Submitted by Danny Pettry II, M.Ed., M.S., LPC, NCC, CTRS-BHS
Build Your Personal Brand – A Self-Concept Activity
Focus: Self-awareness activity/ Goal-planning activity/ authentic living/ character building, values clarification
Theoretical perspective: Existentialism: Who am I?
For: Individual activity or small group activity
Objective: create your own brand identify (discover who you are and what you represent)
Supplies needed: paper, markers, worksheet, cut out pictures of various symbols, brand colors print-out
Ask everyone to share their name and to identify their favorite brand. Select a specific type of brand. This could be shoe brands, watches, shops in the mall, restaurants, sports teams, etc.
In example with shoe brand:: hi, my name is Danny. My favorite brand of shoes is Island Surf because they’re easy on my feet and I like the way boat shoes look.
What do these symbols mean?
Show the group members various symbols on cards and ask them to identify what the symbol means to them:
These symbols can include: smiley face, heart, clover, diamond, superman/woman logo, dollar sign, star of David, cross, infinity sign, rainbow, semicolon, sunshine, cloud, United States Flag, Canadian flag, Mexico flag. Add extra symbols that you can think of.
In example: The clover means, “Irish” or “lucky.”
What brand stands for cheap fast food for kids? They’ll answer something like McDonalds.
What is a brand that stands for well-prepared food? They’ll list some of their favorite restaurants.
What is a brand that stands for cheap, small car with great mileage? Something like a Smart car might be suggested.
What is a brand that you don’t trust? Perhaps a person had a bad experience with a brand.
Group leader can insert commercials and jingles:
- I’m loving it is for which brand: Answer: McDonalds
- 15 minutes can save you 15% on car insurance is for which brand? Answer: Geico
- Just do it? Answer: Nike
- The real thing? Answer: Coca-cola
- The new generation? Pepsi cola.
Share with group members that even famous people have well-known name brands and images:
- Tiger Woods: golf
- Serena Williams: Tennis
- Michael Jordan: basketball
- Tony Hawk: skateboarding
- John Green: Coming of age novels for teens
- Orpah: inspiration for living an authentic, true life.
Describe that a brand is a promise to people on who they are, what they stand for, and what they deliver.
FedEx distinguished their brand from the United States Postal Service (USPS) and UPS by this tagline: “when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”
Ask the group these discussion questions:
- What does it mean if you’re name is Mud? They may not have heard of this expression. Share with them that it is a term used describe a person a who has been disgraced or in some type of scadal.
- What does it mean to be black balled? They may not have heard of this expression. Share with them that it is related to billiards/ pool. The black 8 ball is the last ball to be hit in pool. Describe when a person is blackballed that no one will do business with them. Share that it is illegal to discriminate. Point out that a person could be blackballed if they’re continuing to demonstrate undesirable traits like lying, cheating, stealing. People in society will start to avoid people who do this like the black 8 ball in pool.
- Dell computers had a spokesperson that would say, “Dude, you’re getting a Dell.” he lost his position representing Dell computers due to some behavior.
- Jared from Subway lost his position due to some inappropriate activities as well.
A person’s brand can easily become Mud if they’re not constantly working on being the best person they can be.
Brands can and must grow and change over the years so they can stay relevant. There is hope for you if you have a bad name.
- Problem: Blockbuster didn’t evolve and now they’re extinct. Younger kids (and teens) won’t know what blockbuster is. Provide education about it being a store where people could rent VHS and DVS for a few nights and return them.
- Making changes: Netflix changed. In 1999, they were a mail deliver DVD rental company. Today, Netflix is better known for their live streaming movies. They changed. They grew.
- Making changes: Hollister provided clothing for outdoors and hunting. Today, they provide fashionable clothing for people who are younger.
- Making changes: The 19977 Apple II computer vs and Apple ipad today in 2021. Brands must grow and change.
Share with group members that If brands can change then so can you. People are capable of shedding an old brand image (like a reptile’s skin) and grow into a new identify.
Therapy often suggests giving up ineffective thoughts, feelings, and behavior and replacing them with newer, healthier, effective ways of thinking, feeling, acting and being.
Ask group members to share aloud what colors mean to them.
These colors can include: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, brown, black, white, ,etc.
Print out a handout on brands and colors. Here is a link to one:
Provide group members with a worksheet with these four questions based on the brand identity that they want to create.
Remind them that this isn’t indenting their current brand (which may be based on ineffective interpersonal skills, ineffective emotional regulation skills, ineffective character traits).
Remind them to create the brand image that they aspire to be in life.
- What is your NAME? This is your brand.
- What are your brand Colors and explain why.
- What does your name brand stand for? List traits and values.
- What is your brand’s symbol or logo? Explain why.
Share these two with group members before they have an opportunity to answer the four questions for their own personal brand.
These four answers were based on the poem, I am Meth.
- What is your NAME? I am Meth
- What are your brand Colors? Black like the dark in the bottom of a dug out grave.
- What does your name brand stand for? Seduction, lies, cheating, stealing. Taking.
- What is your brand’s symbol or logo? Tombstone because it takes your life.
Share your own personal brand with the group members. Don’t disclose anything you’d rather keep private and personal.
Here’s an example of my personal Danny Pettry brand at work
- My name is Danny Pettry
- My colors are navy blue for trust and grey became I’m simple and not attention seeking.
- Words that describe my brand include: dedicated, professional, determined, persistent, passionate, caring, responsible, forgiving, trustworthy, open-minded to learning and growing, booklover, reader, writer, creator, coffee drinker, lighthearted/ humor (I’ll stop here because you don’t have
- Brand image: I use the same personal brand image as the one I use for my business Rec Therapy Today with an optimistic person growing out of a book.
Allow group members to share their four answers.
Don’t pressure anyone to share anything they’re not willing to disclose at this time.
Wrap-up question: ask each group member to share aloud something they learned or gained from this activity session that can help them with being true and authentic with the image they want to be.