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Personal branding meets positive psychology

Brand You by John Purkiss and David Royston-Lee is a structured, almost work-book style guide to developing a personal brand (thanks to Marc for the recommendation). The authors explain personal branding by quoting Jeff Bezos – ‘your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room’ and explain how personal branding is becoming increasingly important in a world of portfolio careers. Starting with exercises to identify personal talents, values and purpose, the book then explains how create a brand identity aligned to those talents, values and purpose and communicate it.

What is remarkable about this approach to personal branding is its similarity to positive psychology.  At the heart of positive psychology are the concepts of strengths and virtues: strengths are a mixture of talents, knowledge and skills and are underpinned by fewer, more intrinsic virtues (or values). Understanding these strengths and virtues enables us to live life purposefully – playing to our strengths, being authentic to our core values – and hence to live happy, fulfilled lives.

What this reveals is, firstly, and contrary to the concerns of critics,  that branding principles have a genuine contribution to make to personal development. Secondly, it suggests that a systematic approach, working through strengths/talents and then virtues/values in order to find purpose will align best-practice in both personal branding and positive psychology.

This whole issue of personal development /fulfilment is central to a follow-up series of books planned for Illumynation – having focused on ‘origins’ in the current set of books, the follow-up series plans to move on to ‘meaning and purpose’, exploring these in as fact-based, systematic and rigorous a way as the first books, yet still in the same concise and highly distilled way. Drop us an email at news@illumynation.com to keep in touch with developments.


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