Personal Branding Programs

“Build you skills. Build your brand. Build your future.”

Ironbound Personal Branding programs – “Create the awareness of, responsibility for and help teach some of the skills to help build and protect  your brand”. Everyone is their own brand.  Everything you do positively or negatively affects your brand.
To date over 1,428 students have been through Ironbound USA’s educational personal branding programs.  Each program has a typical class size of 14-16 and is a minimum of 18-20 class hours usually over a 15 week period (approx 1 to 1.5 hours per class).  Our emphasis is to create innovative programs that teach important and necessary professional and social job skills.  We accomplish this by discussing and analyzing current and relevant brands which are popular and resonate with high school students.  For example, we discuss Nike, Red Bull, DC Shoes etc and how they build and protect their brands. Through the Power of Commonalities we learn from those brands and then apply that learning to our personal brand. 
In addition, we emphasize and teach other professional and social skills that help build the students brand.  For example, (prior to the pandemic) we learned and practiced a professional hand shaken and emphasize eye contact.  We discuss why this is important and critical to your personal brand building.  We don’t take this for granted.  We discuss what does it mean if you don’t look someone in the eye when shaking their hand and what could be the potential outcomes for not doing this. This is fundamental and critical knowledge and skill for high school students starting their careers.   
During the Ironbound Educational Programs we learn what is expected in a professional interview.  What are the 15 questions that you will most likely be asked in an interview.  What are 5 MUST KNOW questions that you are most certainly will be asked…. like…Tell me about yourself?  And then we practice those critical questions.   Our goal is to demystify the interview process and give students confidence in their ability to successfully represent themselves.  Students are definitely more confident knowing what is expected of them and by  practicing some basic and important interview questions. 
We call this applied common sense.  Our Students get it and embrace it.
What is a Brand?
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.
– Seth Godin

Why study BRANDS?

People buy brands.  Brands make statements to others and to yourself. There are many reasons people buy brands.  One of the first questions we pose to the students in our program is:
Which would you choose:  
  1. A t-shirt that was made in Italy from the best cotton in the world but had nothing on it. Plain no logo. 
  2. A t-shirt that was made of much cheaper and inferior cotton that had a Nike logo on it. 
Overwhelmingly 90+% of the students would choose the Nike shirt. Yes, an inferior shirt but it has the Nike swoosh on it. Why? We ask the students to ask themselves why would you choose the inferior shirt from Nike.  The answers are very entertaining and illuminating.  We study brands because brands like Nike, Red Bull and the like resonate with students.  They are interested in them and by studying them we can impart lessons of personal branding.  The bottom line is Nike is a brand and so are you.     

The Power of Commonalities

The power of commonalities is one of the foundational principles that all our programs are built on.  
Here are the 3 steps to power:
  1. Be open to learning & learn from everything; 
  2. Believe we have more in common than we have differences; 
  3. Combine learning with commonalities to create new and better solutions.
Many great inventions and products were developed by combining something learned from other disciplines & industries into new solutions.  Here are 2 excellent examples of the power of commonalities and the stories behind them.


After a hunting trip in the Alps in 1941, Swiss engineer George de Mestral’s dog was covered in burdock burrs. Mestral put one under his microscope and discovered a simple design of hooks that nimbly attached to fur and socks. After years of experimentation, he invented Velcro — and earned U.S. Patent 2,717,437 in September 1955. Benyus said it is probably the best-known and most commercially successful instance of biomimicry.

Bullet Train

High-speed trains can literally cause headaches. That’s why Japan limits their acceptable noise-pollution level, which can be particularly high when the trains emerge from tunnels. As they drive through, air pressure builds up in waves and, when the nose emerges, can produce a shotgun-like thunderclap heard for a quarter mile. Eiji Nakatsu, a bird-watching engineer at the Japanese rail company JR-West, in the 1990s took inspiration from the kingfisher, a fish-eating fowl that creates barely a ripple when it darts into water in search of a meal. The train’s redesigned nose — a 50-foot-long steel kingfisher beak — didn’t just solve the noise problem; it reduced power use and enabled faster speeds.