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Inside Out Personal Branding (IOPB): using Gallup Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 and 360Reach

Texas A&M University's professor Paul S. Busch and Scott W. Davis recently published an article for the Marketing Education Review titled, "Inside Out Personal Branding (IOPB): Using Gallup Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 and 360Reach". The article’s two main objectives are: to present an evidence-based approach to developing the self-awareness component of a personal brand, and to analyze the impact of the assignment on student learning outcomes. Below you will find an excerpt from this article. Access this complete article online by clicking here.

A personal brand is an individual’s reputation and unique image, which can be a crucial differentiator in today’s hypercompetitive job market. This article’s two main objectives are: to present an evidence-based approach to developing the self-awareness component of a personal brand, and to analyze the impact of the assignment on student learning outcomes. The Gallup Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0, which provides an inside (or internal) assessment, is used in conjunction with 360Reach, which provides an outside (or external) assessment, to guide marketing students through an inside-out approach to developing their personal brand (IOPB). Students report that the assignment helps them understand their talents, improve self-awareness, and prepare them for their job search and career planning.

We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: If you’ve got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you started out. But with opportunity comes responsibility. Companies today aren’t managing their employee’s careers; knowledge workers must, effectively, be their own chief executive officers. It’s up to you to carve out your place, to know when to change course, and to keep yourself engaged and productive during a work life that may span some 50 years. To do those things well, you’ll need to cultivate a deep understanding of yourself—not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence. (Drucker, 2005, p. 5)

In this passage, Drucker articulates why developing self-awareness is so important to an individual’s success. We assert that true self-awareness is the foundation for creating a personal brand. But what exactly is personal branding? In this article, we review the literature to better understand how personal branding is defined and how this concept has been applied in classroom settings. We then discuss a new approach for an assignment we refer to as inside-out personal branding (IOPB), which is designed to help students leverage the benefits of understanding and creating their personal brand.

We organize the article as follows. First, we summarize key takeaways from branding literature and review other personal branding assignments that informed the IOPB. Second, we present an overview of the IOPB assignment. Third, we detail student evaluations of the assignment and analyze the implications. We conclude with a discussion of results, an acknowledgment of the study’s limitations, and opportunities for future research.

In this research, we had undergraduate business students and graduate-level students in a marketing leadership course engage in this personal branding exercise. As a result of completing the IOPB assignment, students were better able to articulate their unique strengths and talents in their resumes by using language from both the Clifton StrengthsFinder and 360Reach. This deeper self-understanding also helps students improve personal and professional relationships and portray themselves more effectively during interviews and in their social-media profiles. These outcomes are evident in follow-up surveys with students who completed the IOPB assignment.

Paul S. Busch & Scott W. Davis (2017): Inside Out Personal Branding (IOPB): Using Gallup Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 and 360Reach, Marketing Education Review, DOI:
10.1080/10528008.2017.1367930

Access this article online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10528008.2017.1367930

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