You know that you’ve made it in the world of personal branding when you have a highly-recognized nickname and just the thought of you running for President of the United States creates a national buzz. Having a well-known tagline and distinguishing characteristics can also play an important role in attracting attention and followers.
My personal branding winner is Donald Trump…yes, “The Donald.” Mr. Trump is considering running for President and is making some good points and some controversial ones along the way. Is this a “PR ploy” or is he serious? No stranger to media stunts and controversy, Trump says he will give us his decision in June. From a publicity perspective, “The Donald” is handling this “campaign” with confidence and making his case on major media programs. Each appearance also provides opportunities for his businesses and TV shows to get extra plugs and promotion. Trump is no stranger to personal branding, from his shoot-from-the-hip persona and signature “hairstyle” to his many skyscrapers, casinos and other ventures that bear his name. Love him or hate him, “The Donald” is a personal branding winner.Speaking of “winning,” our personal branding loser of the week is Charlie Sheen. It is almost impossible to avoid talking about Charlie Sheen, seeing him on TV and the web or reading about him. The enormity of Sheen’s media coverage is staggering, but personal branding is not all about getting the ink, airtime or Twitter followers. Media coverage for the wrong reasons does not help to grow a well-regarded brand. While having a tagline or catch phrase is great, when it is distorted or misunderstood it hurts a brand. Charlie’s “winning” and other wacky quips face such mockery that they point to a losing strategy.
With a career that spans from a brilliant performance in Platoon to recently being booed and jeered on stages from Detroit to New York, Charlie Sheen has seen many ups and downs. He may want to take a cue from fellow “Brat Packer” Rob Lowe who eased his own career roller-coaster ride after a sex tape scandal by keeping a low profile, refraining from reactive commentary and owning up to his mistakes. Lowe put his past behind him and maintained his career and the favor of the Hollywood elite.
I say “sorry Charlie,” because his confused, disturbing and even jarringly incoherent messages and rants make him a personal branding loser. However, based on Sheen’s resilient career, I would not be surprised if he transforms to become one of my “winners” in the future.
Who would you nominate as your personal branding winner and loser?