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In humanity and business, overall perfection does not exist.  Sure, individuals and companies can display moments of perfection, but it is not attainable indefinitely.  For example, MLB pitchers like Felix Hernandez, Randy Johnson, Catfish Hunter and Cy Young are among only 23 players to ever pitch a perfect game in the history of professional baseball.  While they had a perfect performance, they all lost games – plenty of games – after perfection.  In business, you could give a presentation exactly the way you rehearsed it, or close a deal in record time with the perfect client.  But, you will undoubtedly be faced with slip-ups and rejection down the line.

Individuals and companies looking for perfection in their personal branding or corporate branding are chasing a myth.  I believe that is one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to ‘branding’ in general.  People see branding as an attempt to be flawless or perfect.  The reality is we are all human, which means we are flawed.  And, businesses are a group of humans, therefore also meaning that they are not perfect.

The real challenge in personal branding or corporate branding is to manage other’s perception of you over the long term.  This begins with a set of values and identifying what you really stand for.  Next, it is about managing your reputation and message to reinforce those values.  There will come a time when actions, words, or decisions go against your desired brand.  If you have a positive & powerful brand, then the market will be quick to forgive & forget; and a small slip-up will be overshadowed by all the positive branding ‘deposits’ that you’ve built up.

Instead of chasing the unattainable, strive to have a great brand and have a defensive game plan in place.  Damage may occur by something you do directly, or someone else trying to tarnish your brand.  Either way, your long term branding strategy will determine success or failure in the reputation economy.