loo roll. 

Ronaldo standing infront his Men underwear launch
Marcus Rashford 'MR' branding design

Reality star turned lawyer in training and prison reform activist, Kim Kardashian West is an expert at personal branding. Which would make sense; she was Paris Hilton’s assistant when she rose to fame. Her constant presence on TV and social media for the past decade has afforded her a beauty line, fragrance line, clothing line, emojis and a game, all branded around herself. Kim has consistently marketed herself to her audience, enforcing what makes her relevant and unique to them through her image, products and behaviour. 

Kim Kardashian Beauty branding design
Kim Kardashian forbes interview

Personal branding is built around your unique selling point (USP), creating content/products with a purpose and engaging with like-minded people. Whether it’s going to a job interview, pitching an idea or walking into a room full of business opportunity, we could all actively benefit from branding and selling ourselves! 


I don’t know about you, but, the idea of monetizing my personality sounds pretty appealing… I’ll have to ask the designers in the studio if they could help brand me! Let me think a swirly font, my favourite colours purple and lots of heart emojis On second thoughts – better leave it to the experts! :purple_heart: