What’s in an executive brand?
With as much as 80% of a corporation’s net value being comprised of its brand equity, it’s no wonder that almost $1.5 trillion is spent on corporate branding initiatives.
Your executive brand is one of the most valuable assets you can control. Your brand helps you build a career, sell better, start a business or even start a movement. No matter what you’re trying to achieve in life, your brand can help you achieve it.
So what’s your executive brand? Let’s help you understand it, articulate it, and live it!
Your executive brand is what you are known for. In that sense, you already have a brand. What makes you memorable? Perhaps people know you as a highly knowledgeable person in your field. How people define your personality determines how they interact with you, so it is especially important to invest time in thinking about your executive brand.
The Brand Called “You”
Back in 1997, Tom Peters said something profound that still rings true.
He said, “Regardless of age, position, or the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.”
A brand is more than what you do. None of us are defined by our job titles or confined by our job description. Your brand identity is the total perception of who you are in the marketplace, including an implied promise that you will consistently meet your customers’ expectations every time they interact with you.
You’re every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop. Ask yourself the same question these brands ask themselves: What makes my product or service different?
Identify and articulate your competitive advantage!
Why Branding Matters
The personal branding process is extremely important. It helps you clearly communicate the value you bring, stand out against the competition, and find jobs or engage in projects that match your values.
Although it may seem like a lot of work, the benefits of defining your brand identity will be more than worth it. Brands evoke emotions, delight us, and feel familiar and reliable.
A strong executive brand will:
- create greater customer loyalty
- make you less sensitive to competitive pricing
- be instrumental in developing strategic partnerships
- allow you to attract the resources you need such as capital
- provide focus to create effective, cost-efficient marketing campaigns
- help you find jobs or engage in projects that match your values
If you really want to build a valuable brand, you need to get beyond functional benefits.
Emotional benefits are much stronger in building your brand. Done right, emotive brand identity becomes a powerful tool to help you develop stronger relationships and lasting loyalty.
How Do You Define Your Executive Brand?
If you are looking to define your executive brand, here are some questions to answer honestly, that will help.
- Who are you? The first step of the branding process is to have a clear understanding of your strengths, your weakness, the kind of work that excites you, the projects that drain you, etc. Think through the feedback you have received from friends, teachers, colleagues, and supervisors.
- What do you want to be known for? In executive branding, it is important to have an area of focus or a niche. Something that you are an exceptional expert at. What you want to be known for, or as Tom Peters puts it, “what do you want to be famous for?” Answering this will help you focus and align all your efforts.
- Who can you connect with? Think about the circles you want to run in both professionally and online. Who do you want to surround yourself with? Network, request introductions, and connect with them. Word of mouth goes a long way when it comes to executive branding. Engaging in activities that raise your visibility and reputation in a positive way, is a key secret to success.
Remember, your executive brand is constantly evolving. It’s essential to ensure that you are heading in the right direction. Put together a group of people that you can trust to give you candid, objective feedback. Ask for — insist on — honest, helpful feedback on your performance, growth, and value. It’s the only way to keep progressing.
Work With Us
At Reactionpower, we consider everything we’ve shared above to ensure the executives we manage benefit from stellar branding. Combining carefully crafted strategies and on-the-point execution, we elevate our executives to thought-leaders in their industries. We can do the same for you. Reach out and get started on your journey to executive branding excellence.