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Personal branding is one of the big themes today, for a number of reasons.

As I wrote in five key trends in how influence is transforming society, one of the dominant forces is that reputation is shifting from the corporate to the individual. People build relationships and place trust in individuals more than organizations, changing how (the best) companies organize themselves and engage externally.

In addition, professionals are increasingly shifting to independent work in a global distributed economy. As such they must build their own brands and not rely on their affiliation with the brand of the company for which they work.

In a world of massive information overload and competition for attention, people who are do not make efforts to be visible are invisible, unable to be found. There will be two types of people: content creators and non-content creators. Those who create content are actively shaping how they are seen, and making themselves visible and findable.

As companies discovered long ago, visual icons are a powerful way of encapsulating and conveying their brands and identities. Our personal representations of brands are usually associated with their logos. Nike’s swoosh and Coca-Cola’s familiar white-on-red curlicues ARE the brands, far more than the name.

So in a world of personal brands, it is time for many of us to create personal logos.

While many designers, who often work under their own name and need to promote their design capabilities, have created personal logos for themselves, very few others have to date.

However I believe that personal logos will take off spectacularly this year and beyond.

I created my personal logo specifically to help people understand how my personal brand relates to those of my companies. We have created a visualization of our group of companies’ business model for public consumpation, which we’ll release shortly.

My core public identity is of ‘futurist and entrepreneur’ – I think and communicate about the future, and build businesses that tap into my thinking on where things are going.

As for several of our logos, I used 99designs to get this done. While it was a difficult process, I’m pleased with the logo we created above. It brings in themes of networks, merging people and networks, and shifting into the future.

That’s my logo. What’s yours? Do you think you need one? What does it mean when more and more of us have personal logos?

For the most current insights and trends in the living networks, follow @rossdawson on Twitter!

14 responses to “The rise of personal brands means the rise of personal logos – here’s mine, what’s yours?”

  1. […] The rise of personal brands means the rise of personal logos – here’s mine, what’s yours? | Tr… Helt uppenbart så kan jag skriva under på det här. Frågan är hur många av oss som faktiskt […]

  2. Hi Ross, totally agree with you.
    I created mine some months ago using also 99designs : http://a0.twimg.com/profile_background_images/44235513/twitter_bg.jpg
    Actually I used my initials to draw a butterfly (Butterfly effect + Butterfly dilemma + Creativity).
    However, regarding your statement that it will 2 types of people : content creators and non-content creators, I’m not 100% OK.
    Content curators are also a new “race” of people who can be sometimes more visible than content creators. Ex: Chris Anderson defines his role as TED Curator.

  3. BTW: Is there any hiden message with the orange dots? Should we connect the dots 😉

  4. Anonymous says:

    BTW: Is there any hidden message with the orange dots? Should we connect the dots 😉

  5. Mark says:

    A personal brand, that sounds like presenting yourself in a false way, like marketing. But I like your logo 🙂

  6. I blogged about the person as a brand and the SEO ID a couple of months ago. My view is that parents should now think about the personal brand when naming their kids! John Smith is not going to stand out in social media so ambitious parents need to plan their child’s “presence” years in advance. See “Why crazy baby names are not so crazy after all (or why Peter Andre was right!)” http://www.microsperience.com/?p=3872

    • Kathysierra says:

      “ambitious parents need to plan their child’s presence…” so they will stand out in social media. Wow.

      My only hope (and belief) is that whatever we think is true *today* about “social media” will be so different by the time those babies are texting/swiping/whatever-ing that nothing these ambitious parents plan today will actually matter.

      If I believed that we could predict with any certainty, then I might argue that the counter is *also* true… “caring, thoughtful parents will plan for their child’s freedom to choose their degree of social “presence”. Lots of kids would prefer to blend in. The only social network that matters is their *real* one, where everyone knows that THIS John Smith is their awesome friend who loves surfing, ridiculous hats, and indie films. And who makes spectacular gluten-free cookies.

      The people who seem to care most about personal branding in social media are those who care about personal branding in social media. High visibility is not what *everyone* secretly wishes for, or… needs.

      That said, I still like the personal logo idea for other reasons.

      • Ross Dawson says:

        Yes absolutely, a critical part of this is choice. We must be able to opt out.

        However I certainly think it will get harder in many careers if you are not visible. It is hard to say now how pronounced that will be. So it’s better to be ready to opt in again if you decide that’s the choice you make then…

  7. KareAnderson says:

    As a fan of your writing I think you personal brand is a more specific slant yet can’t capture it… you do show how to capitalize on trends

  8. reproducible says:

    First we became consumers to alleviate the boredom of our lives.
    Now we are becoming commodities in ourselves.

    Well go ahead and commodify yourselves. As John Merrick might have said:

    I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am not a brand. I am a human being! I am a man

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Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

Ross is author most recently of Getting Results From Crowds, the prescient Living Networks, which anticipated the social network revolution, the Amazon.com bestseller Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. (click on the links for free chapter downloads). He is primarily based in Sydney with a secondary base in San Francisco.

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