Our target audience assigns us value and opportunity based on how they perceive us. Understanding their perception through feedback helps us measure, assess and test the reality of their perception vs. ours. It helps us gauge whether we’re close to our desired brand.
There are many forms of feedback. Formal feedback can be gathered through sophisticated assessment tools such as Myers-Briggs, DISC assessment, iSpeak, or a formal 360 evaluation for example. However, you don’t have to rely on just formal tools to get valuable input on your brand.
One simple way to solicit valuable feedback is to send an email to clients, colleagues, peers, or other staff stating asking how they perceive your personal brand. Tell them you’re working to understand your current brand and their input would provide great insight. Here are some simple brand evaluation questions to ask:
“Do I have a personal brand and if so, what is that brand?”
“If you referred me to someone, how would you introduce me?”
“When you think of me, what special traits do you believe I have?”
Whenever I receive a referral, the first question I ask is “what were you told about me?” I need to understand how my perception is being formed in the marketplace. What are people saying about my brand? How are they introducing me? So the question “would you refer me to somebody else and if so, how would you introduce me?” provides critical insight into your brand. “What do you see as my competitive advantage?” This question might uncover gems and traits we didn’t even know we had. Then, follow up with the question, “How do you know that? Where do I get the credibility for that trait?”
Again, we’re not asking someone to tell us if we’re a nice person, or if we’re valuable, or anything that’s judgment-related. But rather, how they see our ability to build credibility for that competitive advantage, or how they would differentiate us. These are all brand questions and they’re valuable as you go forward. They’re questions you can ask yourself.
With questions like these, you’re assessing perception: What are you known for? What is your reputation?