Original post made
on Jan 26, 2013
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According to my daughter who attended this, the entire class was stunned at how superficial and petty this presentation was. It was like a 1980's "Dress for Success" pitch, all about having the right clothes, speaking in "elevator speech" language, and having a "brand" (even a personal logo!). They found Ms. Kang's Tony Robbins-like "always be marketing yourself" message to be inappropriate for (and not representative of) Castilleja's Global Week, which is intended to be about big ideas and world problems. Thus, it is unfortunate that the Weekly chose to feature this particular speaker, rather than some of the marvelous and substantive speakers such as Craig Kielburger (Free the Children), John Matisson (The UN Afghanistan Project) Minnie Ingersoll (Google Ideas), and many others.
Sounds very superficial, I would rather have my kid learn to be sincere, then a pitch-man. This is not a value I want my kid to pick up. This is a petty article.
It's more like what we have on Congress today! Seriously
Kids do brand themselves. Have for years. Look at any high school yearbook, even yours. You may not think your kid brands herself, but she does, whether in your view or after she's out of your view.
Going on since well before Mad Men and the birth of 'brands'. You branded yourself in high school. Sadly, mine was long, scraggly hair stoner. (Amazes me how I turned out after that start.) With social media, everyone brands, consciously or not. Putting pictures of your kids, or your "world's greatest mom" mug is branding.
That bumpersticker of yours, whether Obama, a school sticker (parent of an 'x' student), or the coexist one, is a brand. The labels on your clothes are a two-fer: their brand, and yours. My refusal to wear branded clothing is obviously, wait for it, a brand.
in a week, we're all branded (GO NINERS!!!)
Kids brand. Don't believe me? Look at the following topic: "Popular clothing brands for middle school girls"
Now the question is: why not give the kids a little info about what they're doing anyway?
I heard a trusted marketer once tell me we don't own our brand(s)...the people we engage own it and ultimately make the decision of what it is. Yes it is superficial but sadly unless there is a miraculous change in human nature any time soon (not likely), it will always be that way. Might as well use it to your advantage.
When Castilleja students already have a harsh reputation for being superficial and brand-obsessed, this article does not seem to do much in their favor.
I attended a sister session for parents, and while I can see why someone reading this article (or perhaps a cynical teen) might consider the class superficial, I didn't. "We All Brand" has it right. People do make judgements based on how we present ourselves. The idea is to give thought to who you are and how you want to come across to others, not to pretend that you are someone you aren't.
If you would like an example, read Just Sayin's comment and think about how s/he is presenting his/her self. Pettiness doesn't do much to garner respect for Just Sayin's personal brand.
I thought my child presented herself as a complex person not as a simplified brand. There is no way of simplifying my brilliant complicated, growing child. She has no facebook account. She has no smart phone. She speaks, she emotes, she evolves.
The BrandingPays methodology that I presented to the Castilleja seniors was about branding from the inside out. That is, taking a journey of self discovery so you know your core values, strengths, personality and unique value to the world. Rather than an act of superficiality, good personal branding is founded on authentic values, delivers messages that support your claims and builds relationships with people that matter. If everyone had a strong personal brand, the world would be a better place. Each of us would be recognized and valued for our worth, and we would be found by those wanting to partner or collaborate with us.