Personal Branding Important?
Businesses have a distinct identity of their own and there is a lot that has been said by branding gurus and marketing experts on how businesses can develop their brand identities successfully and then sustain them for long term benefit. But personal branding is a relatively new phenomenon.
We have come to regard businesses as separate entities, free of connection to any certain person. People come and go, the business and its brand identity stay. Nike, Coca Cola, Google, all of them have been around for quite some time and the people who worked for them at the inception of these companies might have left by now, but these brands have retained their original identities.
A single person, being his brand and business, all by himself, is becoming increasingly possible nowadays. Things like the Sharing Economy and the rise of the “Freelance Worker”, has allowed individuals to be free of jobs and be businesses onto themselves. But do they need branding?
Yes, they certainly do, even more, important than businesses, because they need to make themselves known to their target markets in a certain way and without the right personal branding, this might not be possible.
For e.g. there is a freelance photographer with some great skills, but just sending over a portfolio if too dull an idea to woo many customers. Anyone can send in their portfolios, how do you stand apart from them? The answer is, “Personal Branding” in the right way.
Having your own logo, printed stationery, business cards, dedicated social media channels and profiles and a great website to go with all of this, would work wonders for anyone who plans to do it all alone and not involve anyone else.
Personal Branding gives you the same persona as a business. Having your own “Brand” allows you to develop authenticity and trust, along with transparency, vital ingredients for eventual success by gaining more and more consumers on your side.
Where to Start Your Journey as a Personal Brand?
There is not a big difference between developing a Cult of Personality and developing your own Personal Brand. You need to represent yourself around a certain vision and have everything revolve around that. But where do you start the transformation from?
The answer is: Logos!
Logos are the visual representations of your brand’s vision and they serve in a big way into developing a certain positioning of your personal brand into the minds of your target audience.
While everything else like a personal website or business cards is necessary towards a personal brand as well, but a logo is where it will all need to start.
What will differentiate your website and give it its unique identity? What design template will your business cards follow?
Logos serve as the sheet anchor of all other branding collaterals that are to follow. Even as a personal brand, you need to have a certain image representing you because putting your face on everything wouldn’t cut it and would end up making you look gaudy and bad. Even on the design part, your face is not medium neutral and it might be possible to upload a great picture of yourself on your website but it’s not such a good idea when it comes to other branding materials like business cards or even promo products.
But what kind of a logo is good for personal branding?
It’s good for a business to have a certain graphic image as their logo like for e.g. Snapchat’s Ghost based logo (which represents the ephemerality of the posts you put up on the platform) or Apple’s apple based logo with a bite taken off of it, but when it comes to personal branding logos, you would end up committing a big brand sin by choosing to design a graphic based image as your logo.
Why is this not such a good idea? Because you will lose out your own personal uniqueness and image in the glare of that graphic based image as your logo. You need to promote your individual self powerfully and anything related to your personal branding has to have a certain element of your personality.
The best and most suitable designed logo for your personal branding would be a TypeFace or a Word Based Logo, using your name or your initials. The power of this idea lies in the fact that your name needs promotion and what better way to do it then transform it into a logo that you can use for personal branding. It’s still a logo that you can use and your name is being at the center of all the limelight. Typeface based logos are one of the most successful logos in the personal branding sphere
Oprah Winfrey has amassed a Multi-Billion Dollar Personal Brand and she uses her own name in the logos to promote anything done under her personal brand. People know Oprah and she leverages her name to get these very people to make her even more successful.
Lewis Howes, an immensely successful self-styled lifestyle entrepreneur, knows how to leverage the power of his own name by converting it into a logo based brand onto itself.
Other Popular Personally Branded Celebrities from the outrageously popular Singer/Artist Lady Gaga to the basketball superstar LeBron James has used their name for logos with spectacular success and now those very name based typographical logos are worth hundreds of millions of dollars alone.
Logos are immensely crucial for any business out there but don’t underestimate their power in the personal branding sphere. They can carve out a certain niche for you and make you look at a whole new level.
So the first cornerstone towards achieving success in the personal branding sphere is to combine your name with a well-designed, type face based logo to give you the necessary oomph and personality to develop yourself into a charismatic brand and emulate the successes of these personal branding icons.