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life purpose, personal branding; personal brand examples; authentic personal brand; personal brand

Your question answered! Should I have a Personal Brand or a Business Brand?

branding business personal brand May 24, 2023

What comes first the chicken or the egg? You may have an opinion or you just shake your head and think ‘who knows’! Weighing up whether you should have a personal brand or a business brand is kinda the same. Imagine the egg is your product, service or output and then imagine the egg is the person behind that. You may have created the egg/product or you may have outsourced it.

Regardless the opportunity to tell the story of the egg and the chicken (you and your business) is one to be prioritised, in my (chicken before egg) opinion. But in the interest of this article let’s take a balanced approach. 

Both personal branding and business branding have their advantages and considerations. So let’s work through both and identify the advantages and disadvantages.


The advantages of using Personal Branding in your business:

🐔 Visibility and Recognition: Personal branding allows you to build visibility and recognition for yourself as an individual. It can be especially beneficial if you are in a field where personal expertise, reputation, and connections are important. This can be done as the face of the business, as does Martha Stewart, or a face within the business, like Richard Branson.

🐔 Career Advancement: A strong personal brand can help you advance your career, attract new opportunities, and differentiate yourself from others in your industry. Like many reality TV stars, Kim Kardashian has curated her profile to attract brand deals, develop product lines and is an example of the heights that can be achieved. 

🐔 Authenticity and Trust: When your personal brand is aligned with your business name, it can create a sense of authenticity and trust. Customers and clients often appreciate knowing that there is a real person behind the business, which can foster stronger connections and relationships. Your personal brand can lend credibility and build trust as people perceive you as the face and driving force behind the business. It might also feel deeply satisfying to know that you impacted peoples lives.

🐔 Thought Leadership and Influence: Personal branding enables you to establish yourself as a thought leader and influencer in your field just as Simon Sinek, Stephen Covey or Seth Godin have done. By consistently sharing valuable content, insights, and opinions, you can become a go-to resource for your audience. It can open doors for speaking engagements, media appearances, and collaborations with other industry leaders. Your influence enables you to drive conversations, shape trends, and impact your industry as a recognized leader.

🐔 Flexibility and Adaptability: Your personal brand can evolve alongside your business. As you expand into new areas or explore different ventures, your personal brand can adapt to support those changes. Your expertise and reputation can extend beyond one specific business, allowing you to explore new opportunities while maintaining a consistent personal brand.

🐔 Longevity and Flexibility: Personal branding can provide you with more flexibility over the long term, as it is not tied to a specific business or venture. It allows you to adapt and pivot as your interests and goals evolve. Oprah is the shining example here, transforming her tv show into audio format, magazine publications and sold-out events.

🐔 Long-Term Reputation Building: Investing in your personal brand contributes to long-term reputation building. As you consistently demonstrate expertise, integrity, and value to your audience, your personal brand becomes associated with credibility and reliability. This reputation extends beyond individual business ventures and supports your professional growth and future opportunities.

🐔 Authenticity and Trust: Your personal brand brings authenticity and trust to your business. By showcasing your expertise, values, and personality, you can build genuine connections with your audience. People tend to trust individuals more than faceless entities, so leveraging your personal brand can create a stronger sense of trust and credibility.

🐔 Strong Personal Connection: By putting your personal brand behind your business name, you can establish a stronger personal connection with your target audience. Sharing your story, values, and expertise can resonate with potential customers on a deeper level, leading to increased loyalty and advocacy. Your personal brand can create a sense of relatability, making it easier for people to connect with your business. As I always say, people buy from people.

🐔 Differentiation and Competitive Edge: In a crowded marketplace, having a personal brand tied to your business name can differentiate you from competitors. Your unique perspective, expertise, and personality can set you apart and attract customers who resonate with your personal brand. This can give you a competitive edge by offering a distinct value proposition that goes beyond the products or services you provide. There is no one out there the same as YOU!

