Monday, 14 November 2011

Keep taking the tablets

Everyone has a personal brand, whether they realise it or not. It’s the picture that people build up of you in their minds eye as they collect ‘clues’ to who you are. Some of those clues will come online (they’ll Google your name, check out your LinkedIn profile, see what you’re tweeting, browse your Facebook updates, watch any YouTube clips).

And some will come offline (they’ll shake your hand, see what you’re wearing, hear how you’re speaking, check out what you’re driving.)

But there’s a place where both online and offline clues come together, and that’s with your choice of tablet.

It’s something that’s come to my attention recently; I popped into the Apple store on Regents Street with the aim of asking a few questions about an iPad – nothing more. But I got caught up in the buzz and ended up walking out £499 lighter, clutching my iconic plastic bag.

When I got to my next meeting, the person said, “Oh, you just got an iPad, my husband loves his.” The same happened at the meeting after that, “My boyfriend bought it for me and now I couldn’t live without it.” And all of a sudden, I was a member of ‘the club’ and those people bought into my personal brand a little bit more. (The subconscious thinks along the lines of, “We have something in common - I have an iPad and I’m a good person, so it follows that she’s a good person.”)

But then something happened…I took the iPad back. Now just stop a minute and take note of your reaction to that.

If it’s anything like the ones I’ve received from iPad owners, you’ll think I’m mad and perhaps some of the buy in I had will disappear. Because people seem genuinely disappointed when I tell them I just couldn’t get on with it. And telling them I now own a Samsung Galaxy 10.0 instead doesn’t seem to cut the mustard. I’m officially ‘out of the club’.

But then I realised something: that’s exactly where I want to be. Because the biggest motivator of my own personal brand is ‘doing things my way’ (which usually means doing things differently from the majority). Reports that Apple has 73% of the tablet market and that, among would-be buyers, only 6% plan to buy the Galaxy mean the niche club I’m currently a part of is likely to stay that way…which suits me fine! So the tablet I chose does indeed give the right clues to my personal brand.

So what clues do you give about your personal brand with your choice of tablet? And what clues to you get from others’? Leave a comment to let me know.

About Me
You may remember I presented at the Glasgow and Edinburgh New Media Breakfasts earlier this year on the subject of personal branding. It's a pleasure to be guest blogging on the fatBuzz Blog, hopefully I can bring you some useful information in the future. Meantime, you can read more from me on my own Spark Branding blog here.

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  1. Not wanting to be part of the crowd is often a good thing - I am forever telling my kids "not to be sheep" when it comes to peer pressure - but I would draw the line at not using a brand or device just because it is popular. There is a good reason that the iPad is dominant 10 years after tablets came onto the market.

    Like many people, I couldn't see the point of a tablet untilI got my hands on one. After a few minutes with my wife's iPad2 I was hooked. By contrast, I hate her Android phone because I cannot get it to do what I want. In case anyone is wondering what I'm doing with her phone, it is usually acting as the help desk when SHE can't get it to do what she wants.

    I believe that people should buy devices based on their use case - not on what they think it says about them.

    All the best,


  2. I have to admit I tend to agree with Jack here although I do appreciate where Jennifer is coming from. Perhaps the tablet analogy was too restrictive because, when it comes down to it, there really aren't many serious choices in the tablet market.

    You also have to take into account that many people using tablets are doing so for work purposes and, in lots of cases, they don't get to choose which one they use.

    I would be interested to hear from any readers what other lifestyle choices you think reveal something about us - perhaps the car you drive or, your pets?

  3. Well, that makes three of us who agree with Jack: you should choose your tablet for your use not simply your personal brand. There's a bit of a chicken and egg thing there though: does your personal brand in its own way shape what you want to use it for?

    Jack couldn't get the Android to do what he wanted and it turned out he was suited to the Apple. Ditto me for the iPad (my sister will give testament to my furrowed brow and constant swearing on the first night I had it) and it turned out the Galaxy's right up my alley.

    I think the iPad is a beautiful piece of technology and can see why it's #1. My point was more that, having gone for the Galaxy, by coincidence its niche market better fitted my own brand so I'm even happier with my choice.