Business Brand or Personal Brand?
When it comes to branding, different people have different interpretations, and views on exactly what branding is, especially young entrepreneurs just starting out.
While this holds true, an even larger majority assume business branding and personal branding are two different things.
In this post, we present our perspective on the matter to enable you to make better-informed decisions and brand choices for your business.
What, Why, Where? Brand?
Before answering the question of which should take priority between creating a Business or Personal Brand, let us look at what branding actually is, it’s origins and why branding is important.
In its simplest terms, branding means putting your mark on a something.
Like writing your name on your exercise book in school. -Your exercise book is unique, with your handwriting, style of taking notes, and everything in between.
Same goes for your business. Business branding means putting your mark on your venture, craft or franchise…keyword is “Your Mark”.
Putting your mark on any business, implies, setting up your business in a way that reflects your beliefs, shared values, principles and to an extent, your personality.
Just like it takes visionary founders and entrepreneurs to build visionary companies, a vital component of your business brand outlook starts from you the owner.
The first step therefore in choosing a brand images for any venture is taking a deep personal introspection into oneself to identify what values and beliefs you share and how you intend communicating those beliefs to others through your business and the services it offers.
Take for example, you can’t build a business that gives priority to quality and standards if you, as a person (The founder) are all about cheap, substandard and cutting corners.
Everyone speaks about the iPhone and Apple as a company, but that brand image of Innovation, genius, originality and thinking differently are all tied to Steve Jobs core as a person.
Branding therefore is not the product nor the company, but their way of life, shared values, beliefs and what makes them different and influences people’s choices in that field.
A personal brand is a generally agreeable perception of an individual by his/her community or industry based on that individual’s expertise, accomplishments or actions in that field or industry.
Your personality and your personal brand are both important in developing a brand for your business. While your personality refers to the intangible attributes a person poses, your personal brand relates to a particular skill set, abilities and influence a person has in a particular field.
Business Branding is a way of creating and telling people your business message. i.e. What your company represents or stands for using logos, names, colors etc.
Do note however, that these are mere representations and the perception of your business by others will depend on the way you do business, service your customers and keep to your brand promises.
Personal Brand Vs Business Brand
Your business and personal brands are important and both should be developed as difficult as it may be.
For example; If you are a freelancer without any company structure, it is advised you build a personal brand image by creating content around your work, getting exposed by showcasing your work and finally building influence.
However, it is also important to give your brand a business structure and create a business brand from there. This increases your authenticity and range for doing business.
Focusing on your personal brand alone (You as a person) without regard to your business name, logo, etc, puts your actual business brand behind the curtain.
Building a business brand without a personal brand is common but in recent times, if you can, also build a personal brand for yourself and if any of your teammates or staff has potential for having a personal brand, encourage them, provided it is in line with your company brand values.
Finally, just as important as a brand name is its brand message.