By: Tina Walczak & Cam Schreiner
In our recent Instagram live, we discussed personal branding vs company branding, and if your personal brand can hurt your corporate/business brand. We were approached by our followers with the following questions:
- Have you done anything in the past that might be a conflict from your personal vs corporate brand?
- Are you worried that your personal brand is affecting your company brand negatively?
- How personal should you get? Know your audience.
Company Branding With Cam and Tina
Cam is a designer who works with Hiilite, and Tina Walczak also works with Hiilite as the Chief Design officer. We were both chatting the other day about how we would do our work for free because of how much we love what we do, and how much we love helping people in any way we can.
So, “How does one’s personal brand affect the company brand and vice versa?”
Before we hire anyone at Hiilite, we look at every candidate’s social media profile to see if they are a good cultural fit, and how they may affect our brand. We look at what they post, how they post, and how often they post and what their follower count is.
Does it Affect Your Company Brand if Your Personal Brand is Different?
Let’s use Tesla as an example and how Elon’s personal choice affected his company branding.
- Elon went on Joe Rogan
- Smoked a joint
- It was a personal choice that had an effect on the company image and caused a short-term drop in stock price for Tesla
- Elon is a person with an individual personal brand (same as any CEO)
The people at the top of a company have to fit the brand, but so do those at lower levels. For example, if a Google employee started a podcast or YouTube series that clashed with the Google brand values there could be a negative effect on the company brand as a whole. Think about even the front-line employees for a major company. Everyone has a personal brand whether they are intentional with it or not and that trickles back up. If the hiring process isn’t refined then you may get a mass amount of people representing your company that aren’t the right fit and give off the wrong image for the company as a whole. Our personalities are tied to Hiilite, and thus if you didn’t connect with our personal brands there is a good chance you wouldn’t do business with Hiilite even though we are only two people on the staff and we may not even be assigned to your project
Using your personal brand and personality within the company can also be beneficial. It humanizes your business. People will start to see you as a person (or a collection of people), not just as a corporation. By being more conversational and letting our personal brands bleed through Hiilite makes us that much more authentic.
When you are more than just a solo entrepreneur, hiring and your hiring process is important. Not only do you want someone who’s a cultural fit, but someone who is a cultural contributor. You want them to be adding to the equation by being themselves and by showing their true brand.
Personal Branding Vs. Company Branding
In a study by Susan Mudabi, a researcher on company brandings, she stated, “organizational buying behavior research indicates that intangible attributes are important in business purchase decisions.” The intangible attributes of reputation and personal image can be of equal or of greater importance than tangible physical product attributes.
I love this because this statement confirms that if people like you, and who you are as a brand, they will buy from you. If your personal brand is weak, and you don’t spend any time on it, you need to either work on it or work on your social and leadership skills.
Remember what we said earlier about looking at potential hires’ personal following before we hire them? This is why… Brands and businesses now need to consider who they are working with and how they will affect their company branding. Will this persona effect me negatively or will they help add value to my company branding? We are constantly thinking about this. And you should be too if you are serious about running a business.
I heard a story the other night about a guy who started his own SEO company, he was really great at it, but people didn’t like him. What do you think happened?? People stopped using his services, it had nothing to do with how great his product is, but it had everything to do with his personality and how his own personal brand affected everything around him.
Company Branding: How You Make People Feel
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
We hope this helped you guys start re-thinking what you are posting. We never want you to feel like you can’t post because you are so worried what everyone else will think, just re-read your post then ask yourself, how might my audience interpret this? Will they stop doing business with me because of my personal content, and should I re-look at how I’m doing things?
We want to hear from you, we love meeting with you, and we follow these principals we have spoken about today. Please send us a message asking us your company branding questions!