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By Nancy Rosens

We don’t often hear an expert say, ‘I don’t know – you’ll have to help me with that.’ The usual response is one which directs you to be or to do what the expert tells you. But is this really what you want or need? Isn’t authentic personal branding a collaborative effort between the expert and the client? Why would you buy something that doesn’t really fit?

Experts are everywhere, offering advice on everything from how to become wealthy (tip: check out their bank accounts before you hire them) to French cuisine and, of course, online branding. Their businesses are built on their advertised expertise, whether deserved or not, and there’s one to suit every potential client. They can be branding specialists, marketing mavens or design divas, but most will promise to make a difference to your company’s vision and profitability.

No matter whether you want to change your brand or gain a renewed perspective on what you do, many experts will come back with their own ideas about how to effect change. Is this really the way to find a genuine brand? Surely a good branding strategy is distilled through collaboration between the expertise of the branding company and the knowledge of the client and their business?

Whether you intend to use the services of a fashionable agency with branding as their core activity or just a single consultant, you must focus together on your and/or your company’s needs. No one will understand what you need as well as you in most cases anyway. Although your expert may understand branding technologies and techniques and how to bring your team together to improve your brand, they don’t have your intimate knowledge of what makes your company tick. If you want an authentic personal and corporate brand that lasts the distance, collaboration is your true mechanism for change… and aligning the personal brand values of your team with the values of the business is the most successful strategy to increase your reputation, sales and revenues.