As a personal / business branding strategist and business mentor, I noticed that there’s some confusion about the difference between personal branding and business branding. And how to implement these strategies. To clarify the notable differences, I have created this article so you can make the right decision on which strategy suits you best.
Let’s start with the basics and discuss the term “Brand”
The term brand refers to a business and marketing concept that helps you identify a particular product, company, or individual. It shapes your perceptions of companies, individuals, or their products. They provide great value to the company, product or individual, to distinguish themselves from others in the same industry.
How a Brand can be beneficial
Brands help us – the audience or target group – identify things we want and need, but it also helps identify people or businesses that we trust to provide that service or product. A brand helps to communicate the purpose, story, social service, style, and offerings to its audience. A branding strategy is a combination of behavior, and visual & non-visual elements, including the tone-of-voice used in advertisements and marketing materials.
The main goal is to create a brand identity that your audience is emotionally connected to.
A personal brand VS a business brand
The primary difference between a personal brand and a business brand is that a personal brand is built around an individual while a business brand is built around a company. A personal brand represents the unique value proposition and personality of the individual. A business brand, on the other hand, is more defined by the products or services it offers.
Everyone has a personal brand and so do you! Even if you are not aware of it. People see things about you and draw their ideas and conclusions. And this process starts early. Remember when you were at elementary school and you had to find a partner to work with or choose your teammates for the next sports event? Your actions and choices were based on likability and knowledge about the skills of the other person(s).
Personal branding is the strategy, that purposefully establishes your name in the world as an expert in your niche and puts YOU in control of your public image. This is important if you want to generate business for yourself in your name or for example when you want to stand out (as an employee) from your competitors when you are applying for a new job.
Personal branding in a combination with business branding is most recommended for individuals who provide services – like artists, speakers, and coaches– and those who want to be the primary spokesperson for their services or products.
A personal brand also works in collaboration with a business brand, for example when you act as an ambassador for a business brand, helping to drive their brand forward.
A business brand transforms a company from “just another company” to an organization with value and purpose. A well-defined and executed business branding strategy affects all aspects of that business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. You are building relationships with your audience, which can eventually turn them into loyal customers or fan base.
Business branding is recommended for any company or organization of products and/or services that are not purely based on an individual. Additionally, it’s preferred for those who want to scale their business and potentially sell it one day.
The differences in an overview
Which branding strategy is best for you?
Implementing a personal or a business brand depends on your mission and your goals. A personal brand will be best if you are the primary provider of a service and want to be the face of your business. Your personal brand can stick with you throughout your career despite any adjustments you make. On the other hand, a business brand is best to create a new entity not tied to any one person which can be more easily scaled and sold down the road.
From my personal experience, when you are a startup or a service-based entrepreneur, it’s easier to get off the ground when you are the face of the brand. As the first few years require a lot of networking and creating personal relations to build trust and likability.
In this case, it’s beneficial to build both types of brands while the main focus is on your personal brand. You can establish your personal brand as an authority in your industry, while simultaneously building your business brand.
But what if this doesn’t work for your personality? Well, you can stay more in the background and focus on the operational side of your business. In that case, the (visual) content for your business will become increasingly important as they will be the primary way your audience finds your offerings. It’s totally up to you what you share and to decide where you draw the line of how much you have people to get a peek into your personal life.
Always do what’s comfortable for you and what’s fits your own personality!
If you would like to know more about building your personal brand, check out the new dates for my 2-hour workshop coming in April.
Written by: Yustine Alvares
Personal & Business Branding Strategist, Business Mentor, and Multiple Business Owner