How personal branding benefits your company brand (Part 2)
In my previous post, I talked about why I think personal branding will benefit any organisation as a whole. In this post I’d like to address some of the myths around personal branding for employees of large organisations.
There is a misconception that allowing employees to develop their personal brands can be very dangerous. Employers reason that customers will become so loyal to a particular person’s brand that if that employee leaves, the customers will leave with her.
This is admittedly a risk, but the fact is that people buy into people. Would you willingly trust a brain surgeon you’d never met just because he worked under a hospital brand you recognised? People buy products and services from people they feel they can trust.
When your employees build and market their personal brands, they are effectively building and marketing the company brand because people buy into them before they buy into your products, services or company.
Having said that, it’s also important you are also building the company brand, rather than relying solely on your employees’ personal brands. When a customer buys from you, they are effectively buying three things – the product/service offering, the company and the person selling the product or service.
If your product is good, your company brand is strong and your employees are developing and marketing their personal brands well, your customers will stay. The odd employee may leave and there’s always the possibility that clients will leave with that person, but employees who are building and marketing their personal brands are engaged. They are learning to fulfil their potential, which makes them far more effective at their jobs and ensures that they are effectively helping to develop the company brand at the same time.
Companies that assist employees in this regard are actually busy building a sustainable competitive advantage for the organisation by recognising that the old cliché is true – a company’s greatest asset is its people. In fact, a company’s greatest asset is people who have developed and know how to market their own personal brands for their individual success and the benefit of the company as a whole.
Building a personal brand is about identifying key strengths, talents and characteristics that make employees distinctive and then building on these. It is about understanding your employees’ personal values and helping them to identify how they can demonstrate these from a behavioural perspective. It is about passion for the work they do, a sense of giving back and, above all, it’s about identifying what makes them unique and different.
If they learn to do this effectively, they’ll not only increase their sales and boost their careers, but they will build your company’s brand and business as they do so.