Why is personal branding just as important for yourself as it is for your company and its overall marketing efforts? Well, that’s a question I certainly couldn’t have answered a year ago. But thanks to such resources as Dr. Bret Simmons’ “Personal Branding” class at the University of Nevada, Reno and his many guest speakers, the book Branding Yourself by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy, such workshops sponsored by the American Marketing Association as “Personal Branding within the Corporate Workplace,” and bloggers like Dan Schawbel (who also wrote Me 2.0) and his Personal Branding Blog, everything is now so much more clear!
Benefits of Adopting a Personal Branding Strategy
By definition, personal branding is the process by which we market ourselves to others. To adopt a personal branding strategy within the workplace is to acknowledge that a company no longer has control over the conversation between itself and its customers in the traditional sense; rather, adopting a personal branding strategy harnesses the collective power of an organization’s employees to help promote, sell, and personalize the organization in a way that is beneficial to the overall objectives (so long as they’re aligned with the central mission and vision of the company).
From a recent blog post entitled “Personal Branding in an ‘Enterprise 2.0′ World,” author Oscar Del Santo discusses how company cultures are changing to keep up with the times we live in, why a personal branding strategy is important to enterprise effectiveness, and how following a personal branding strategy can be advantageous. He writes:
Novel management and organizational philosophies based upon ‘The Wisdom of Crowds’ are revolutionizing the workplace. We are witnessing the emergence of Enterprise 2.0, a term coined by McAfee to account for the organizational use of social networks, blogs and Wikis modeled after Web 2.0 sites that is thoroughly transforming the way businesses operate both internally and externally and yielding encouraging results for the growing number of early adopters … The building of the new wave of ‘social businesses’ and the manifold benefits deriving from the implementation of collaborative tools – the improvement and increase of communication and collaboration across the organization and the fostering of innovation and creativity being the most salient – is reaching mainstream organizations from all walks of life.
From a similar article entitled “Personal Branding Within the Corporate Workplace,” author Toby Bloomberg outlines additional reasons why she thinks companies should have a personal branding strategy. Aside from capitalizing on new technologies and shifts taking place within the business environment, having a personal branding strategy allows for employees to serve as brand champions (which lends itself to more visibility and the ability to build important relationships with customers, prospects, influencers and thought leaders). It also allows for those who know the company best—employees—to promote the organization by building brand awareness, credibility, and goodwill through people at a low cost.
For a few examples of what students achieved in last semester’s Personal Branding classes, you can click here for a recap of the MBA level class, and here to see what the undergraduates produced. And for a full primer on how to own, build and shape your own personal brand, make sure to check out the book Branding Yourself by Kyle Lacy and Erik Deckers.