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Remember when the word brand used to refer to big and powerful companies? Over the years, this marketing term has evolved and it now refers to people too.

YouTube is more than social media - being a YouTube star is a serious career. Just ask people like Caspar Lee, SA born YouTuber with over seven million followers, and an estimated annual earning in the millions of rands.

We spoke to Sylvester Chauke, CEO of DNA Brand Architects, about what makes a person a brand and why YouTube is a great platform for building a brand.

What is a human 'brand'?

Branding no longer refers to organisations or products only. It’s become about individuals who have over the years built a reputation through their body of work. A typical example of a strong brand in South Africa is Minnie Dlamini, who is known, loved and celebrated as a media personality. To develop your personal brand, you need to know your target market, and have a clear, consistent identity.  

What's the importance of social media for someone who’s got their eyes set on becoming a brand?

Social media is a new-age platform for showcasing and sharing brand activity. It's a great way to engage and excite followers and it also creates opportunities to work with other brands. So if you are a brand or are hoping to build one, you need to establish a great base of followers over social media platforms.

YouTube has been a big platform all over the world and South Africa is starting to catch up with more vloggers making use of the platform. What do you think makes YouTube a great platform?

YouTube’s a great platform because it transcends location and time, which would otherwise not be possible, if it was not for technology. It makes it easier for a talent to be discovered. Another big plus is content on demand which has taken over the world!

For someone who aspires to be a brand, how can YouTube be an advantage?

YouTube can be used to showcase what your talent or brand is all about. Many talents have been scouted from YouTube and the great part is that this can be done without making a big financial investment. You don't need a fancy studio or a producers - just a cellphone with a decent camera that can shoot video.

YouTube is a platform where you can easily create your own look.

Who's your favourite South African vlogger and why?

My ultimate favourite vlogger would have to be Suzelle DIY. She is fun and incredibly useful!

Take your brand to the NXT LVL

If you want to be a social star, you're going to need some great tech. If you're under 25, get amazing deals on devices, airtime and data bundles when you sign up for NXT LVL.

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