Peter York has written a great piece in this quarter's Intelligent Life magazine that explores the Personal Branding industry.
More and more business-folk are turning to the style-gurus and personality shapers who have been busy shaping and re-making the images and reputations of the politicians, pop-stars and minor celebrities that have been so prominent throughout the noughties.
Whether you place the blame at the feet of Dale Carnegie who wrote "How To Win Friends & Influence People" in the thirties, or Tom Peters who wrote a piece called "The Brand called You" for Fast Company in 1997, the reality is that the personal brand and individual's need to shape and manage it, has become one of the big "positioning" issues for this decade.
The reality is that our industry is no longer just positioning brands, an off-shoot of it is helping identify the core equity and positioning message for the marketers and brand-spokesmen (think Richard Branson & James Dyson) behind the brand too.
York's contention is that the result of the combined influence of the business schools and the style gurus has been to produce a sort of homogeneous, bright, shiny, enthusiastic personality adopted en-Mass by the majority of industry contenders.
Interestingly, Yorks' final observation is that the time may be right for the re-emergence of the truly individual personal brand: authentic, difficult, divergent and potentially sublimely lazy and snaggle-toothed.