Guest Post: Jerry Ketel Spiffs His Brand

Editor’s note: Jerry Ketel is one of Portland’s leading figures in the agency business. He runs a firm with his name on the door and he’s President of the Portland Ad Fed. Recently, Ketel attended a class that moved him. Here’s his account.
Instead of navel gazing, maybe it’s time to rebrand yourself.
Recently, I had a job change, not because of a layoff, quite the opposite, I was kicked upstairs in my organization. I moved from a position that I was very comfortable with to one that I am growing into; going from creative director to President. It has me a bit frightened, and wondering, “What the hell I am doing?” So I decided to get down to basics and figure out what I want, what my goals are and how I’m going to accomplish them.
However, along the way I took a slightly different approach to the problem. Sure, I wrote down my goals, my personal mission statement, a vision for who I want to be and began laying out my goals. And then my friend Saga invited me to a personal branding workshop. What I found there was a revelation: yes, I can apply all the knowledge I have as a creative branding expert to…myself.
Sure, I know this isn’t a totally new concept. I bought and read the Tom Peters book “Brand You” (frankly it’s a terrible book). I’m very aware that celebrites and politicians use branding concepts–because of that I looked at this opportunity with a jaundiced eye. But I found that in the seminar I went to, I was indeed able to discover the essence of my brand.
I would love to tell you the details of my experience but that would steal from the carefully selected program of my instructor, Lynette Xander of Wild Alchemy. She is a strategic planner by trade and has come upon an alchemy for applying the planner’s trade from the corporate to the personal. It’s part brand discovery, part group therapy and part creative visioning. At the end I I did a mood board, discovered my essence and even created an anthem for myself.
It was fun, enlightening and sometimes uncomfortable but in the end I feel much more connected to my personal brand. I’m glad I did it.
PS. I’ll be happy to share my anthem with those who are curious. Just shoot me an email. J.Guest



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.