Personal Branding is still foreign to many people, yet more than 15 years ago business guru Tom Peters and other consultants first suggested the concept of the personal brand. The concept was laughed at and scorned by conventional business and big brands believed that the power was with the brand and not with the individual … some people still think this is the case and they’ll cite the Apple brand after the passing on of Steve Jobs.
There are exceptions to any rule, but for most the shift has been towards the individual and many acknowledge to a lesser or greater degree the influence of the individuals within an organisation or more simply put the brands that work for the brand.
Yes for companies to be a strong brand you need strong brands working for you, the success of the main brand is often dependent on the decisions and choices that the individual brands within that brand makes.
So what impact does this have on a relationship marketing or the engagement strategy within an business? Simply put it has everything because only people can give you authenticity, commitment and integrity; companies can only say this but the people deliver these values.
Engagement strategies will always fail if you approach them from a brand building or a marketing point of view. They will give the old style necessary information, but they simply will not have the personality that makes up a connected business.
For a connected business strategy to be effective and to have long term sustainability you need to find the champions within a organisation and involve them in the complete process. They are the people who are natural connectors and are capable of giving your brand it’s own authentic personality.
When you freely enable people to build individual brands for themselves, you not only build a solid brand for your company due to the strength of the brands within the organization but you also save costs, become more authentic and you have a more productive engaged workforce.
Start encouraging others to build their brands and begin building your personal brand today …
WARNING – It’s not about YOU
When reading the above text you will begin to see that there is a lot of YOU in the context and this is often the failing of personal brands. If you allow your brand to become substantially bigger than your colleagues and the companies brand, you are no longer valuable within the strategy and you need to find bigger opportunities. However in most cases these personal brands outgrow their industry and slowly become irrelevant.
To avoid irrelevance the focus needs to be on those that are following your example – the approach should always be one of ‘How can my brand assist my colleagues to become more proficient and how can I leverage my brand to the benefit of the company from which I derive an income. When your personal brand is not about you, your brand is effective.
As a disruptor I notice and measure the effectiveness of the disruptions in the world. Will your efforts be worthwhile for you, your colleagues and the organisation you work for. If you would like to discuss your brand connect with me and I am willing to assist you in advancing your brand.
“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” — General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army