Are you a brand?
Maybe so. That’s one of the many thought-provoking insights to flow from the many Black History Month events hosted by Viacom’s Office of Global Inclusion and The BEAT– the company’s employee resource groups which promote diversity for African-Americans and their colleagues – in February.
The idea of a personal brand emerged from the “Amplify Creative” panel discussion, during which employees listened to executives in various brands’ creative departments talk about the importance of remaining imaginative when facing creative challenges. The conversation evolved into a deeper discussion of how branding within their work applied to how they each brand themselves personally. Moderated by publisher Donna Byrd of The Root, panelists Keith Dawkins, executive vice president of Nickelodeon Niche Network, and Kendrick Reid, senior vice president and executive creative director of BET Networks Creative Services, shared their thoughts and perspectives.
“The way I approach branding is how I approach my own personal branding,” explained Reid. “I think it’s so important that people think about the fact that you are a brand. How you show up to the world, how you walk, how you talk, how you dress, how you sound, what your core values are – all of those are the same elements that we use when branding a network.”
Whether you work in the creative realm or not, knowing your own personal branding can help you navigate what you are working on in your career by teaching you the value of finding that true, authentic voice in what you do. Expanding on this idea, Dawkins underscored the value of authenticity and finding a workplace that empowers you to be yourself.
“You have to figure out a way to get to a place where you can go ‘I’m authentically – insert whatever my name is – and I can show up within this building and this is me,’” said Dawkins. “It’s great to get to a place where it’s authentically you, unapologetically so.”
This panel was one of many “Amplify Your Impact” events hosted by OGI and The Beat that celebrated the importance of African-American history and culture while underscoring the importance of being unapologetically you and celebrating your uniqueness.