Personal Branding segment has gained a lot of traction in recent times… we have an influencer industry built on the concept. However, is this just the flavour of the month or if there some substance to the buzz?
I remember being completely influenced by business tycoons like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Ambanis… I mean, weren’t we all? In fact, take a company name and you will immediately recognize the person associated with it… talk Apple and Steve Jobs comes to mind, the Ambanis for Reliance, Jeff Bezos for Amazon and so on. But what sets them apart is the way they represent themselves. Their believe in themselves and what they do, their offering to the world and therein lies their Personal Branding. Because corporate branding and personal branding go hand in hand. You are the entrepreneur building your business and the said business and your personality snapshot to the world need to be allied.
What is it really?
Branding is not just a logo design or identity design – these are small segments of it. Branding is the exercise which helps in understanding the core values of the product you are creating and aligning the two. It is about curating the voice of the brand to the customer, the feeling and experience and benefits it offers, and understanding the end customer segment. It includes going into the psyche of the demographics of the customer segment to make it a memorable experience, which leads to repeat customers. It then moves to the revenue streams that could be created out of the services, how to foster awareness in the market and efficient customer-friendly roll out.
Once branding is achieved then comes the process automation part, where each segment is understood and aligned with the process required to achieve the desired results. For example, for awareness, companies may use digital marketing where newsletters are sent to the customers outlining the use and benefits of a product or service, while others only opt for ATL and BTL methods. Building processes in every vertical of business has a proven track record. Getting it wrong results in lack of understanding, doubts and frustration in the business which devalues the product and stems revenue opportunities.
About Personal Branding
Every business is started by an individual or a group of individuals, all working on an idea which reflects their identity in the work they do. If you are doubtful, undisciplined, procrastinate and working with a negative mindset, this is the culture you are bringing to your business. It will reflect in your work, the employees around and even in the services you offer. This attitude does not bring in desired results on any front and can even end in business closure. Ultimately, the way you present yourself says a lot about your ethics, your values, and the way you do business. It is a self-introspection exercise to work on barriers like fear, doubt, worry and negativity, and make you stand out in a crowd. It helps in maintaining the self-respect, understanding and confidence one requires to run a business.
Personal branding is like business branding, but it is self-directed. It’s about how you comport yourself, how you dress, talk to yourself or others and how aligned these values are to your business offering. People with high self-esteem are often seen influencing the world, talking on stage, representing themselves, and by extension their product or service more confidently and, as a result, making the big bucks. Aligning your personal branding with the branding is important because that’s the culture you are bringing to the table and that will be experienced by everyone. I have seen many highly knowledgeable people with low self-esteem and that has always been a stumbling block to success.
Once you align your personal brand you will see a dramatic shift. You will be happier and more confident in the services you provide your customers will increase, sales figures will rise, and people will talk about you and your company as if they were one. Richard Branson is known for Virgin Records, Anna Wintour is synonymous Vogue, Dubai is known for Sheikh Mohammad, Elon Musk is known for Paypal and Tesla… these are all people who understood the simple principle of “People buy people first.”
In a fiercely competitive global playing field you cannot, as an entrepreneur especially, ignore the power of personal branding to get your company soaring. Personal branding is the name of the game and mastering the rules of the game decides whether you stand in the bleachers looking on or take your place on the field with the other brand bosses.