Executive branding is about “expressing your authentic self to your target audience”. It’s not about being famous; it’s about being visible to your target market. Learn how to build your brand with executive branding and the steps to take to build your brand.
This type of branding caught fire when Fast Company magazine ran a cover article called “The Brand Called You” by Tom Peters in 1997. For those who do not know who Tom Peters is, he wrote the book “In Search for Excellence” in 1982 and it remained on the bestseller lists of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times for over a decade. It made him the leading thought leader in business management during the latter part of the 1900s. Coming into the 21st century, he saw that the world’s shift to a digital economy required executives to not only brand their companies but to brand themselves. His message was simple: Your personal brand is your reputation and if you do not define and nurture it others will define it for you.
How to build your brand with Executive Branding
To figure out what your brand is you need to know four things:
- Define who you are. To begin the branding process you need to have a clear sense of who you are.
- Spot your target audience. The key is to promote yourself to the right people.
- Get to know your competitors. To have a strong brand, you need to know what your competitors are saying and doing within your market niche.
- Craft a personal brand profile.
What is Executive Branding?
Executive branding is having a personal brand. Why do you need a personal brand if you are the CEO of your company? For small companies, most people see the brand of the company as that of the CEO. Therefore, the CEO brand must complement and amplify the company brand. So how do you build your brand?
- Building credibility. Credibility is built through both your words and actions. Deliver what you say, and your credibility will grow. Ultimately, others will give you testimonials and references to support your credibility.
- Showcasing your specialty. What can you do that others cannot do? Don’t try to be a jack of all trades and master of none.
- Differentiating yourself from your competitors. Don’t try to be like everyone else. Find out what your target market needs and wants and what your competitors aren’t providing. Deliver on those skills, unique to your work experience, life experience, and personal characteristics that your competitors don’t have. Be the bright red dot in a sea of white.