Part 4: What is Your Personal Brand Category?

This is part four of our blog series entitled: Real Estate Agent Personal Branding: Learning form American Idol. It is a fun and easy way to learn the principles of personal branding. You do not have to be an Idol fan to enjoy!

It is extremely important to understand the concept of brand categories because that is how we remember brands. So much is at stake, in terms of market share for any product or service, if yours is the first brand that comes to mind when your target market thinks about your brand category. In the cola brand category #1 Coke outsells #2 Pepsi by 2:1. Three times more people choose #1 Google over #2 Yahoo when it comes to the category of internet search, with MSN a very distant third.

There are many categories of music from classical to heavy metal. American Idol is all about the category of Pop. But, there are many sub-categories of pop such as pop soul, pop rock, pop rhythm and blue, musical comedy, country, etc. When you think of the category of 50’s pop rock and roll what name comes to mind first? Most people would say Elvis, by a vast margin.

This year the American Idol judges selected someone who is both a singer and a comedian with a very quirky personality. He has two names, his real name, Nick Mitchel and his alter ego, Norman Gentle. Because of his uniqueness, Nick is a one-man-brand, a category of one. Nick has absolutely NO COMPETITION in his brand category. He IS the standout in his category. He definitely has talent, marketability as a musical comedy star and has a funny story. It doesn’t even matter if he becomes the next American Idol or goes on to the next round. He has already won the competition in his category! All he needs is a bit more exposure and the branding process will be complete in the minds of the audience.

Once branded however, it would be extremely difficult for the audience to take Nick seriously as a pop rock star like Chris Daughtry. If Nick stays true to his unique brand signal and gets some coaching to hone his brand signal, he could have a meteoric rise to success, faster than any other contestant at this stage because of his distinctiveness in a sharply defined brand category.

Does Nick have enough empathy with the audience to be voted through to the top 12? His chances are very good if he has an outstanding performance in week 2 that is "right on signal". We shall see.

Think about how you can strike a chord with your audience, and be distinct from your competition in a sharply defined niche or brand category in your marketplace.

Click here to view the entire American Idol- real estate agent personal branding blog series

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