This week we Talk About BRANDS (your personal brand, brand management frameworks & the top brands!) 

Michael Boydell on your personal brand

For this week’s podcast, I had the privilege of interviewing CEO and team performance expert Michael Boydell. Sounds intimidating, right? But Michael is very down-to-earth and honest–AUTHENTIC.  He describes several exercises that anyone can run through to give their personal or professional brand some meaning and focus.
That reminds me, before we started the interview, I asked Michael whether he preferred to use the term PROFESSIONAL BRAND or PERSONAL BRAND.  His answer was that in order to be truly authentic, the distinction should be minimal, so it doesn’t really matter.  Very good point!

Some of the exercises that Michael suggests:

  • Consider your history: Your upbringing, your parents’ values and careers, your experiences, your accomplishments.  (It’s not baggage. It’s context!)
  • Answer these inspiring QsHistory + Aspirations + 3 Handles = your personal brandDoing what, with whom, and where am I most joyful? What makes my heart sing? When do I FEEL MOST ALIVE?
  • The “3 Handles” exercise: Ask yourself and ask people around you (now & from your past) for three labels or adjectives to describe you. You might see some common and revealing trends.
  • Looking at all of this altogether then, where do your history, your aspirations and the 3 handles intersect? This is where the magic may happen for you.

Whether you are just starting your career, trying to make a change, or perhaps you’re looking for some inspiration after many years of doing the same old thing, we can all use a boost!   Listen in as Michael provides some expert guidance about how to optimize your personal and professional brand.

Your personal brand with Michael Boydell

Thank you, Michael!

Fast Company magazine - the brand called you

This “Personal Brand” topic was partly inspired by an article that I read in Fast Company magazine over 20 years ago!  Author Tom Peters suggests that we employ brand management frameworks on ourselves to optimize our personal brands. Since I worked for years as a brand manager, I thought I would share with you two brand management frameworks that can help us create our ideal Personal Brand: Brand Personality and Brand Benefits.


…are features of a brand that benefit the customer.  Ask yourself “what is it about me that provides value to my employer or other stakeholders?”  In other words, “what is the benefit of having me around?” Then, ensure that your answer fulfills the same criteria that brand managers seek for their brands’ benefits:

  • unique & sustainable (differentiated – “not everyone can say this!”)
  • significant (“what I bring to the table is relevant and important!”)
  • credible (evidence of your brand benefit, such as your education, your experience, and consistency of your actions over time)


The Brand Personality describes the traits or characteristics of a brand.  What is YOUR Brand Personality?  Ask yourself:

  1. What is your disposition ?
  2. What archetype are you? (e.g., EMPEROR (e.g. Warren Buffet, Rolex), PURIST (e.g. Julie Andrews, Dove soap), SEDUCTRESS (e.g. Marilyn Munroe, Victoria’s Secret)
  3. List separately what dispositions and archetypes DO & DO NOT describe you.
  4. Importantly – distinguish between your current versus your ideal “brand personality.”  Then work to close the gap.

I hope you will challenge yourself to go through at least one of these exercises from these two frameworks or from the ones that Michael Boydell suggests.  As Michael says, this requires great effort, but taking the time to think deeply about your Personal Brand can take you to the next level!


Obrands 1n the cover of that infamous 1997 Fast Company magazine article, two brands are highlighted as “great brands”:  Starbucks and Nike. While the list of “great brands” might look slightly different now, Starbucks and Nike have certainly stood the test of time.

The first Starbucks opened its doors in 1971 using a slightly different version of the current logo.  The logo always used the twin-tailed mermaid, or siren as she’s known in Greek mythology (Interesting that both Starbucks and Nike employ greek mythology in their logos!) While Starbucks has been credited with creating a coffee culture, it has also weathered a plethora of controversies and criticisms–political, cultural, legal and otherwise.


brands 3The famous swoosh logo symbolizes the wing of the famous Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike. The JUST DO IT slogan has been used by the brand since 1988, albeit with different connotations. One of the many brand strategies that Nike employs is to sponsor top athletes – a highly visible way to stay current.  Last year, Nike partnered with football player Colin Kaepernik, a highly controversial move that we Talked About in another newsletter.  Nike is now managing through what some might characterize as a catastrophe (Duke ?player’s Nike shoe broke in half in a big game against NC…!).  However, I have no doubt that Nike will fare just fine, perhaps even capitalize on this “disaster”!

What brands come to mind when you think “BIG BRANDS”? 

Here is a list of the top 5 global brands in 2000 and 2018.  Interbrand ranks these brands annually.  Notably, two big brands – Coca-Cola and Microsoft– have both managed to stay in the top 5 over the decades.  In 2000, Coca-Cola’s brand value (as calculated by Interbrand) was $72.5B US.  Last year, Coca-Cola’s brand value decreased to $66.3B, and #1 Apple’s brand value was reported at $214.5B!  That’s BIG! Click here for insights regarding more shifts in global brand rankings in 2019 and beyond….
Brand ranking over time


Every week we share a few quotes worth talking about.  This week we focus on your PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL BRAND:

Michael Boydell quote on your personal brand development

Denise Lee Yon quote

Jeff Bezos quote

I hope you enjoy this week’s

As always, I would ❤️to talk! I appreciate your suggestions, your topic ideas, and anything else you would like to talk about. You can always connect with me at

PLEASE forward this email or this link to  anyone you think might be interested in learning and Talking About all things “Communication.”  Thank you!!!

TALK soon!

Andrea Wojnicki headshot
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Founder & Chief Talker – TalkAboutTalk

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