The Brand Called You (Episode 1)

With over 35-40 years of experience, working with multiple brands and founding the second largest pharmacy chain in India, Ashutosh Garg pondered over what is his identity. After thinking over it, clinically, he realised that the biggest brand one owns, is not the companies he builds or the companies he works for; rather it is his own personal brand - himself. The Brand Called You series is Ashutosh Garg with other thought leaders of various industries, discussing their experiences of building successful lives, their learnings from their failures and finally, their measures to curate their brands. In this episode, Ashutosh Garg (with interviewer Ashwarya Shukla) delves into what made him first encounter the need to build one’s brand and how.

Key Highlights

1. The essential keys to help one cultivate their own brand

2. Defining the term ‘Investing in oneself’ and understanding how to measure it.

3. Between building a personal brand and sustaining it; the latter is tougher. Top tips to sustain one’s personal brand

4.  It is easier to dimish a brand than to build it. What diminishes a brand?

5. How does one strike the balance between continually reflecting on one’s brand, rewarding the improvements, and not being narcissistic?

Transcription

Q: The essential keys to help one cultivate their own brand

A: The process of cultivating and building your personal brand starts from one’s name. It's the legacy one leaves behind, a legacy that starts with a name and is patented with one’s persona; a combination unique to each individual.

Being wary to step away from things or people that could taint your legacy, even if that is being identified with any group that carries a negative connotation, is something to be mindful of.

Playing to your areas of strength and passion is the easiest and the most natural way to build on one’s brand without making it seem like work. After all, every step taken is slowly but surely adding to your legacy.

Lastly, consistency is the hallmark of a reliable example for the rest of the world to quote. So, as one gets older, it is thereby wiser to invest more and more into one’s brand gradually to have the world relate to your legacy as something built with consistency over time.



Q: Defining the term ‘Investing in oneself’ and understanding how to measure it.

A: Humans have a tendency to categorise people based off of their appearance, what clothes they wear, what brands they buy etc. So investing in oneself is one’s way of ensuring that the world perceives you in a particular fashion. It doesn’t revolve around monetary investments in oneself as much as it revolves around maintaining a consistent personality.

Since nothing is built overnight, but sticking to finding a passion and pursuing it makes the building process a lot easier and can be a motivator for you to want to invest into something that can potentially be the reason the world recognises you.

 

Q: Between building a personal brand and sustaining it; the latter is tougher. Top tips to sustain one’s personal brand

A: Be Ethical about whatever you do. That is the best way to build a brand when a brand is honest and ethical. Being ethical will never backfire or hamper your personal brand.

Deliver Value as a brand. If you are able to deliver value to the people, at large, with what you have to offer, people will keep coming back to you for it.

Be Reliable. You, as a brand, must be seen as the individual who doesn’t fickle from one end of the scale to the other. You must be able to consistently hone your brand without making it hard for people to anticipate what your actions, your mood will be like.

 

Q: It is easier to dimish a brand than to build it. Exactly what diminishes a brand?

A: In a corporate environment, if you are entitled to 4-5 days of sick leave and you utilise the given leaves whether or not you are sick, is the most basic example of compromising one’s values because you feel entitled to take these leaves. This way you have diminished your personal brand, even if there are no repercussions for your actions.

It is important to build value systems into yourself, that only contribute to your ethical values. And once you can demonstrate it consistently across all sectors of life, your brand will only grow to be perceived as a strong, honest, reliable brand.

 

Q: How does one strike the balance between continually reflecting on one’s brand, rewarding the improvements, and not being narcissistic?

A: There is a corollary to the old saying ‘if you don’t blow your own trumpet, nobody will blow it for you’ which goes like this, ‘don’t blow the trumpet so hard that it hurts people’s ears’.

 

So go ahead and build your brand. Go ahead and talk about it because you deserve to talk about it but be modest because not everyone in this world is well-wisher.

 


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