The recipe to build a successful business includes a good product, investment, hard work, and a brand strategy that your ideal customer can relate to and find authentic. Your brand strategy drives everything from your marketing and customer experience to company culture and operations.
Creating a company brand with intention helps you build awareness among your potential clients and loyal customers. But don’t forget your personal brand or those of your employees. They too can bring awareness to your company and be an important part of your marketing strategy.
Building a personal brand and a company brand are not mutually exclusive; they can complement each other. The importance of each depends on your business goals and the nature of your business. Here are some considerations to help you determine when to use both in your marketing efforts.
Personal brand spotlight.
If you are in a service-based industry or a business where your expertise, reputation, and personality play a significant role, building a strong personal brand can be crucial. This is often the case for consultants, coaches, and influencers when YOU are the product. If you are the product, you might think about how your personal brand – how you show up in your personal/professional life – is different from the professional side. Be mindful of how you will use your personal brand to shine a light on what you are doing professionally.
Company Brand: For product-based businesses or larger corporations, focusing on the company brand is important. Business owners, executives, key salespeople, or product experts at the company can use their personal brands as ambassadors for the company putting a spotlight on the company to expand awareness.
Thought-leadership leads the way.
Company brands are essential for building trust in the stability and reliability of your business. They can give the impression of an established and professional operation. That’s why it’s important for your brand strategy to be built on an authentic foundation.
Personal brands can be powerful for establishing trust and credibility that supports a company brand. People tend to trust individuals more than faceless companies. If you’re a thought leader or expert in your field, your personal brand can enhance the trust people have in the business.
If your business is an extension of your personal mission, values, and expertise, a strong personal brand can help align your audience with your vision. It can also be useful if you plan to be the face of your company and want to establish thought leadership in your niche.
Pro tip: If your primary goal is to build a scalable, long-term business that can operate independently of you as the founder or current CEO, cultivate other team member’s personal brands to use as an authority in your industry.
Share the love.
Many companies struggle with what to post on their social media accounts or how to show up on the platforms. Utilizing the personal brands of key company personnel can provide a lot of interesting and varied content for your audience. Encourage your team to follow the company’s overall brand strategy and content pillars — topics that you consistently discuss and provide thought leadership on.
The importance of a personal brand vs. a company brand depends on your specific circumstances and goals. Often, a balanced approach that leverages both can be the most effective strategy. Ultimately, it’s essential to align your branding efforts with your business objectives and your target audience’s preferences.