Knowing Your Personal Brand: What Academics Can Learn From Marketing 101

Emily Borman-shoap, Su-ting T. Li, Nicole E. St Clair, Glenn Rosenbluth, Susan Pitt, Michael B. Pitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Academic departments are increasingly borrowing from the business world as they encourage faculty members to consider their personal mission, vision, and values statements in crafting their plans for engagement and advancement. Business organizations have long known that although doing the work necessary to refine these internal guideposts is important, failing to understand what consumers actually perceive about their product is detrimental. In the business world, perception is reality, and understanding the external shorthand of what consumers perceive-that is, the brand-is essential. Academic clinicians have a brand whether they take ownership of it or not. A faculty member's brand is both what their work (academic products) and how they do their work say about them to those who encounter it. In this Perspective, the authors explore the brand framework informed by marketing literature, and they outline a four-step process for faculty members to identify their own personal brands. The authors share how knowing one's academic brand can (1) help faculty members approach projects and other responsibilities through the lens of building or detracting from that brand, (2) provide a framework for determining how faculty members might best work within their institutions, and (3) help faculty members better understand and advocate their own engagement and advancement. The authors also share a paradigm for finding one's brand sweet spot at the intersection of passion, skill, and institutional need, and they propose how working outside of this sweet spot is a setup for failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1293-1298
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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