🐔 Enhanced Networking and Partnerships: Building a personal brand can lead to expanded networking opportunities and partnerships. People are more likely to connect and collaborate with individuals they know and trust. Your personal brand can attract like-minded individuals, potential investors, and strategic partners who align with your values and vision.

It's important to note that putting your personal brand behind your business name requires careful consideration and management. It's crucial to maintain a balance between your personal and professional life and ensure that your personal brand aligns with the values and goals of your business. With a well-executed strategy, combining your personal brand with your business name can yield significant benefits in terms of trust, connection, differentiation, and long-term reputation building.

Disadvantages of using your Personal Brand in business

Putting your personal brand behind your business name can come with certain risks and considerations. Before you read on its important to realise that everything in life has risk, the chicken carrying a basket of its precious eggs across the road is taking a risk. By learning what they are you can both mitigate the chance of the chicken being hit but also step onto the road with courage that no matter what the impact, you will get through it and perhaps the scrambled eggs you end up with are an amazing and unexpected outcome. Ok, let’s go on. Here are some potential challenges to be aware of:

🐔 Limited Scalability: Personal branding often revolves around your individual expertise, personality, and story. While this can be beneficial for building a strong connection with your audience, it can also limit the scalability of your business. If your personal brand is the sole focus, it can be difficult to scale beyond your personal capacity and reach a broader audience. Alternatively, it could be the thing that gives you scale! 

🐔 Limited Brand Adaptability: As mentioned, personal brands are often closely associated with specific industries, expertise, or areas of focus. If you decide to explore new ventures, industries, or target different audiences, your personal brand may not be as adaptable or relevant. This can make it challenging to pivot your business or expand into new areas if your personal brand does not align with those changes.

🐔 Risk of Burnout: When your personal brand is deeply intertwined with your business, it can lead to increased pressure and a higher risk of burnout. Your personal image becomes closely associated with the success of the business, making it difficult to step back or delegate responsibilities. This can negatively impact your well-being and work-life balance.

🐔 Privacy Concerns: Building your personal brand within your business can blur the boundaries between your personal and professional life, potentially impacting your privacy. It may lead to increased scrutiny or intrusion into your personal life, as people may feel entitled to access more information about you. Maintaining a balance between personal and professional boundaries becomes crucial in managing privacy concerns. Boundaries are highly recommended.

🐔 Dependency on Personal Reputation: When your personal brand is closely tied to your business name, there is a higher level of dependency on your personal reputation. Any negative associations or controversies surrounding you as an individual can directly impact the perception of your business. This can make it challenging to separate your personal life from your business, and any personal issues may affect the reputation and credibility of your company. Boundaries are an important part of building a personal brand and will work to alleviate potential risks.

🐔 Difficulty in Team Building: Building a business around your personal brand may make it challenging to develop a strong team and empower employees. If your personal brand overshadows the contributions of others, it can hinder their growth and sense of ownership in the business. It's important to foster a team-oriented environment that is not solely reliant on your personal brand.

🐔 Succession and Exit Strategy: If your personal brand is deeply embedded in your business, it can create challenges when it comes to succession planning or exiting the business. Building a business that relies heavily on your personal brand may make it more challenging to pass on the leadership to someone else or sell the business in the future. It's essential to consider how the business can continue to thrive without your personal presence if that is a long-term goal. This risk just takes some planning to get around.

Before you chain yourself to the sidewalk, there are measures you can take. To mitigate these risks, it's important to carefully consider the long-term implications of aligning your personal brand with your business name. Developing a strong business brand that can stand on its own, separate from your personal identity, may provide more flexibility, scalability, and sustainability in the long run. It's also worth considering a balanced approach, where you leverage your personal brand to enhance your business brand while establishing a solid foundation for the business itself.


The advantages of using Business Branding in your business:

🥚 Brand Identity and Reputation: Business branding focuses on building a distinct identity and reputation for your company or organization. It helps establish your company as a trusted and recognizable entity in the marketplace. It also allows you to sell it and move onto other horizons, which would not be possible if Facebook was called Zuckerberg.

