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on 26 May 2009
Self help books need to be inspirational, and Brand You passes the test with flying colours. Starting with a quote from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, "your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room", it goes on to describe more than a dozen characteristics that combine to define your brand, and more importantly, differentiate you from others. This analysis is both more sophisticated, detailed, and motivational than I recall seeing elsewhere. The book gives clear examples of how to get a handle on some of the more slippery, but important concepts such as your values, and the archetypes you invoke when dealing with other people. The authors' backgrounds as students of human behaviour are strongly evident here.

The advice on networking is refreshingly original. Thankfully there is no reference to elevator conversations or tedious 60-secod homilies. Instead the authors recommend using a three-second introductory statement that encapsulates your `unique combination'. For example "I am a business psychologist with a marketing background".

Brand You has to be one of the most comprehensible and credible works of its kind to appear for many years. I cannot recommend it too strongly, both to people running their own businesses and those working, or looking to work, in corporates. It is marred only by one inexplicable omission: the lack of an index. I found it frustrating that I could not easily get back to great ideas that had impressed me on first reading.
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on 14 December 2012
If a personal brand is a promise or what people say about you when you're not there then, you know what, I've got something to whisper at the water-cooler. Despite being recommended by many friends and associates, some of whom are even named in the "Brand You" credits and one of whom was good enough to buy me a copy - this is a book that does not live up to its promise.

The good news is that it's easy to follow, it's nicely written and the authors are clearly smart and, with two rather glaring exceptions, know their stuff. The less good news is that there's not much in Brand You that, from my own limited experience, you can't get from elsewhere. Indeed, the authors are very open about how much of the content in their book is pulled from other sources. As an example, if you really want to read something that will help you to write an excellent CV, then Bright and Earl's "Brilliant CV" does that well - in fact, much better. There are, of course, a few interesting nuggets and the authors' treatment of archetypes was genuinely thought-provoking and has made me think about and, then, rework some of my own self-advertisement: does my Linked In profile adequately evoke the Care Giver and the Sage? But even this section is a development of the work, openly acknowledged, of Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson.

The glaring exceptions? Well, the short chapter on building your network is, frankly, superficial and embarrassing. Better read Andy Lopata and Peter Roper instead: their book on this subject, "And Death Came Third", is excellent. And the following chapter on social media, which I think is billed as newly updated in this edition of "Brand You" is sketchy and doesn't seem to be based on the authors' authentic experiences: did somebody else write this section for them? It gives a couple of rather generic pages to topics such as your Linked In profile or setting up a personal website. Of course, a lot of this changes very fast - may have been better to reference some web pages that could be updated as the technology develops; it feels like a section that is going to date very rapidly indeed.

Overall, I felt that this was a derivative not a definitive book; it might work well as an introduction or a refresher but it lacks both depth and originality. It seems churlish, given this book was provided generously, as a gift, to say so but (he whispered at the water-cooler), "Brand You" isn't as good as people have cracked it up to be. By all means read it as a starter for the subject of personal branding - but expect very quickly to graduate on to a greater level of detail than it offers.
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on 15 October 2012
WOW I love this book. It makes the case probably better than any other book out there for the importance of being the most remarkable version of you. If you get this far in your review of the reviews, then my advice is don't waste any more time reading the reviews just go and buy the book. It is bang up to date with the social media explosion, and shows you how to make the most of your time in using the available platforms. Well done.
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on 11 August 2014
An absolutely amazing book that transformed my life. I completely changed the way how I see the career to make this time worthwhile for the life as a whole.
Extremely easy to follow, the book gives you a set of very intuitive and, what is especially valuable, natural exercises. It leads you step by step to really understanding who you are and what is actually important to you. After the self-exploration phase, the book has a lot of practical advice.
The idea that shook my mind in the very beginning was that you already have a brand, and that it is your choice whether to strengthen it or leave it.
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on 5 August 2010
Whilst researching information on self-employment I came across many articles, blogs and websites talking about the importance of personal branding. I did a search on Amazon and after reading a lot of book reviews I chose `Brand You'.

The authors bring light to today's ever-changing job market and that to ensure you stand out from the crowd you need to clarify your personal brand. The exercises in the book help you to build a picture of what makes you unique, and this is done by finding out your values, your unique talents and skills based on your own experiences. The values exercise involves listing your role models and going through each one and stating what it is that you admire about them - their personality traits, their work etc. Whilst working through this exercise myself, I saw a pattern emerging and realised what I admired about my role models were, in fact, my own values.

I found the use of `archetypes' fascinating, whereas before I was only aware that these were used in stories and films.

After clearly defining my purpose and aims, I find that I am able to make better judgements on what aspects I should focus on in terms of researching and developing my own career path.

The authors make it clear that personal branding is not about a well-designed logo. It's about being aware of what makes you different from the rest and it's about remaining true to your values. This strengthens your reputation - your personal brand and that is how people remember you. Your actions therefore feel effortless when they are in line with your purpose and aims and you remain authentic to yourself and with others.

