Many of us know Emma Watson (picture above) as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter Series but more recently she has taken on the more serious role as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Many celebrities like Watson become known based on a prominent role they have filled (i.e. Hermione in Harry Potter). However, very few celebrities are able to successfully re-brand themselves like Watson has.
Watson was able to slowly transition her personal brand to a more sophisticated, mature, female leader through volunteering and pursuing education outside of acting, which eventually led to her role as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. So what is a personal brand exactly?
A colleague of mine, Karen Wensley is an author of a booked called, The Power of Personal Branding for Career Success. Wensley describers personal branding as:
- What people say about you when you’re not in the room
- What you stand for and are passionate about
- The value you command in the marketplace
- What you bring to the your business relationships
- The goodwill on your personal balance sheet
Wensley often retells a story about one time at a cocktail party; one of her more senior colleagues described her as being “nice.” Wensley thought to herself, she was not going to become Partner at a large public accounting firm by being known as the nice one. She had to rebrand herself while still being authentic to whom she was. Wensley created an eight step process on personal branding which is a continuous process that is often referred to in career development literature.
Although Watson might have not been applying Wensley’s eight step process, she had to re-brand herself while still being authentic. Watson took the steps to transform her personal brand as being Hermione in Harry Potter to being known as smart, sophisticated and a mature female leader.
So what’s your personal brand?