What is Executive Branding?
Despite the burgeoning social media growth, consumers still prefer to have human-to-human interaction with brands or products. Executive branding is the science of using the personality, beliefs, opinions, and expertise of key personnel in a way that helps you connect with your target audience and promote your brand.
In other words, executive branding or personal branding is a way to dissolve trust barriers and initiate engagement with prospects even before they decide to reach out to you. However, executive branding does a lot more than just draw you closer to your audience. It also helps you establish your company as a leading authority in its niche.
Who You AreExecutive-branding centers on you as an individual. It provides your target audience with the correct impression of who you are. In other words, it helps drown out negative publicity surrounding you or your company, particularly on social media.
How You Create
ValueMore often than not, people consider personal branding as a marketing tool. However, rather than direct selling, personal branding focuses on making you available to your peers and customers. So, your executive branding strategy must illustrate how can you create value.
How You Are
Helping PeopleThe end goal of executive branding is to establish you as an industry expert who wants the best for his or her client. It is perhaps the best way to help others benefit from having a relationship with you and/or your work and the industry you serve. It usually includes publishing industry-relevant content such as blog posts, videos or webinars that will help identify and solve the problems of your target audience.
Where Did the Idea of Executive
Branding Come From?
Personal branding (also known as executive branding) has been around for years. It began with our forefathers, who have been using this marketing method even before there was a name for it. In fact, most companies in the early 1900s were backed by their founders. Ford Motor Company, Levi Strauss, Sears, and Roebuck & Company are a few examples of companies that did personal branding in the 1900s.
Even though the concept of personal branding was first introduced in 1937 in the book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill, Tom Peters coined the phrase in his ‘The Brand Called You’ from Fast Company magazine in 1997.
Tom Peters understood the need of introducing the term because he saw how technology, particularly the emergence of the Internet, was taking the corporate world by storm. But it was William Arruda who developed the personal branding phenomenon in the United States. He was dubbed the "Personal Branding Guru" by Entrepreneur magazine.
Consumers are increasingly getting tired of traditional advertising. According to a survey, 90% of people skip pre-roll video ads. They are more interested in hearing about products from their creators or experts in the relevant field, not from celebrities. That's why an increasing number of companies are turning to unique marketing techniques such as executive branding.
On the other hand, executive search firms have started using social media tools to filter candidates. According to a study, 94% of professional recruiters use social media for talent acquisition and management, while 59% of employees think a company's social media presence is one of the reasons to choose their workplace. So, if you are looking for best career opportunities, you must pay attention to your online personal branding efforts.
Why Bother with Executive Branding
In the high-competitive digital world, brands often struggle to make themselves stand out. This is where executive-branding comes into play. It not only offers you an edge over your competitors, but also helps you build a strong personal relationship with potential consumers.
Whether you want to increase your sales or establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche, executive branding can help you get there. But, that's not the only reason why executive branding is important. It can offer a variety of benefits to your business as well as your employees.
Business with People
Why do you think a consumer decides to buy from you? Most marketers believe that people buy their product because it is the best, the sharpest or the smartest brand in the market. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Regardless of how creative your product or service is people will buy from you because they trust you.
They believe that you understand their problems and only you can solve them. They also believe you are acting in their best interest rather than your own because you care for them. That's why people like doing business with people rather than a faceless or nameless brand. If you want to earn the trust of potential customers, executive branding is your best option.
As people often tend to associate inanimate objects in everyday life with human faces, it is important that your customers know the human face behind your brand at some point. And the sooner they know the better!
Joel Comm, CEO, Joel Comm Inc. explains the importance of face-to-face engagement, "There’s nothing more social than face-to-face engagement, and with the addition of easy-to-use live streaming apps like Periscope and Blab.im, and we’re going to see more content marketers delivering their message across these channels." He further adds, "This means brands now have an opportunity to go beyond sharing a message to creating live experiences for their customers and fans."
By elevating the visibility of your executive team, you can automatically increase the visibility of your company or brand. You will get the opportunity to get maximum online exposure as both, your brand and your executives may have thousands of followers across different social media channels.
It also leads to increased brand awareness because your executives share educational and helpful content on social media. If consumers find the content shared by your executives informative and entertaining, they are more likely to think of your product or service when the need arises.