Overall, I highly recommend this book, it's engaging and very useful, and by the end of reading it, I was much more clearer and more confident in the definition of my own personal brand.
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on 5 May 2014
I am sure that some people will look at this book and think it to be about self-publicity and self-promotion. Particularly with the mini publicity of facebook, linked-in and various social media, many have an image to control. The authors have a particular slant in that they have recruitment and head-hunting to consider and for many career-minded people image and reputation are powerful forces to be managed with care. However, reputation is wider than that and applicable to us all. We all have to chose the company that we keep and the decisions that we make and often these decisions have to be made with incomplete data. Thus if we think somebody may be for example trustworthy, unreliable, brave, imaginative or rude often this may be assessed with as little as a first impression. You can fail an interview in the first 20 seconds, on somebody else's prejudgement, as these guys know from recruitment. We are also recruited though in friendships and relationships and transactions, however fleeting the judgements. Victoria Beckham once said that she wanted to be as famous as "daz automatic". I suggest to you that you have probably never met her but yet you have formed an opinion of her. Are you right? Is your opinion fair or balanced? Fortunately us lesser mortals can live our lives without being forever haunted by past poor decisions and reputational damage. Nor can we rely on a former reputation to forever open doors for us but I think the book works very well on an ordinary person level. It is very difficult to see ourselves as others see us and we usually have to upset people before they tell us what they really think of us. We also have to be careful of easily won compliments.

The book has a fingerprint in the cover design because over time we make ourselves unique. So are you unique in a good way? I certainly found myself reflecting on certain directions I am drifting towards and the book helped me to think about how I could improve my choices. Particularly as I move into new areas, I may need my past reputation to assist me. I particularly recommend this to people who are in the early stages of their career who have yet to experience how much reputation at all times can help or hinder you unexpectedly many years later. This is a book absolutely everybody should consider if they are prepared to look at themselves with careful scrutiny and question their decisions . I hope that although some people may read the book to learn how to scale greasy poles to success, or to control their image to become famous or wealthy, others may just wish to be better thought of. Consider this. A teacher or policeman / woman for example has to mind their behaviour outside of work. Isn't that perhaps true of all of us. This book helps us to spot contradictions and inconsistancies before others do.
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on 21 May 2009
Everyone talks about how important it is to market yourself - but how do you actually do it? This book actually tells you how to figure out who you are and to make it into a brand - and it doesn't involve 5 years in counselling! The archetypes stuff is really interesting - particularly with the celebrities. And the recommendations on how to go out and sell yourself are really clear and simple. A great book I'll be sending to friends
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on 25 August 2012
In this latest release of their book, the authors provide an excellent framework for thinking about what we do, why we do it, and what that means for how we are seen in the world. It is a clear reality that, post 2007, the comfy relative certainties of employment- whether with an employer, or ourselves, is less certain than before, in markets that are evolving at ever accelerating rates. It's not a simple "self help" book,and requires the reader to expend effort, and probably address some uncomfortable truths, but the reward is well worth it. With the "half lives" of businesses, careers and ideas never shorter, the points they make on authenticity are critical. Most of us have been brought up and educated to be someone other than who we truly are in pursuit of conventional "success", or "cardboard cut outs" as the authors have it. Our real success, and joy, are dependent on getting ever closer to that unique person we are. This is not new age stuff, but a very practical, readable and thought provoking map for that journey. Timely.
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on 1 February 2012
Increasingly brands are personalities, they even have their own facebook pages. People want to associate with brands that reflect their values. So why not create a brand that reflects your values, that reflects you, that IS you! Make a living from being yourself without having to compromise is surely a dream for many people instead of compromising their values to work in a large corporation. I found this book very helpful in looking at myself as a unique brand that, if presented authentically, will be one that people will want to associate with. Brands are what people say about you when you're not there. People now say things about me that are authentic, thanks in large part to this book. I've also worked through some of the exercises with the authors at a workshop which was certainly a bonus, but by no means necessary. The bits on archetypes is particularly interesting.

If you're thinking of working for yourself, or just wonder who you are at work, buying this book is a great first step.
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on 30 September 2012
This book is much more than a book on branding. Well, more than what I thought branding was. It's about clarifying your purpose, tuning into your talents, discovering your values and then putting all that knowledge into action in our modern, digital, socially connected world.

John and David are both masters of human personality and development. Through reading this book, you'll get an insight into what makes you tick, as well as those around you. By exploring tools like archetypes, it feels like you're taking a fresh look at yourself.

I know John personally, and he's the genuine deal. He lives what he teaches and is passionate, dedicated, disciplined and naturally grows his own brand in the most authentic way you can imagine. I've also met David once, and he's just the same. It's so nice to know that authors are practising what they preach.

Buy it - it's an excellent investment. Highly recommended.
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