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Headquarters Report - March 2015

By Edward P. Salek, Executive Director and CAE

Elevate your brand with STLE

Manage your image by connecting with a brand that has been a mark of distinction for more than 70 years.

BRAND MANAGEMENT HAS LONG BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH COMPANIES, especially those that market consumer products. Brand names such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Apple are recognized around the globe. Some brand names are so powerful that they become the generic term for a product or process. Who among us has not asked for a Kleenex or run a Xerox copy?

Business-to-business marketers, including those in industrial lubricants, emphasize branding for many reasons as well. It can be a way to coordinate global businesses and to create more of an emotional attachment with customers.

While the benefits of a strong corporate or product brand are familiar, another type of branding is attracting increased attention from the marketing experts of the digital age. Personal branding, the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands, is one of the top 10 business trends for 2015, according to Shama Hyder, founder and CEO of Marketing Zen Group.

Hyder, who writes and speaks on business, technology and marketing in the digital age, made this forecast in an issue of Forbes magazine earlier this year:

More professionals will realize that personal branding is no longer optional. The question is no longer IF you have a personal brand, but if you choose to mold and cultivate that brand versus allowing it to be defined by default. More and more professionals in 2015 will realize the importance of claiming and refining a personal brand.

While I am not an expert on personal branding, I do know that STLE offers technical professionals a unique opportunity to build a personal brand by leveraging the identity of our organization. Several years ago, when we conducted an extensive market study about STLE’s marketplace position, the research report concluded:

STLE is recognized by many members as being one of the foremost tribology experts in North America, and there’s a sense among many in the field that being associated with STLE, either through membership or certification, is a mark of distinction.

One individual respondent added, “By joining STLE, I enhance my professional reputation, gain credibility among my peers and become a go-to individual in the eyes of my supervisors.”

The message is clear, even if the process of building your brand is not simple. Associating with another strong brand is an effective way to elevate your own brand.

For TLT readers who are not already members, the choice is obvious and affordable at only $145 per year for individual membership (or $17 for students). Corporate membership, a way to build the company brand and enhance the industry profile, is $1,205 per year for the basic level.

If you already are a member, don’t limit your thinking. You can demonstrate expertise and build your personal brand through STLE’s three certification programs, by publishing in a journal or presenting at a conference or Webinar and by serving in a volunteer leadership position at a local section.

This month marks the start of STLE’s 71st year as a leader in the field of tribology and lubrication engineering. Making STLE part of your personal branding campaign is a great way to demonstrate your potential in a world where careers are shaped by what people believe you can do for them.


You can reach Certified Association Executive Ed Salek at esalek@stle.org.
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