Don’t Worry About Being Called ‘PENCITRAAN’

In the last couple of years, we might get familiar with the term “pencitraan”. Jokowi getting in a well? Pencitraan. Syahrini stirring up sensation? Pencitraan. All that is done by a public figure will almost certainly be called out as pencitraan.

Pencitraan actually has a synonym with a more positive connotation, that is called personal branding. Yes, a brand is not only needed by businesses or products and services, but a person also needs it too! And personal branding is not exclusive for celebrities or politicians or even athletes. Any progressive person needs to understand and do some efforts to establish personal branding.

So, are you saying that I need to be pencitraan?

That is what might immediately be popped out of your mind. This is a commonly mistaken mindset of pencitraan or personal branding. Pencitraan or personal branding is not all about creating a good perception about you, and not about how to get you famous.

Now, I’d like to ask you, what is the objective for a business to have the obligation of the brand? 1) To be recognized, 2) To stand out among other brands. That is exactly why people need to do some pencitraan as well, recognition and standing out. But the problem is, some people are only focusing on gaining fame. The sensations that some celebrities do sometimes could only help them as far as being the word of mouth. But does that make their reputation seem good and differ them from the others?

Personal branding equals self-impression.

That’s why the ideal process of personal branding starts from knowing yourself first.

A brand, be it a business or a person, needs to determine their positioning (how they want to be perceived by the consumers) but before getting to it, the business or person has to start from their values. What values do you have and hold, that would differentiate you from the others. That would be your job to ask yourself.

Now let’s say that A hates people that are frequently not on time, and A believes that one of their strengths is that they have never been late no matter what the condition might be. This indicates that discipline is one of A’s values. When A knows what their values are, they could distinguish themselves from others. 

Why does knowing yourself matter? It’s so that your self-imaging is honest. Just as the example above, A’s brand will be genuine and true to themselves if they really value discipline. Don’t build your personal image as a disciplined person when you come late often. A brand is all about consistency, and once you miss out on it, people will assume that your personal brand is not genuine.

Personal brand equals reputation

Another mindset that is also commonly mistaken is that people jump immediately to self-promotion whilst building their personal brand.

If you have your own business, you might be familiar with the term 4P in marketing, which is the abbreviation of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Well as you might have read in literature, products always come first and promotion comes last. There should be a product to be promoted, right?

But in reality, in the branding process, a lot of people jump right into promoting when they don’t even have their product.

‘Wait a sec, aren’t I the product?’

Yes, yes, you are the product. But if you promote yourself as a ‘designer who you could call when you need a design’, when your portfolio isn’t even good enough or even non-existent, how could you convince people?

It would be better to focus on building the “product”, that is your reputation before you boast on people about who you are, what you do, and what you’re good at. When you have a well-built product and reputation, you will automatically be the talk of the town without even feeling the need to promote yourself.

Remember that brand is all about consistency, so the quality of your works have to be consistent. When the consistency has been reached, your personal brand will be formed without you even realizing. People will come out to you with project proposals and job vacancies because a personal brand is about reputation.

So, are you still against pencitraan?

The article has been translated & edited by Amalya Adyanissa. This original article was here.