It’s no secret that people do business with those they know, like and trust. But what does that mean for your brand? Does it mean that people like your logo? Like your business name? Can they share a cup of coffee with your company name? Can they establish a friendship with your logo? No!
People do business with people.
While attending Social Media Day Denver this year, I heard a great discussion on how marketing is no longer business-to-business or business-to-consumer. We have entered a stage in marketing where we as humans are marketing to other humans. It’s personal now!
We are human beings with feelings, stories, experiences, needs, wants, desires, and motives. And we connect with each other on those levels. It’s about a consumer being able to sit down and share a cup of coffee with someone face-to-face. It’s about trusting your brand and your marketing to someone who you know will do the right thing for you. To know without a doubt that person will represent your company to your potential customers in a positive light and begin the trust relationship with them. To know that the relationship they begin online is done with your values in mind, so when you meet the potential customer there is consistency in what is presented.
This is where personal branding comes in. And it’s not just for your CEO! It’s for your employees as well. It’s for the contractors that you hire to represent your brand.
Personal branding is defined as the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization. Personal branding often involves the application of one’s name to various products. (source Wikipedia)
To make personal branding effective, the organization must define what values, image, and reputation is important to them. Then you hire people who match those criteria. Those employees are an extension of you and your company. Hiring should not be something you take lightly. Communication with the employees of the team is crucial to make sure everyone is on the same page, at all times. Whether your employees are the VP, a sales person who meets face-to-face with potential customers, or a customer service representative on the phone – they all must reflect the same thing. Consistency is the number one factor in establishing trust. Once a lack of consistency is in the mind of the consumer, they begin to doubt your brand.
Entrepreneur magazine has a great article about personal branding that you should check out! The link to the article can be found here.
Branding is not just about the colors you choose, the logo design, your state-of-the-art website, your awesome social media content with incredible engagement. There is also consumer trust.