Photo credit: The Fader

In today’s society HBCU students cannot allow others to Brand them or label them. There are billions of people on the planet, each person from conception to death has a story and a personal Brand. Students cannot allow others to tell their story, to Brand with error about who they are, and what they are about.

HBCUs have a rich history of culture, creativity, innovation and invention. They must tell their own stories to collectively expand the potential of graduates and influence the world. How others see you is important, society should see you beyond skin tones, hair styles, and accept the beautiful imperfections that we each have and should embrace in ourselves.

This is why an HBCUs Brand is important to help define outside of visual and cultural perceptions. Why would anyone allow mass media to define them, to tell an incomplete and inaccurate story that only sees or tells false/half truths. HBCUs even today are fighting for not just financial support, they are striving for respect and recognition too show their continued and contributions in this nation.

In 2013, St. Paul College closed after 125 years, a rich history of building men and women, their stories continue in history. There are many other HBCUs that have not survived history, they live on in their students and the accomplishments still being achieved. Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics Medicine are the legacy in the 20th and 21st century. The Brand of HBCUs should continuously be modified and adapted for telling a story of growth, hope and preparing for the future. HBCU students personal Brands should be self reflective, what do students want society to see, that do HBCU students want societies perceptions to be?

The work that goes into building a Brand is not an exact science, it allows that person to be reflective. HBCU studens must find out what their Brand is personally, asking themselves where they are heading: What do they want to do with their life? How can they match their career aspirations with their personal Brand? How do they want society to see them? What makes them unique? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? HBCU students must identity why their Brand is important? Understanding your “Personal Brand” how you present yourself to others understanding your “Brand Identity” the qualities that make you unique and different from others. HBCU students need to understand the importance of their Personal Brand in starting a career, standing out from others, personal self confidence.

Celebrities are not the only ones that benefit from Personal Branding. There is competition for employment and career stability is fierce. Having a Personal Brand workig can be the difference between an entry level position or executive positions.

Controlling your Brand helps you control how you are perceived, when you see Brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Coke, Pepsi, Empire, Scandal, The View and other products. Each one you expect a certain thing from them. The same should be held for HBCU’s as well, what do you as the student expect people to expect. Your Brand can make you memorable or nefarious, notorious or noticeable, you decide.