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Coca Cola, Blackwater, Malboro, Starbucks, etc.  – every company has a “brand”, for better or worse.  Companies work very hard to mold and protect their brand.  A brand can take years or even decades to develop, and can sometimes be destroyed in a day.

Wikipedia explains that the word brand began simply as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp.  The meaning has evolved and expanded, but the point is clear – it’s your “mark”.

I’ve been working on my own personal website as of late, which has led me to reflect on my own “brand” – who am I to the public?  what is my mark?  In other words, when people think of me, with what do they associate my name?

More from Wikipedia: “A brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key constituencies: Customers, Staff, Partners, Investors etc.” and goes on to say “The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service.”

I want my “brand image” to be one of integrity, excellence, honesty, effectiveness and – frankly – love.  Love of God, others and self.  I want it to be clear that I strive to be the best Adam I can be and that I give it all I’ve got.  Of course I can’t create this image by writing the right stuff on my website; I’ve got to be excellent first – the “brand” of excellence will follow, sure as night follows day.  I’m building or pulling down my brand every day by my actions.  What I do in business and how I treat others is a reflection of who I am inside.

I invite you to join me in reflecting – what’s your brand?  What do you want it to be?  Is there a disconnect between what it is and what you want it to be?  How do your family, friends, coworkers and others with whom you interact see you?

Ultimately, your brand will be an essential part of your career as an adjuster.  Once you’re in, you’ll see that the adjusting business is a actually a pretty small world, and your reputation will come to mean the difference between a flash in the pan and a long career as a respected professional.

What’s your brand?

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