Is your personal brand an integral part of your company’s branding strategy? If so, you might be missing the boat.
Personal branding is a very delicate and confusing thing for most businesses. In certain industries, a founder’s personal brand can be integral to the success of the organization as a whole. David Suzuki, for instance, has built an empire around the strength of his own personal brand. Or think of William Shatner, who can use his personal brand to sell anything from space exploration to breakfast cereal.
On the flip side are men like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, whose personal brands have evolved out of the success of their organizations. Despite the social media push that encourages every would-be entrepreneur or home business owner to create their own personal brand, there is a serious gap between the concept of personal branding and the reality.
Simply put, personal branding isn’t for everyone, and it doesn’t have to be.
Most businesses don’t rely on the charisma and energy of their founder to create a loyal following—and many of the brands that try don’t succeed, either because their front man isn’t the right person for the job, or because they exist in an industry that doesn’t need to be marketed that way.
With the exception of public speaking and a few service industries, there’s no need for a personal brand to enter the sphere of a company’s branding, and it can even become a distraction. We recommend that most of our clients focus on creating a corporate brand that does not include a lot of emphasis on their personal brand. Keeping things clean, simple, and intuitive for the customer is the name of the game, spelling out long-term, solid branding success you can build on.