Are you a Personal or Business brand or both

In all the FREE brand audits I have conducted recently, I have noticed one key question keeps popping up Should I be marketing myself as a personal or business brand? So this has prompted me to write an article.

Think of well known entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, singer Adele and motivational speaker Tony Robbins. In the beginning it is all about building a rapport and making new connections with your target audience, telling people your story. They are all the personal walking, talking brands for their businesses. It’s all about getting your true personality and core values across.

Also, think of well known business brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Apple and Virgin.  Apple and Virgin cross over as they started out as personal brands, but over the years developed in to powerful business brands where as Coca-Cola have remained a pure business brand from the beginning.

So let’s get started

How could a personal brand work for you?

What would you like people to associate with you when they think of your name? Is there a certain industry in which you want to be perceived as the “go to” person? Or what are the general qualities you want to come across in your brand image?

Look at the singer Adele. In my view she has built up a strong personal authentic brand. Her voice is a gift of nature and cannot be copied (however much anyone tries!) and her music and success have all been built around her own life journey. It’s her voice, personality and iconic look that gives her a personal brand.

How could a business brand work for you?

This is where a logo and brand identity has to say so much about a business. It needs to become iconic and long standing, show its value by being dependable.  An example of an iconic business brand is Coca-Cola. Since1886 Coca-Cola have always kept with the same dominating logo and colour palette and provided the same consistency in their product even with competitive brand wars with rivals Pepsi. But still grown with the times and developed their brand to embrace current trends! There is no personal name or face shouting out at us on advertising media, it all comes back to developing an iconic logo and brand.

Combining both Are you the face and leading force of your brand?

Take Richard Branson for instance, in my opinion he has weaved his mission and values into his brand identity from the beginning of his journey (Personal Branding) and we have seen his brand develop over the years from an independent airline, competing with British Airways until now an all-round competitor with mobile phones, TV, experience days, broadband, holidays and so much more dominating the industry as the go to person / company!

So his business brand Virgin has now become a massive umbrella brand. If one of his business brands fails, such as Virgin Brides, it does not effect his business empire as he always has that personal brand to fall back on. We feel that we can trust Richard Branson. He has created a brand that is consistent and instantly installs trust with new and returning clients.

The same leading force is with Steve Jobs and Apple. Steve Jobs was the backbone of the brand identity of  Apple. He installed trust in the Apple buyers and it was by no accident that this happened. It was purely down to the creation of their powerful brand identity which turned them in to today’s business brand and leaders of their industry. Why choose anyone else?

So to put this in a nutshell, if you develop a strong enough personal brand in the first place, when you find yourself on an exciting brand journey branching out into other areas, you always have your personal brand to fall back on. Whether your write a book, create an online coaching programme or provide a service it all comes back to YOU! After all you may work for a company that works alongside other businesses, but it’s people working with people and that’s what makes business relationships so valuable.

Few hints and tips when developing your brand

  • Market your personality it’s all about building valuable relationships
  • Do the research & build solid foundations, identify your clarity and niche
  • Who are your ideal clients you would like to attract?
  • Align your branding with your ideal clients and know where they hang out & which social media channels do your ideal clients relate to?

Remember Not everyone is going to like your brand or product! This is fine & they are just not your ideal client! It’s about crafting your brand around the clients your want to work with.

These are just a few hints to get your started! Get mood boarding, get creative and design a brand that really resonates with YOU!