In our society, which makes many determinations about a person’s character from his or her actions, high visibility is important to position oneself to success.
Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management, argue the importance of branding for individuals as well as for products to help them stand out among the crowd: “For branding strategies to be successful and brand value to be created, consumers must be convinced there are meaningful differences among branding in the product or service category.” Therefore, professionals need to distinguish themselves from their competitors.
Sadly, most workers are invisible to their management. Some employees believe that if they work hard and are loyal to their organizations, they will be promoted and rewarded accordingly. However, these individuals often see less qualified and less talented people get promoted ahead of them.
Renowned Pastor Richard S. Brown Jr. underlines this misunderstanding of this current culture: “Everyone wants to be outstanding but no one wants to stand out.” Today’s organizations promote individuals who know how to shine. From a marketing perspective, these individuals understand how to use visibility to promote their personal brand.
In the book, High Visibility: The Making and Marketing of Professionals into Celebrities, Irvin Rein, Philip Kotler, and Martin Stoller examined the role that celebrities play in society and the fact the everyone is involved in either producing or consuming celebrities. Yet, when you discuss this reality openly to others, most managers and executives would argue that it is the individual technical performance or merit of their work that gets them ahead.
However, most folks will not take advice from a ‘no named’ or unfamiliar expert, given the choices between an unrecognized and a celebrity expert. Therefore, high visibility can open doors to opportunity.
Rein, Kotler, and Stoller note: “Today for the visibility-conscious professional, fame is the ultimate accomplishment. Well-knownness has evolved into celebrity, and in today’s society, that means power and money – not just to its possessor, but also to businesses, institutions, political parties, causes, entrepreneurs, and charities.” 
For the savvy professional, gaining visibility goes to understanding what’s important to his or her organization or targeted institution. This task requires doing the necessary research to determine the organization’s priorities and goals. Furthermore, this matter requires understanding the personal characteristics of the key decision makers and looking for opportunities for high visibility. The rewards of high visibility can be great.
Rein, Kotler, and Stoller further explain: “Our society is generally quite willing to pay this ‘celebrity premium,’ to reward those who take the risks to become the highly visible people we so love to revere or revile.” Of course, high visibility normally requires a great amount of sacrifice on an individual’s part. Often, it can mean taking a job that no one wants because odds of success are slim.
As in many stories highlighted in the magazine tabloids about celebrities, relationships can also be a casualty of high visibility. As society searches for more heroes and fulfilled fantasies, celebrities and fame will forever be a part of our society. Consequently, high visibility will afford opportunists with more fortune than the Average Joe. Therefore, working professionals need to understand how high visibility can be used in order to provide them with advantages that are more competitive.
Please discuss the visibility for professionals based on your own work experience.
© 2013 by Daryl D. Green