How would you like to save marketing dollars by getting your brand valued within its community? Wait. The gentleman branding process doesn’t work for every person or brand. There's something I would like to point out to business people, regardless of your industry. There's one aspect which all of the online marketing, SEO, social media, black/white-hat tactics can't offer your company…personality. I try to pass on sentiments of great people and branding onto readers; but, I honestly can't ingrain or grant character; that's the man-in-the-mirror's job.
I liken gentleman (or woman) branding to white and black-hat sentiments. White-hat and black-hat are adjectives rooted in the SEO industry. The former label is associated to ethical practices while the latter gets practitioners thinking of questionable and unscrupulous practices. Let's be honest. I can't definitively determine your brand's intentions; but, mama didn't raise a fool. I'm pretty people savvy, even online. After some time, I see your brand and associated personalities…as they are; so do your brand followers and consumers. Are you leveraging me or my brand for ulterior purposes? I hope not. Doing so sheds different colored lights on you and your company's image. Don't be a fool; consumers and cohorts discuss such impressions.
Support Brand Evangelism
PointBlankSEO aka Jon Cooper posted earlier today on this topic. His article contains good insight about appreciating consumers and brand champions (whether they're paying or non-paying supporters). Does your brand or content attract a particular sub group of followers, ones who usually comment, tweet, follow, like, speak well of, and engage in all of those other behaviors, which give your brand the 'warm fuzzies'? How does your brand show appreciation? As Jon addresses, noticing those who notice you makes for a better community and facilitates branding. Another Jon, Jonathan Allen of Search Engine Watch, does a great job of appreciating SEW's brand followers and 'evangelists.' Take notice of the Twitter handles of Jonathan Allen and SEW, and how fans and brand supporters are appreciated and addressed.
Lend a Helping Hand
It's highly likely there are other personalities within your brand's space. Those who could use help understanding the industry as well as tactics and best practices. Company owners and practitioners, remember when you were younger, doing something mischievous, having your parents remind you that you are a reflection on them? (I hated that one; I was a toddler outlaw) The same holds true in the professional sphere.
What professionals do, how they act, is a reflection on their brand. Let's give another real-life example. I had a genuine, professional question, and asked for help. Why did I ask Chris specifically? He knows his stuff for one; more importantly (to me), he genuinely wants to help. I've asked others for help, getting no response whatsoever. The 'no responsers' still have my respect as far as knowledge of the industry; I'm not really sure of their trains of logic, but that's why they were asked to begin with. What do you think I think of their personalities and their brand after asking for help and getting ignored? Kindness is a timeless fashion...