Black Friday in the United States gives an opportunity for certain people to show their true colors. You’re heard the news reports and watched the videos online where crazy shoppers run over fellow shoppers in the rush to get the day’s bargain. Not only will they run someone over in the name of materiality and greed, they will also start fights in the middle of a store.
As NFL Hall of Famer Chris Carter would say, “Come on man!”
Not all news about Black Friday was so bad though. Certain companies within Corporate America used the beginning to this holiday shopping season to boost their corporate brands.
Most notable of these companies was REI, the outdoor products and apparel retailer. As this Gallup article states, instead of telling employees they would be working extra hours and need to miss Thanksgiving dinner with their families because of early Black Friday sales, REI decided to close its stores on the day after Thanksgiving.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Since their inception, they’ve promoted the enjoyment of the outdoors. With the decision to be closed on Black Friday, they encouraged employees to enjoy the outdoors and enjoy their families.
That’s a clear demonstration of taking the opportunity to enhance the brand REI has been building for years.
Building a brand is not just for companies. You have a personal brand as well.
When is the last time you intentionally took the opportunity for building your personal brand?
Below are three opportunities you have for building your personal brand during the holiday season.
Not much business usually happens during the last couple weeks of the year. Imagine what your boss would say if you changed that paradigm…
There are a couple of ways you can use the holiday season at the end of the year to build a strong personal brand.
You’ve been working your tail off all year networking, building relationships and promoting your services. Bring it all together at the end of the year and push something through.
It doesn’t really matter how much the services will be for that you sell. Just sell something so you can come in to the office on January 4 and tell your boss that you sold some work.
You’ll be a superstar.
Only rainmakers make it rain over the holidays. Everyone else experiences a draught.
While it’s nice to take a lot of time off over the holidays, it’s also nice to use the slow time of year to catch up on work.
If your spouse will allow you to not take as much time off as usual, use a few days to catch up on all your work. That way, you will start the year with a fresh outlook.
You won’t come back to work stressed that you have so much to do. You’ll still have work but not a pile of it.
Don’t get all the way caught up though. You still want to have work to do when January rolls around.
I’ve always said there are only three times when you’ll be caught up: Your first day on the job, your last day on the job and the day you die.
You don’t want to experience any of those three this holiday season.
Are you known as a person who is always giving or always taking? Maybe you give as much as you take. If you envision building your person brand that will help you succeed, you want to be a giver.
You can give your time and your money for charitable purposes. These are wonderful ways to give during the holidays. Hopefully, though, you do not wish to just be building your personal brand based on that kind of giving.
In my opinion, EVERY form of charitable giving should be for the purpose of giving, not for the purpose of promotion.
As Simon Sinek would say, “Making money cannot be your why. It is a result and will always be a result” [paraphrased].
I love hearing about anonymous gifts to charities during the holidays, or any time of year for that matter. The people who do that, deserve to be praised but don’t want or expect it!
You can also give to your clients and co-workers. It’s a perfect time of year demonstrate your thankfulness to them.
Send a hand-written note with more than “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” on it. Make it personal. Show you care.
If you have the means to do so, send a small gift as well. Make it something useful and heartfelt. If possible, tie it to something you’ve talked with that person about.
REI made a splash this Thanksgiving by promoting its brand of living for the outdoors. It did something great for its employees and customers.
Companies like Chic-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby live their brands throughout the year by being closed on Sundays. Imagine how much revenue they could gain by being open on Sundays. It doesn’t matter to them.
We’re not yet sure about REI as to whether not being open on Black Friday was in true support of its mission or whether its just for publicity. It doesn’t really matter because it helped it enhance its brand.
We do know that Chic-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby live their brands because they do not open on Sundays…year after year.
Are you going to take the opportunity for building your personal brand this holiday season like REI did for its brand? I hope so.
Better yet, will you be consistent and intentional to build your personal brand like Chic-Fil-A does?
In the end, your actions need to be both consistent and intentional. It can’t be a one-time thing or every now and then. A brand represents consistency.
Question for you: How will you go about building your personal brand to start the new year?