🥚Customer Trust and Loyalty: A strong business brand can create trust and loyalty among customers. It helps communicate your values, mission, and quality of products or services, which can lead to customer retention and positive word-of-mouth.

🥚Scale and Growth: Business branding is crucial for scaling and growing your company. It allows you to create a consistent image, messaging, and customer experience across different marketing channels and touchpoints. It allows your business to be adaptable to market trends, mergers and collaborations.

🥚Team Alignment: Business branding can help align your team around a shared vision and values. It creates a sense of belonging and purpose among employees, fostering a positive company culture. You also have the advantage of easily succession planning and even developing an exit strategy that includes the team.

In many cases, personal branding and business branding can complement each other. For example, you can leverage your personal brand to enhance your business brand or vice versa. It's also possible to have a personal brand that aligns with and supports your business brand.

Ultimately, consider your goals, target audience, and the unique value you bring to the table. Assess whether your personal brand or business brand will have a more significant impact on achieving those goals. You can also seek guidance from mentors, industry professionals, or branding experts to help you make an informed decision. And yes, I am one of those experts! Before we bump calendars let’s first explore methods that may help you decide.


How to decide if I should put my personal brand behind my business?

Alignment with Business Goals: Assess whether your personal brand aligns with the goals and values of your business. Consider if your personal expertise, story, or reputation directly contribute to the success and positioning of your business. If there is a strong alignment, leveraging your personal brand can enhance your business's authenticity and credibility.

🍳 Scalability and Long-Term Vision: Evaluate the scalability of your personal brand within the context of your business. Consider if your personal brand can grow and adapt as your business expands or evolves. If your personal brand may become a limiting factor or pose challenges in the long run, you might want to focus more on building a separate business brand.

🍳 Target Audience and Connection: Analyze your target audience and their preferences. Determine if your personal brand resonates strongly with your target market and if it can help build a stronger connection. If your personal brand has a significant impact on attracting and engaging your ideal customers, integrating it into your business might be beneficial.

🍳 Risk Tolerance and Privacy: Consider your risk tolerance and the level of privacy you desire. Putting your personal brand behind your business means becoming more visible and potentially sacrificing some privacy. Assess whether you are comfortable with the increased exposure and the potential implications it may have on your personal life.

🍳 Exit Strategy and Succession Planning: Think about your long-term plans for the business. If you envision passing on the business to someone else or eventually selling it, consider the impact of your personal brand on the business's value and transferability. Evaluate if your personal brand can be effectively transitioned or if it may complicate succession planning.

🍳 Brand Differentiation: Evaluate the competitive landscape and determine if leveraging your personal brand can provide a unique advantage or differentiation. Assess if your personal brand sets you apart from competitors and if it aligns with your business's positioning. If your personal brand brings a distinctive element to your business, it can contribute to a stronger market presence.

🍳 Time and Resources: Consider the time and resources you are willing to invest in building and managing your personal brand. Developing and maintaining a personal brand requires consistent effort, content creation, and engagement. Evaluate if you have the capacity and willingness to dedicate the necessary time and resources alongside running your business.

🍳 Life Purpose, Passion and Legacy: For those that feel a deep desire to live out a particular purpose, champion a cause, share their passion with the world or build a legacy, a personal brand business may foster greater satisfaction. Some time spent considering what the intention is for going into business will help decide if your values and ultimate goals are better served in a personal brand business.

By thoroughly evaluating these factors and considering your specific circumstances and aspirations, you can make an informed decision on whether to put your personal brand behind your business. It may also be helpful to seek advice (hello, I'm raising my hand here!).

Want to talk more about Personal Branding v Business Branding? Book a FREE Clarity Call HERE. 

Or keep reading! I have stacks more on this stuff:

What are the MUST HAVEs to create a powerful Personal Brand?

What is personal branding and why it’s so important to be authentic in 2023