Bye, Bye The Corporate Voice (& ‘Hello’ Personal Branding)
The corporate voice is now being overtaken by the personal stance.
We all connect with people, not a faceless logo. Whilst the world of celebrity has its place on Twitter and the top 20 Twitter accounts in the world start from nearly 20 million followers, all (apart from Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) are represented by people who are well-known personal brands. By the way, Katy Perry wins the most followed crown at the moment (with over 50.5 million followers).
Be A Hunk Of Burning Love
The master of this before the days of social media and representing success with personal branding within a corporate entity (since the 1970s) has been Richard Branson. For four decades he has allowed people to get to know him and for that we have come to trust him and what the Virgin brand stands for.
The digital platforms available allow people to connect with others and become mini celebrities in their own worlds. To many the names Nash Grier and Brittany Furlan are unheard of, but on Vine these are people with over 5 million followers and with an audience who hang on to every 6 second video. What this proves is that the more niche you are, the more you can aggregate an audience.
Whilst the idea of having over 5 million followers on a social channel is something that is hard to grasp, let alone achieve, what it does highlight is if you have something to say and to showcase your credibility and expertise you can build a trusted audience, by being yourself and not a corporate guideline. The world isn’t looking for another Starbucks (unless you have just set up in February, Dumb Starbucks) it needs you. The advice, assistance and problem solving you can deliver is freely available, the challenge is to build an audience who will come to you and consider you as a close ally. People don’t want corporate brands.
The Wonder Of You
What I’m trying to make clear is that we need to move away from heavy product or service promotion, to take its place is the importance of connecting and engaging with people. To focus solely on product benefits is not a viable marketing strategy anymore. The future is about others being able to understand your beliefs and values and apply this content in the best way that works for you. A brand is not represented by a Helvetica font and struggling for weeks on end to find a motif that you can include on a holding page/business card, a brand is represented by who you are and the story that you tell.
Lets put a different slant on it, if you think that the answer is based on perfecting a logo and stating how good this logo is in representing a brand, then a competitor is already out there promoting the virtues of making other peoples live better by their own personal brand. The physical representation of a brand can become a very expensive exercise, so always best to understand the intellectual properties (values, ethics, principals) and emotional (the way that people will feel when the name is mentioned), first before making that leap into the branding manifestation.
A Little ‘More’ Conversation
The important thing to acknowledge here is that it is easier to now become recognised and positioned in the marketplace as a trusted source by putting the time, energy and commitment into creating value for your audience via affordable technology and the platforms at our disposal. As a note, it is important to also remember that the direct relationships should not purely be placed on the shoulders of social media channels, there a host of platforms ready for us to build a rapport.
In a world where we now have different personas and platforms trying to make you into something else, the greatest achievement is to be yourself.
Be interesting to hear from you if personal branding works better for you, rather than standing behind a product or service.