Resolution … Build your brand: Seven tips from an expert on how to market yourself in 2019

By Meg Fry
Bedminster Township | Jan 11, 2019 at 12:37 pm
From our print edition

In the last quarter of 2017, Samsung sold the most smartphones. 

During that same time period, however, Apple captured 87 percent of all smartphone profits. 

Jennifer Asay, senior director of new product commercialization at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in Bedminster Township, said those stats and facts are a great example of the power of a brand.

“That goes to show, if you have a strong brand, you will be able to command higher prices and demand,” she said.  

With nearly two decades of marketing experience at global pharmaceutical companies, including Sanofi and Eli Lilly and Co., Asay spoke to the more than 100 women attending BioNJ’s fourth annual Inspiring Women in STEM Conference in December about creating and revising their own personal brands.

Brands, she said, can be individuals, too.

And in this age of business, building your personal brand is a must. 

“You have to differentiate yourself in the market to obtain your own objectives,” Asay said. “You also have to actively understand and continuously manage your personal brand.” 

According to Asay, here’s how to do just that:

Step One

Set clear goals and objectives 

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Jennifer Asay, senior director of new product commercialization at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.

“Ask yourself, what is it that you want to be?” Asay said. “Do you want to be the best scientist in your division? Do you want to be known as the most innovative digital strategist in the industry? Or, do you want to be vice president of a function? 

“It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you are sure you know exactly what you want.” 

Step Two

Learn from your competitors 

“Leverage LinkedIn to discover and learn from whomever has the title that you want,” Asay said. “What do they do? How do they brand and position themselves within the market?” 

Step Three

Select adjectives that you want to be known for 

“How would you like to be described?” Asay said. “For me, that would be ‘patient-centric’ and ‘innovative.’ Think — if you were to leave a room, what is the one thing you would want people to recall about you?” 

Step Four

Whatever you do, ensure it is holistic

“My hairstylist, for example, is very holistic in her approach and how she aligns her image,” Asay said. “Zoe is a free spirit who works a few times a month in the U.S., travels often to Mexico and Costa Rica, and teaches yoga and English abroad. She also wears the most outlandish shoes and clothing you can imagine, which is appropriate in her industry, as creativity and innovativeness in fashion is strongly encouraged. 

“Zoe is very successful because she truly lives her brand. How do you live yours?” 

Step Five

Understand the importance of physical appearance

From one’s hair to one’s wardrobe, Asay said, people typically make judgments about someone within seven seconds of meeting them. 

“They are visually taking in what you are presenting, sometimes even more so than what you are saying,” Asay said. 

“What is important is that your wardrobe is both authentic and job-appropriate. It must convey who you are and who you aspire to be in an external package, which you outwardly demonstrate on a daily basis.” 

Step Six

Analyze and address your current brand 

“If you Google your name, do you like what you find?” Asay said. “You need to try to make sure that whatever is being put out by you, or has you tagged, is something you agree with or can adjust. 

“What currently exists about you across all social media applications, including Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube and more?” 

Step Seven

Ask around

Asay recommended creating a small list of a few different people from various backgrounds and perspectives whom one could speak with about his or her brand.  

“Consider them your personal board of directors,” Asay said. “Learn from them how you currently are perceived in different areas. You can then assess and address the gaps between where you currently are and where it is you ultimately want to be.” 

Conversation Starter

Reach Jennifer Asay at: jennifer.asay@mnk.com. 

Meg Fry | mfry@roi-nj.com | megfry3