As an ambitious entrepreneur, you may have a dilemma: should I build a business brand or focus on creating my own personal brand? What will be better for my company, revenues, and me as a person?
Let’s first look at their definitions…
A personal brand is built around your personality: your beliefs, habits, interests, and lifestyle - your business will reflect them, and might even have your name
A business brand (also known as a corporate brand) is all about the identity of your business - what are the values, mission, and vision of your company?
Pros of a personal brand:
More appealing to customers :
People always want to connect with a real human. If they see who stands behind a service or product, they are more likely to trust the company and choose you over the competitors.
When your business is created around your persona, it can evolve together with you. No need to stay generic and stick to one niche, you can follow your interests and passions, making money in other industries too.
Great for “solo-businesses” :
Coaches, singers, speakers, writers, etc… are highly dependent on their personal brand, because it’s the key to become a leader in their industries.
Cons of a personal brand
Your mistakes can affect a business :
There are lots of examples when stupid jokes or wrong behaviour of public figures destroyed their business empires. So when it comes to personal branding, it’s vitally important to maintain a good reputation.
Harder to sell a personally-branded business :
Customers get used to interacting with a particular person -You. So once you decide to leave a company, the majority of clients will do the same.
Might be challenging for introverts :
If you’re the one who likes the privacy and prefers to stay behind the scene, it can be stressful for you to open up to the world and be visible most of the time.
Pros of business brand
Without one specific representative, business brands can be easier passed on to other people without confusion. So they tend to be more long-lasting than personal ones.
More immune to scandal or criticism :
It’s much easier to mitigate conflict situations when one member of a company commits an offense.
Perfect customer match :
Business branding is more customer-orientated. As you start with defining your target audience and identifying its needs, it will be easier to adjust the company’s brand to the requirements of your customers, and thus become more valuable for them.
Cons of a business brand :
More organization required :
When you just start promoting your brand, it will take more work and effort to raise awareness about what it is and what it does.
Permanent target audience :
You have to decide whom you want to serve fairly immediately, and once you’re locked in, it can be quite difficult to switch to another group of customers.
Less flexibility :
Unlike personal branding, it’s not so easy to change the direction and offer something completely different. In such cases, it’s more reasonable to open a second business with another name and trademark.
A compromise between a personal brand and a business brand.
The truth is that you don’t need to pick between one or another because it’s almost always a combination of personal and business branding.
You can begin with establishing your personal brand first because anyways it outlasts any business brand you’ll have. And meanwhile, you can work on the corporate brand of your business. Position yourself as an industry expert, but let your business has its own identity too.