Blog

Does Your Personal Brand Belong in Your Business's Marketing?

Madison Taylor Marketing

Topics: Branding

Your personal brand is not so different from your business brand — it’s an image you present to the world. For better or for worse, people will start to personify a brand that they interact with, and your face as a representative of the company will start to matter.

Think about Elon Musk of Tesla, Gwyneth Paltrow of Goop. They both have a very distinctive, public personal brand that resonates with the people who patronize their company. They embody their brands even when they’re not acting in a business capacity.

Be True To Yourself

People don’t want to buy their cycling equipment from a company run by someone who doesn’t cycle. That goes for the values and principles of your company, too — if they associate you with your company, your values and principles need to align.

Don’t overthink it — this should be easy! Think about why you got into the business in the first place. What is your company’s purpose? What are you trying to accomplish? Your brand should reflect what’s true and authentic about you as a person, and people will notice that.

Take Patagonia, for example. Patagonia stands for a love of the outdoors, environmental advocacy, and responsible production. Yvon Chouinard, the company’s founder, has been embodying those principles for decades.

As early as 1970, he was inventing new forms of climbing gear that didn’t damage the rock as much as traditional pitons. In 1984, Patagonia opened a cafeteria serving “healthy, mostly vegetarian food,” and in 1986, Chouinard committed one percent of sales or ten percent of profits, whichever was greater, to environmental activism causes.

By founding a company that aligned with his personal values, Chouinard was able to make his brand and the brand of the company he founded align.

Your Social Media Presence Isn’t Just Personal Anymore

When you become noticeable enough that your personal brand is associated with your company’s brand, you’ll have to keep an eye on your personal social media accounts.

What that means is that your social media profiles will need to reflect your branding, both personal and professional. Are your profiles consistent? Are they well-kept and professional? If you brand your company as thorough and fastidious, misspellings and sloppiness on your personal accounts will reflect back on the brand in a negative way.

You’re Only Good As The Company You Keep

The more you associate with other brands who share the same values as yours, the better. Whether it’s partnership events, donations to charity, or publicly using other brands that match your values, the way you conduct yourself in public will circle back to what people think of your company.

Press Matters

When you become the face of a company, stories about you become stories about your company, and can be similarly helpful or harmful. Your reputation and your company’s reputation become intertwined — after all, customers and investors want to trust that you can make good on your business promises and goals, and they won’t trust you if you go too far off script.

Take Elon Musk, for example. Recently, he appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Rogan is known for conducting very long, loosely-structured interviews, wherein guests can talk about whatever they want. They’re also live, with little to no editing involved.

During that interview, Musk smoked what appeared to be marijuana. Smoking marijuana is of course legal in California, but it’s illegal on a federal level and still seen by many to be a moral failing. Tesla’s stock dropped upon release of the footage, and the problems haven’t ended there.

Nomura Instinet — one of Tesla’s biggest advocates — has lowered their rating of Tesla from “buy” to “neutral,” citing Musk’s erratic behavior.

"Mr. Musk's behavior is well documented (taunting short sellers, NY Times interview, cave diver accusation, earnings call outburst, Joe Rogan podcast) and likely contributed to the onslaught of executive departures in recent months," he said.

"Notwithstanding improving fundamentals, we believe that Tesla is in need of better leadership (an about face) and are moving to the sidelines until we see what happens with management."

No Going Back

Building and projecting a personal brand can be a great boon to your company. It humanizes you, gives your company a face for people to identify with, and allows them to relate to your goals and vision more readily than if you were some bland, faceless company.

But it also carries risk. If you decide to cultivate a personal brand — or even if you don’t, and your personal brand becomes well-known enough whether you cultivate it or not — your reputation and behavior are tied to your company for as long as you’re involved there.

Of course, lots of companies have strong corporate brands without strong personal brands behind them — most of us have no idea what the CEO of Target or Coca-Cola are like as people, and that’s by design — but if you want to tie your personal brand to that of your company, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the risk.

Next Step

Your company’s marketing should be the secret sauce, ever elusive unicorn, and magic bullet that your company has been waiting for. Bottom line, it should be bringing you that money.

Strategic Marketing Inbound Marketing
Quick and Easy Ways to Grow Your Brand
Blog
Quick and Easy Ways to Grow Your Brand

Who are you as a brand? Establishing a brand that customers identify with and feel connected to is an important part of ...

Why Branding is Important for Marketing
Blog
Why Branding is Important for Marketing

We talk a lot about branding — how important it is to establish a brand, how you need a coherent message and image when ...

How Marketing Turned Red Bull Into A Cultural Icon
Blog
How Marketing Turned Red Bull Into A Cultural Icon

In 1987, Dietrich Mateschitz discovered an “energy tonic” in Thailand, designed to make the drinker alert and awake. He ...

Marketing Tips For The Easter Bunny
Blog
Marketing Tips For The Easter Bunny

Easter is coming up, and that means lots of kids will be expecting a visit from the Easter Bunny. But we were thinking: ...

How To Stand Out In A Crowded B2B Industry
Blog
How To Stand Out In A Crowded B2B Industry

The B2B world has a reputation for being kind of bland and boring — you’re marketing to businesses who know what they ...

What's Your Brand Personality? Finding Your Voice
Blog
What's Your Brand Personality? Finding Your Voice

Consistency in your branding is crucial — people will start to assign a personality to your brand, whether you like it ...

How Nike And Colin Kaepernick Changed The Branding Game
Blog
How Nike And Colin Kaepernick Changed The Branding Game

On September 6th, during the third quarter of the NFL season opener, Nike aired a new TV ad titled “Dream Crazy.” The ...

Marketing: Impossible - How Kodak Died
Blog
Marketing: Impossible - How Kodak Died

There was a time when Kodak was the king of the photography world. Kodachrome film captured the Kennedy assassination ...

Think Branding Doesn't Matter? Think Again
Blog
Think Branding Doesn't Matter? Think Again

Branding is tough, partly because it’s so intangible. It’s hard to point to exactly what constitutes a company’s brand, ...

Competition Means Your Marketing Needs To Stand Out
Blog
Competition Means Your Marketing Needs To Stand Out

Businesses need to grow. It’s the fundamental business objective that drives all the others — turning a profit, hiring ...

Make Your Brand Sing with These 5 Tips
Blog
Make Your Brand Sing with These 5 Tips

  What’s branding? And how is it different from marketing? The simple answer is that your brand is how your customers ...

7 Reasons It May Be Time to Rebrand Your Business
Blog
7 Reasons It May Be Time to Rebrand Your Business

You don’t have to be a marketing genius to understand that branding is an essential part of the game at every single ...

Need More Help? Talk to the Experts.

Contact Madison Taylor Marketing