I may have to change the title of this blog series. The title is “Contemplating Reinvention”, but I read a blog comment recently stating that “reinvention” has a negative connotation.
It’s an interesting point. Reinvention suggests that you have to start all over again. Throw out the old and bring in the new. If a consumer products company decides that a certain toaster no longer meets the needs of American families, they usually create an entirely new model. The old model is discontinued or sent to sale aisle shame.
If the same CPG company decides to rebrand the toasters, it’s likely the new model will look similar to the old. The new model will do basically the same thing, but there are new and better ways to toast that bread.
The evolution of toasters seems like a weird analogy for the rebranding of women. Professional branding, though, is most successful when you think of yourself as a product or service that has to be marketed strategically. Rebranding doesn’t require a totally new invention. Instead, rebranding takes the best of an existing product or service and adds many attractive new features and capabilities.
Reinvention sounds good, until you actually have to make it happen. It’s exciting, but also a little daunting. Not everyone has the time or inclination for an all-out “Eat, Pray, Love” style transformation. It’s much more palatable if you realize that it’s not necessary to shed your old skin and create an entirely new person.
Rebranding is an easier process: set out to build on all your strengths and take them in a new direction. There’s no erasing what you did or who you were previously: you can add on, enhance, tweak, stretch and find new ways to recycle your personal brand.
- Give yourself a break: do an easy rebrand instead of a reinvention overhaul.
- Think of your skills and experience as a product that can be marketed toward interesting work or volunteer opportunities.
- Internalize the “recycling” concept. Find ways to use your old skills in new ways.
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