There are different types of brand your business needs; the product – the brands we associate to a product or service we can buy e.g. Coco Pops, the company – the brands we associate to a company we can buy from e.g. Kellogg’s. More recently we have seen the emergence of a third type of brand; personality – the brands we associate to people who represent companies and products.
With social media being one of the fastest ways to get recognised today, your personality brand is arguably your most powerful brand. Brands such as Quorn use a personality (Mo Farah) to sell their product, or more recently Nike has collaborated with FKA twigs to sell a selection of their sports clothing and trainers.
Not all companies have a celebrity figure that fits well with their branding, in these cases some companies choose to use their founder as their ‘personality’. Founders such as Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg have built a personality brand by themselves and their businesses (Virgin and Facebook).
It is of course a lot cheaper and easier to encourage companies to build ‘personality’ brands rather than using external people who already have a celebrity status to promote them.
Furthermore building a personality brand using your founder is personally beneficial for them if they decide to leave the business and pursue a new venture.
If you’re running a business and want to become the go-to person within your industry, focus on building and maintaining your personality brand. In 2017 that is what will set you a part in your industry.