Summary of Be Your Own Brand

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This thin book elaborates on the interesting premise that you can achieve deeper, truer personal relationships by managing your life as if it was a marketing campaign and you were a brand. The idea is shocking on the face of it, since the general stereotype of marketing, advertising and branding is not a parallel for deep truth and conviction. On the contrary. It is hard to think of yourself as a marketing object, akin to a bottle of beer or a box of laundry detergent, even if you are clearly out in the world selling yourself. But the initial shock creates enough interest to compel the reader to keep reading. This lightweight, somewhat meandering book offers one fresh idea: you can assess and adjust your impact on others by seeing yourself as a quantifiable branded entity. Otherwise, it ultimately offers little that is particularly new or deep, but – and this is a worthy caveat – finds that it does provide an amusing, intriguing new perspective on some fundamental and enduring truths about behavior and self-awareness. And, if it proves to be just one more mechanism for understanding and presenting yourself, careers have depended on less.

About the Authors

David McNally is a writer, speaker and moviemaker who has sold movies and training programs to Alcoa, American Express, Pfizer and many other big companies. His other books include Even Eagles Need a Push: Learning to Soar in a Changing World and The Eagle’s Secret: Success Strategies for Thriving at Work and in Life. Karl D. Speak is president of Beyond Marketing Thought, a brand-consulting firm. He also writes for various trade magazines. His clients include Target, The Wall Street Journal, Stanley Tool Works and other major companies.



The Meaning of Brand

A brand isn’t a product or service. It’s an emotion, a perception, a memory, an experience. Everybody has, whether they know it or not, a personal brand. You mean something to everybody in your life, and that meaning is your brand. Your brand is what the people around you perceive you to be. Maybe you think people don’t “get” you. If so, then there may be a gap between what you think you are and what other people think you are. Closing that gap is an important part of your personal brand management campaign.

Businesses use brand management techniques to build firm, lasting relationships with their customers. You can do the same thing. You can use principles drawn from business to manage your personal brand. Your relationships are the most important part of your life - and your brand is all about relationships.


Think of the people you know. Close your eyes and say their names. What comes to mind? Their brand! Your perception of each person is that individual’s brand. Whether your perceptions are negative or positive, you’ve unconsciously branded each person. That impression exists in your mind. Your brand exists the same way...

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