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NEWS | Oct. 11, 2017

Build your brand

By Lt. Col. Weeden 11th Medical Support Squadron

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- A brand is often associated with a product manufactured by a specific company or a service provided by a particular corporation. We all identify corporate brands with superior, average, or poor quality based on our individual preferences and what we value as consumers or customers. Brand loyalty and recognition are essential for businesses to prosper.


The foundation of any popular brand is its reputation, which can take years or decades to establish. A corporate reputation may take years to create, but can also be destroyed in an instant.


Once a brand’s reputation is established, it must be deliberately nourished and maintained to ensure the right message is communicated to consumers. This is often accomplished through marketing strategies that focus on the positive attributes of the product or service that customers may be attracted to.


How does one customer perceive a product to be superior and the next one conclude that it’s inferior? The brand of a business has a tremendous impact on its long-term organizational health and competiveness. No matter what industry or corporation, there is one common thread. The value of the brand and reputation is attributed to the perception of the customer.


In a similar way, the brand of an individual is formed through years and decades of deliberate development based on personal growth, education, training, and experience.


What is your reputation and how are you perceived by your family, supervisors, peers, and subordinates? Simply put – what type of Airman are you and what is your brand?


I have been fortunate throughout my career; my brand has been established and groomed based on feedback I received from tremendous mentors. I took their advice seriously and tried to improve my skills wherever possible. This can be hard work, but the benefits are substantial.


If you’re not sure what your brand is and how others perceive you, ask individuals you trust and respect to provide an assessment. Based on this assessment, make a deliberate plan to enhance your skills and your value to the team.


To maintain your hard-earned reputation and brand, our Air Force core values are an excellent source of inspiration and guidance. Developing a strong professional and personal brand doesn’t happen by accident; it’s based on factors that are mostly within our control. Just like successful business organizations that market their products or services based on reputation, we can apply the same principles to our individual careers.


What type of Airman do you want to be? Taking deliberate action to establish and maintain your brand can open new doors in your career and personal life.