Two Steps to Creating a High Recognition Point

Today is Tuesday, so this post is on creating positive personal impact.

A strong personal brand is a great way to create positive personal impact.  Last week, I was chatting with a long time friend, Roger Rountree, about his business, Recognition Point (  As we were speaking, Roger took out a piece of paper and drew a simple graphic that he uses to illustrate what he calls the recognition point. 

According to Roger, the recognition point is at the intersection of value and visibility.  The higher the value and the higher the visibility, the higher the recognition point.  Think iPod for example.  For most people, an iPod has high value.  It is an easy to use piece of hardware that provides the user with the opportunity to create a personal entertainment slots sites for a relatively low cost.  Also, iPod has high visibility.  Any time I’m on a flight, it seems that half the people sitting near me are listening to their iPods.  If you pick up a computer magazine, you’ll find a whole lot of ads for iPod accessories.

So with high value and high visibility, a product like the iPod has a high recognition point.  Everybody knows what an iPod is, even people who have never used one.  This high recognition point enhances iPod sales.

Roger works with companies to help them create a high recognition point.  However, as he and I were speaking, I started thinking about how the recognition point concept applies to personal branding.

Let’s use me and my new book, “Straight Talk for Success” as an example.  I am using “Straight Talk” to help me build my Common Sense Guy brand.  I gave the first draft of the book to many people for comment.  After I made the revisions they suggested, I was pretty sure that I had a high value offering.  People who read the book told me that my five keys to success — Self Confidence, Positive Personal Impact, Outstanding Performance, Dynamic Communication Skills and Interpersonal Competence – made sense and were presented in a simple, straightforward, easy to read manner. 

But, high value is only one part of the recognition point equation.  To create a high recognition point for “Straight Talk”, I needed to create high visibility.  I am doing so using a number of channels.  This blog reinforces the five keys to success.  I post on one of them every day.  Second, I use my weekly newsletter to reinforce the blog and to add other content related to career and life success.  Third, I conducted a massive book launch campaign to create awareness of “Straight Talk”.  It became an best seller in the motivation category last month.  Fourth, I have been contacted by publishers in Saudi Arabia, Korea and India who are interested in acquiring the rights to publish and distribute “Straight Talk” in their countries.

“Straight Talk for Success” and I are moving up the visibility scale.  We haven’t achieved the recognition of a book like “The Last Lecture,” but our recognition point is improving everyday.

Now, lets’ talk about how this applies to a personal brand.  In yesterday’s post, I mentioned advice that Diane Prucino, the managing partner of a large law firm in Atlanta, gives to young associates.  “Find some area of practice that no one else does and that you see a need for.”  Ms. Prucino is suggesting that it is important for young attorneys to brand themselves by becoming an expert in area of the law where there is that is currently unmet.   Becoming an expert in such an area would help a young attorney to bring value to his or her firm.  By writing articles, blogging and handling cases in this area, he or she would be creating visibility for himself or herself.  In other words, his or her recognition point – and personal brand – would be high.

This advice applies to everyone.  The first step is to determine your personal brand, the three or four words you want people to associate with you.  These words, and your brand, should be of high value to your company and in the industry in which you work.  The next step is to do whatever it takes to make sure that your name is associated with these words in a visible manner. 

When I was a young guy, I focused on developing a personal brand of hard working and reliable.  To do this, I volunteered for projects and extra work.  I made sure that the work I did was of the highest quality.  I did this to position myself as someone of high value to my company. 

I also joined and actively participated in ASTD, the professional society most closely aligned with my work.  I wrote articles for their newsletter, participated in panel discussions at meetings and chaired a few committees.  I sent the articles I wrote to my boss and his boss.  I invited my boss and his boss to the panel discussions where I was a participant.  I asked them to speak to the committees I chaired.  I did these things to heighten my visibility – in my profession and with important senior leaders in my company. 

In short, I created a strong personal brand by becoming an employee of high value, and one with high visibility to senior leaders in my company. 

The common sense point here is simple.  A strong personal brand is important for creating positive personal impact.  Value and visibility are two components of a personal brand.  High value without visibility means that you will toil in obscurity.  High visibility without value means that people will see you as an empty suit – someone who talks a good game, but doesn’t deliver.  People with a strong personal brand have a high recognition point.  They bring good value and they leverage this value by becoming highly visible.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense and to subscribe to my weekly newsletter “Common Sense.” 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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