Book review: Brand You by John Purkiss and David Royston-Lee

Book review: Brand You by John Purkiss and David Royston-Lee

As the author of a popular communications and marketing blog, I get sent a fair few business, marketing and leadership books for review.
I try to make time to read them all as you never know what they’re going to be like and what you might learn from them.
But I have to admit at times doing this does test my patience a bit.
Some of the so-called business books I read comprise little more than unsubstantiated assertions about a particular theory or technique combined with a few unanchored anecdotes peppered around the publication.
Don’t get me wrong – I know business books are written for a different audience than academic textbooks – but for me a good book that’s offering guidance or suggestions about a particular aspect of business needs to have a sound theoretical grounding, rather than just a point of view and not much more besides.
I recently read Brand You – the second edition of the book about personal branding and how to manage a personal brand in the digital age –  by John Purkiss and David Royston-Lee.
I’ve read plenty of books before about people as brands and how to apply brand management practices to your career.
Many of these are, in essence, little more than guidance about preparing CVs, networking and thinking about your online presence in the context of your professional life as well as your personal life – with a bit of marketing 101 thrown in for good measure.
But Brand You was a refreshingly different take on this. Yes, there were some of the practical elements that are common in similar books in this market, but what underpins the book is the concept of archetypes.
The book’s assertion is that the best way of managing your personal brand is through the identification of a small number of archetypes that you should be able to call upon throughout your professional activities – and being true to this set of archetypes at all time is key to success in personal branding and, in turn, career progression.
The book discusses a number of situations, such as the way we behave in the workplace, applying for jobs and personal marketing, and in each considers how evoking different archetypes helps build a consistent and powerful personal brand.
The authors get the balance between theory and application about right for this type of book. Their arguments have challenged me to think about some aspects of my personal branding, both offline and online.
You can see the book at Amazon here.
Disclosure: free review copy supplied by publisher


I work with founders and senior leaders in rapid growth businesses. My focus is building resilience, coherence and high performance in teams and organisations to enable sustainable business growth.

1 thought on “Book review: Brand You by John Purkiss and David Royston-Lee”

  1. Hi Simon!
    I am currently doing my final year PR and have to choose a dissertation topic and I am really struggling! I am doing an internship at a online based community for danish people living in London which will involve finding sponsors and to promote the website through various ways of my own choice. Do you think this is something I could take advantage from when choosing a topic as I have all the information available about the company? Would be extremely grateful if I could get an answer from you!
    Kind regards


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