Sunday, March 22, 2015

Be a brand, not someone's product

By Chris Wyse, Co Found of Bright Candidate

Are you a brand? If you are not certain ask yourself first are you a product? The fact you are reading this here is a solid yes, welcome to YOU the product! By examining my situation on social media and the other web sites I participate in I conclude that I am a direct product for at least four businesses and and unknown number of consumers spanning half a dozen industries. ME the product ranges from a data point to a wealth of information directly feeding advertising, job recruiting, tech companies, real estate professionals, insurance industry, and lastly the auto industry. And that's only the short list of the places I know ME the product is bought and sold. It's a certainty that there are a number of marketplaces I am traded or scrutinized I am not even aware of.

This is all fine and not really news with respect to modern data centricity, the original question was, are you a brand? Sadly like most of us I am not a brand to the majority of my consumers, only a product for other's brands. I'm not paid a royalty or fee for any of my contributions. I'm not being considered in any licensing agreements or stock plans. Instead I am trading me the "product" for small services, the ability to share information with my friends and colleagues and hopefully receive information that is useful in turn. In the rush to access new services and information over the past decade personal brands have not developed at the pace as the billion dollar industries growing by co-opting their users as products.

In many cases, you should be a brand, and not just someone else's product.

I don't see the gold rush continuing for the companies monetizing our brands forever. In a tighter economy new technologies are emerging to allow trading of brands for services, equitable partnerships. We started Bright Candidate in order to provide a branding platform for job seekers where you the product are compensated instead of third parties. I hope to see real change and innovation in these kinds of partnerships across the breadth of innovative industries.

A revolution is coming where people will brand themselves and their data, the landscape will evolve. Anyplace you are trading services for you the un-branded product ask yourself what you give up for that? In some cases there may be a fair trade, in most a big profit based on selling you.