The fact that branding is one of the most important aspects of launching and developing a successful business is no secret to most entrepreneurs. As one of the most popular and tested marketing strategies, creating an identity for their startup is something that entrepreneurs often try to do from day one.
Building a strong brand identity can help any startup stand out in a crowded market by allowing potential customers, investors, and employees to understand what its values and mission are. Unfortunately, this brand identity tends to be secondary to founders as they opt to focus on the product, leading with it and developing the startup’s identity around it.
While leading with the product might seem like a good idea and just natural to do, this can be a mistake in the long term. Data suggest that more than 50% of startups have to pivot to avoid failure, which means that a change in the product could lead to changing the startup’s branding. This can also be an issue when it comes to inspiring employees and investors, as building purpose is essential to truly connect and generate passion.
The same can be said about personal branding, which places the focus on the individuals that make up the business instead of the business itself. One of the most important things any entrepreneur can do for themselves and their business is to develop a personal brand, as this will have a direct impact on everything they do.
Personal branding is the reason why people all over the world are familiar with names like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Gary Vaynerchuk, but not so much with Pierre Omidyar (eBay founder) or Brian Acton (WhatsApp founder). Most people would be able to attribute a feeling to the names in the first group but not to the second, whether positive or negative.
Personal branding can elicit emotional responses, which can, in turn, translate to actions, especially in a world ruled by social media and other online platforms. Ask someone with no expertise to predict the chances of success of a business started by any of the names previously mentioned, and it is more likely that they assign a higher value to those they recognize and/or feel positive emotions toward.
The power of personal branding was the main topic of the “What Drives an Entrepreneur’s Personal Brand?” panel, which took place in this year’s edition of Grit Daily House.
The panel featured BRANDefender CEO & Founder Devin W. Johnson and BizFamous CEO Eric “ERock” Christopher. During the conversation, Devin shared personal experiences, insights on how the industry works, how his company approaches brand building, and advice on how to build a personal brand as an entrepreneur.
To learn more about Devin and what he had to share, make sure to watch the video on Grit Daily’s YouTube Channel or below!