You… The Brand: A Conversation with Bernadette Rivell Daniels

Bernadette Rivell Daniels is principal and founder of Identity Brand + Design, a strategic, full-service branding and design agency located in Ponte Vedra Beach. She landed in Florida in 2009 after a high-powered career in local and network television in New York City and Philadelphia. She’s built her business on the idea that in order to succeed, companies and people must tell a great story about who they are.

Rivell Daniels  says that there are several steps to creating a memorable brand, whether it’s for a new network or a candidate newly on the market for a job.

Bernadette Rivell Daniels
Bernadette Rivell Daniels

Step one is to figure out who you are – identifying your core values, strengths and skills. Most jobseekers make the mistake of trying to appeal to every employer, Rivell Daniels  says.  If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that not every job is a great match for your expertise or your personality. You’ll have a preference for larger companies or small, informal versus buttoned-down, or for profit versus mission-based organizations.

The same process of figuring themselves out works for companies as well. You can see evidence in the recent evolution of cable network branding.  They are transitioning from trying to attract every viewer to (in their own words) becoming “branded video destinations”… or, in simpler terms, “specializing.” TBS has shifted to comedy, while TNT specializes in drama and USA makes quirky “characters welcome.” They understand their own strengths and just as importantly, they understand their ideal target audiences.

Rivell Daniels says that it takes courage to decide that your audience isn’t the entire universe; you have to believe that when the right customer – or employer – comes along, your value will be apparent. “Once you find the right niche for what you offer,” she says, “selling yourself is a lot easier.”

Understanding your audience helps you understand what messages will resonate.  Once you have identified your core values, skills, experience and expertise, you can craft a branding statement, a sort of tag line for your career path.

Great branding statements are memorable because they distill what you stand for and your differentiation into just a few words. How few words?  According to marketing agency CEO Patrick Di Chiro in this great article on effective company brand statements, one or two is ideal.

That might sound almost impossible unless you’re a strong brand like Volvo (Di Chiro says that its one word branding statement is “safety.”) If you can’t get down to one or two words that describe your talent, you can work on a phrase; expand your statement into a sentence that will resonate with people you meet.

Rivell Daniels says that your brand statement should be part of your regular networking, including appearing on your business card.  As a graphic and web designer, she deplores the wasted space on most people’s business or calling cards. “Use the back of the card to list your skills or publish the link to your social media pages,” she suggests. “Jobseekers should take their cue from companies and develop collateral that enhances their brand and makes them memorable.”

Bernadette Rivell Daniels will offer more tips for creating and promoting “You… The Brand” at the August 20 meeting of the WorkSource Professional Network. Contact Patsy Partin at WorkSource to make a reservation for the meeting at

Do you have a personal branding statement?  Leave a comment and share yours.

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