Sawaram Suthar is CMO at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.
In the high-paced information age of today everyone has the image, for better or worse. Customers have access to different sources of information about the company, its CEOs, managers and staff. Hence, parallel branding is not only a made possible, it is quite often necessary in order to create and preserve positive image and reputation.
A personal or business brand can work just fine on its own merit, but if you come up with the way to make them work together, you got yourself a business force to be reckoned with. Operating on dual tracks can be downright confusing if you do not deploy an underlying strategy and plan. This requires you to invest some additional time and effort, but it will almost certainly pay off in the long run.
1. On the double
By aligning personal and corporate brand, you double the brand exposure and awareness. Like him or not, Steve Jobs was one of the true masters of parallel branding, and we all know how that worked for him. He became the symbol of the company, and it was impossible to imagine one without the other. Increasing the chance to be seen can be crucial for startups and small businesses and help them get the ball rolling.
Strong personal brand draws the attention of the public and makes you and your company a talking point. Steer away from controversy, of course, bad publicity does no one good. Okay, maybe the entertainment industry suggests otherwise, but in a business world bad news travels far and wide and can end even the greatest dreams and success stories.
2. Personal input
A strong and distinctive personal brand serves as a rallying point and a source of inspiration for all the people in the company. Employees will feel privileged to work with you, and will not avoid putting in some extra effort. Thus, a manager or CEO that garners respect and admiration will make workers more engaged and always stay on task.
Setting an example is crucial for business efficiency and smooth daily operations. Companies that are headed by branded businessmen have a serious morale booster built in, and a strong competitive advantage. It makes possible for a company to have a nice startup-like atmosphere even after entering a phase of business maturity.
3. Expertise and self-improvement
In a volatile and unforgiving market of today, you can never add too many strings to your bow. Nobody is guaranteed a business success or even a humble share of the market. By establishing yourself as an expert in a certain field you can give both your career and your company a serious boost. A better personal brand provides an improved position on the job market, more career opportunities and increased flexibility.
On the other hand, you should make sure your personal brand is not in opposition to the company’s image. They should work in harmony, which means that you are an extension of brand values, culture, goals, and vice versa. Always strive to improve and demonstrate your skills and knowledge because it reflects on your company, both its performance and public image.
4. Strong foundations
Brand integrity and consistency is the milestone of any attempt to engage in a successful marketing. That is why a conflict between personal and corporate brand needs to be managed and dealt with. Otherwise, your strategy and operations might collapse like a house of cards. Note that the corporate brand is by default much bigger than you and probably has more coin than you. Ultimately, the company might outlive you and go through a lot of different stages.
This means that sometimes you need to look beyond your personal interest and let the business goals of the company as a whole guide you. A business organization is not a personal stage for promoting your agenda and for your ego to get wild- at least they are much more than that. I needed some assistance from a creative agency to mend the two brands together, but the costs are nothing compared to the benefits this spurred.
5. Online synergy
People are quite visual when it comes to remembering and noticing things. When somebody mentions your brand, and image pops inside his head, and quite often it is some interactive or visual content on the web. You need to pay attention to details like layers, patterns, colors, fonts, and keep the big visual picture you want to create in mind. It is best to choose things that seem appealing to you and those that correspond with your personal brand.
This makes it easier to integrate things like your blog with the company’s website and direct more internet traffic your way. Make an impression that you are a credible authority in the certain niche. Create blog posts related to your company and industry sector, update your LinkedIn profile, and use social network profiles to engage people in business discussions. Write articles, share relevant content that promotes your core values and philosophy, and leave nothing to chance in terms of your reputation.
A double-edged sword
A confident CEO that keeps a close eye on his demeanor, style and tasks ahead, can be an invaluable asset to any company. So, let your personal and company brand work in tandem. They share the same fate, so you really have to roll up your sleeves and work out a solid plan. Personal brand is not just about self-promotion, for you must show business excellence and bring some qualities to the workplace.
Compare your personal attributes and traits with characteristics of the company and see what the best way to make them complementary is. A better position in the public eye makes you ready to stay ahead of the curve and to be competitive. Acting as an impostor is not a way to go, as you need to deliver value and relevant content to your community. Positive attention brings more opportunities for business networking and making connections with the customers, and enhances the buzz-building capacity of business. Yes, you might just see your sales going through the roof and the base of content customers expanding like you always dreamed of.
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