We are entering a dangerously cluttered marketplace. No, this is not the starting line of a poorly written suspense novel, but a reality which is facing all of us, albeit to different levels and extents. Those who have developed strong insights into customers and are willing to make bold stakes in the future are ofcourse less petrified with their environment. In this marketplace, the marketer has fewer options to differentiate the offerings than before. One of the roads less travelled is the path of showcasing organizational capabilities through the use of thought leadership. While industries like consulting firms and healthcare providers have leveraged this very well, others are a little slow on the uptake.
5 Reasons for Personal Branding:
1. As a leader, you cannot not communicate: This is not a typo. Think about this – can you not communicate? You might say, “yes, if I do not speak to anyone, I have not communicated anything”. Right? Wrong. You have communicated that you do not want to communicate. This is a communication by itself. Customers, consumers, employees, team mates, peers – all expect you to communicate to them constantly on what is happening with your brand. This is a baseline expectation. If you do not communicate, someone else will. That someone else is called your competitor.
2. The organizational brand is the sum of personal and products brands: The way customers and consumers make buying decisions can very closely be linked to the people who have made the products. This is more pronounced in B2B brands. Steve Jobs, Narayana Murthy, Azim Premji, Mark Zuckerberg are illustrations of this phenomenon. How does the recognition of the organizational brand be better? By enhancing both personal and product brands. Product branding is oftentimes more obvious to marketers. Personal branding takes a back seat.
3. Personal Branding makes a big impact in sales cycle: Recent trends have proved that in sales cycles where personal branding (through positioning subject matter experts) has been used leads to a 21% improvement in sales success. Outputs of personal branding – whitepapers, strategy papers, patents, blogs are all known to provide familiarity and favorability with the brand and it’s creators. On the contrary, a brand which does not provide a peek into the creators can lose out.
4. Your GQ > IQ: GQ is your Google Quotient If I search for your name or the topic on which you are supposed to be an expert on and no externally referenced content appears, then you do not exist as a professionally. If Google can’t find you, you do not exist. The only way to be recognized as a sound professional who has perspectives and progressively these perspectives matter, is to create intellectual properties on which your personal brand is strongly positioned.
5. Helps in managing stakeholders: In a day you as a leader or a prospective leader is managing several stakeholders- customers, leadership teams in your organization, your peers, team members, competitors, academia who interact with you, partners, members of your professional networks etc. Personal branding helps you to project a uniform picture of yourself to these constituencies in a format which projects you in a positive light. You should be a known professional before they begin interacting with you. This puts your organization and yourself in very positive position in the emerging relationship.