Executive branding builds confidence at all levels, increasing your chances of seizing an opportunity and making the best use of it. For example, you may end up connecting with the manager of an industrial exhibition. You could then get a chance to engage with new prospects by delivering a keynote speech at an upcoming industrial fair.
Your Business and
When your executives start illustrating their opinions on a particular topic, people will see them as reliable experts in your industry. This will add credibility not only to your executives, but also your company. In short, the credibility that comes with the personal brand of your executives automatically infuses with the credibility of your brand or business. And a stronger brand means better business, which in turn, means bigger profits.
Who Needs It?
Who needs personal branding? You do! Regardless of the kind of business you are running, you must understand how personal branding can help you. You may not need a personal brand right now, but you will need it eventually. Your personal brand is like a well, you should dig one before you are thirsty.
With over 28 million businesses in America alone, consumers have plenty of choices. So, when you offer a product or a service, your business needs to stand out from your competitors. Personal branding is the key to differentiate your company from others.
Key Benefits of Personal Branding for
In the modern media-cluttered world, people often prefer to learn about a company or a product through informative articles rather than paid advertisements. Fortunately, high-end executives can use their prowess and communication skills to engage with consumers through executive branding. Thus, executive branding can help you boost company credibility and social media reach, resulting in rapid growth.
It is, therefore, necessary to see that the personal reputation (aka executive brand) of the upper echelon of your company projects the accurate picture of your product or service.
In other words, executive branding is an investment with long-term benefits that no other marketing channel can produce.
The Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President at T-Mobile USA, Mike Sievert is a classic example of infusing professionalism with personability. He loves Twitter. With over 22k followers, Mike tweets about everything from Papa Jones pizza to the trending topics in the corporate world. He also personally responds to tweets from his followers.
Myth: Is Executive Branding
Only for C-Suites?
Most people think that executive-branding is only for C-suites. They couldn't be further from the truth. Though focusing your branding efforts on C-suites can lead to better customer relations, rather they prefer to hear from common folks like them. In fact, 76% of companies involve their employees in marketing efforts. Are you one of them? If not, you need to start planning it right away and here is why:
Chances are your employees already have a considerable following on social media, which is a great opportunity to create better brand engagement.
Direct interaction between employees and potential leads will build trust that will facilitate the conversion of prospects into repeat buyers.
It will also make your brand more human and accessible to your target audience.
Encouraging your staff members to share their opinions and views across multiple social media platforms will give you access to a broader audience.
When employees start utilizing the power of personal branding, it boosts their job satisfaction as well as performance level. It also increases engagement with other staff members, business stakeholders, and the company. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Why People Still Don't Prefer
Though most organizations have started to realize the importance of executive branding, a lot of companies still shy away from it.
Some Still Don't Know What It Is
The lack of awareness is perhaps the number one reason why most people don't implement executive branding. In fact, numerous CEOs don't have a social media account. And those who do have an account aren't using it actively. However, with the geometric growth of social media, this picture has started to change. Younger CEOs, in particular, are actively engaging in executive branding.
They Don't Have Time for Extra Work
Though most C-suites are aware of executive branding, they simply ignore it because they don't have time for extra work. But, the good news is, a well-optimized executive branding strategy requires minimal time investment. However, the best way to overcome this obstacle is to outsource this process to a firm such as Preceptist.
They Think It's Costly
Executive branding is a complex and a long-term process. So, you need to have a longstanding financial policy. The cost will vary depending on your scope of work. However, in working with an established firm like Preceptist, the cost will be minimal in comparison to the value received.
How Preceptist Can Help You
Preceptist provides various services that will help you leverage the power of executive branding in establishing your company’s online credibility. Here's what our branding experts will help you do:
- Ensure you have a consistent and professional online presence
- Develop a voice that closely resonates with your brand
- Develop unique style guides and social media templates
- Help you engage with your followers, answer their questions, and share your comments
- Develop branding processes that'll help you identify the executive assets in your company
- Develop and execute suitable thought leadership strategies
- Co-create content with your executives and develop a content marketing strategy to establish them as thought leaders in your niche
- Getting your articles published in well-recognized industry publications
- Publishing informative blog posts covering timely and trendy topics on various online publications, including your website
- Publishing research reports, white papers, videos and webcasts, case studies, and infographics, among others
How Can We Help You?
Get in touch with us to learn more about how Preceptist can help showcase your expertise to the right audience.