Personal branding is the process whereby people and their careers are marketed as brands. It has been noted that while previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging. The term is thought to have been first used and discussed in an 1997 article by Tom Peters.
The makeup of a personal brand has four main elements: personality, appearance, competencies, and differentiation. An individuals total perceived value takes into account these elements and is considered to be his or her core message or elevator pitch to an audience.