The current assignment will help you explore a company or brand in detail (building on your business exploration exercise that you have been working on throughout the term) and in light of that see how you can position yourself – thinking about your own strengths and weaknesses – for a potential internship or eventual longer-term position. The assignment incorporates three parts: one focusing on the brand, the second focusing on you, and the third bringing the two together.
Scope: Approx. 2 to 3 pages, feel free to use figures or tables as needed.
In the first part, you need to provide a brief summary with the highlights of your research for the brand exploration exercise (feel free to make use of as many of the tools – e.g. PESTEL, SWOT etc – that we have seen throughout the term). As a next step, you will be asked to develop a brand essence statement (BES) for your chosen brand, building on the materials in your reading ‘Developing a superior brand essence statement’ (please see your reading pack).
Scope: Approx. 2 to 3 pages.
In the second part, you will need to do an introspective exploration about your own strength and weaknesses, and focus on the value you can bring to a team, company, or project. To faciliate this exercise for you, please follow the clear guidelines below.
Personal brand image-identity gap analysis & personal brand positioning statement
To manage any brand effectively, you must constantly be in touch with what you think about your brand and what your customers think about your brand. It helps to have some language to pull these constructs apart: Brand identity is defined as the set of (aspirational) associations the company has for its brand; Brand image is defined as the set of (actual) associations customers have with the brand. Understanding how the brand is perceived internally and externally is critical to build and manage a strong brand.
This concept is equally useful in assessing and managing your personal brand. To conduct an image-identity gap analysis for your personal brand, do the following:
1. Assess your identity (i.e., how you see yourself), by writing down: a. What are the first 5 words that you associate with yourself?
b. What are 3 (positive) things you are not? For example, what are three areas of incompetence?
2. Assess your personal image (i.e., how others see you), by asking 10 people—family, friends, and classmates/colleagues:
a. What are the first 5 words that come to mind when they think of you? b. What are 3 (positive) things you are not?
3. Visually capture your personal image by creating a word cloud, using a website like www.wordle.net. Just include the things you ARE that were generated by the people you asked.
4. Analyse your findings.
a. Are there any discrepancies between your identity and image?
b. Would it (ever) be important to address those gaps? If yes, what steps can you take to close them?
c. With respect to a certain group (e.g., IESEG students, all students or young professionals, your family, your gender), what are your points of parity? What are your points of differentiation? That is, with the insight you gained from assessing your identity and image, how should you position yourself from a personal brand perspective?
5. Pulling from your analysis in the previous question, draft a positioning statement for yourself.
The statement should capture your UNIQUE brand essence. It should also be appealing to your target audience. You choose your target audience: who are you trying to influence and impress? Keep in mind that to be compelling, you must be concrete in the support you provide.
The template below identifies each component that should be included either explicitly or implicitly in your positioning statement.
Positioning Statement Template:
______________Your name _____________(product/brand) is _____________________________________(unique and most important claim) among all ____________________________(competitive set/frame of reference) for ____________________________________(target audience) because ______________________________(concrete support/reasons to believe).
Scope: Approx. 2 pages
Building on the two earlier parts of this exercise, you will be asked to revise your own positioning to arrive at the best fit for this brand. You can follow the guidelines set out in your reading ‘Developing a superior brand essence statement’ (please see your reading pack).
It is important to emphasise that the work should be entirely your own and should go through the IÉSEG plagiarism software – this is done automatically once you upload your paper on IÉSEG Online.
You should embrace a professional orientation in your work, which should be reflected in the language, structure, and format of your assignment. Please include a cover page (good practice to get used to this early on), and also place any supplementary information you wish to share in the Appendix (please note that the cover page and the appendices do not count towards the overall page count of the work).
Finally, this exercise is an important milestone for your personal development as you enter the market for the purposes of an internship or later longer-term position. I encourage you to make use of this opportunity for your own learning in order to help you understand your strength, weaknesses and potential points of improvement.
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