I often talk to small business owners about their “brand”.   25 years of marketing experience has convinced me your brand is the cornerstone of your marketing.  It defines who you are and how others see you.

So you can imagine how I felt reading a blog post on the Buzz Bin  which begins with “I don’t care about your personal brand”.  Wait!  You are a marketing professional, how can you even say that out loud?  Or say this:

The online community — a.k.a. the market — doesn’t give a damn about your personal brand.

The only people who give a crap about personal brands are the person trying to prop them up as a business model.

But as I read the balance of the post, I have to agree with the authors point.   He distinguishes between brand and reputation.   Branding is fluff, created in a marketing vacuum where you start to believe your own PR.  Reputation is what you earn, by your acts, deeds and contributions to the community.  And so the real question for small business owners is not what does your brand promise, but what does your relationship deliver.