Striking a Balance: Personal Branding Vs. Corporate Branding

Chances are you work for a company that has its logo, slogan, mission statement, ethics, and personality established. It has a reputation and many efforts are made in marketing and advertising to present the company in a certain way. This is a corporate brand. But where do you, the devoted employee, fit in? You also have a brand – yours is a personal brand. It can thrive together with your company’s. Here, learn about the ins and outs of personal branding vs. corporate branding.

Apple and Steve Jobs

Apple is arguably one of the most brand-conscious companies. Besides having a highly visible and recognizable logo, the company is also known for its sleek, cutting-edge products. Steve Jobs, a cofounder and past CEO of Apple, was known for his hands-on approach and tireless work ethic. He had a personal brand while still representing the corporate brand of Apple.

 Steve Jobs created a strong personal brand while strengthening his corporate brand, Apple.

Steve Jobs created a strong personal brand while strengthening his corporate brand, Apple.

So how does a professional represent both their company and their own brand? Marketing and Social Media Strategist Lina Duque recently wrote about personal branding vs. corporate branding for The Globe and Mail. As she puts it, “gone are the days when your personal brand is defined by what you do for a living.”

If your personal brand aligns with your company’s corporate brand, that’s great. But if you’re pursuing a passion of yours in your free time that doesn’t relate with your workplace, you have all the tools to accomplish that as well. She breaks her advice down into four sections:

1. Be open with your company

If you’re pursuing your personal brand in your free time, Duque stresses that you make sure your boss hears about it from you first. Many workplaces encourage employees to build a personal brand, so don’t hesitate to share your efforts. Plus, some workplaces have online and social media policies and you’ll want to be sure you’re following the guidelines. And of course, honor your commitment to your employer and keep personal branding in your personal time.

In Bloomburg Businessweek, career and workplace expert Dan Schawbel argues that personal branding amongst employees can be a win-win for both parties. The more you accomplish in the workplace, the more respect you’ll earn in your personal brand. If you cross promote, you can strengthen a personal brand to be used in the long-term for your career and your presence at your current company by engaging potential customers.

2. Keep it consistent

Whatever your personal brand is, make sure it stays consistent across the board and in all your posts, Duque says. Maintain your brand’s focused niche to stay on topic and build a following. Strike a balance between your personal brand vs. corporate brand. On anything you post online, distinguish it as your thoughts and not your company’s. YP Advertising Solutions has some great tips for maintaining consistency in your brand online.

3. Use your time wisely

When you’re already working full time, the last thing you’d want to do is commit more time to your personal brand. However, devoting a small amount of time each day to work on your personal brand can mean a lot for your online engagement. By carving out a few minutes everyday, you can target high traffic hours online to maximize your posts. If you’re short on time, social media management tools can post for you at a scheduled time and date when created ahead of time. Search Engine Journal has a great post breaking down the ten best programs for social media management.

4. Create great content

The way to establish a strong personal brand is through quality content, says Duque. Whether it’s through blog posts, podcasts, videos, or tweets, your brand will only get stronger and reach a larger audience through engaging content. Because people connect with other people and not necessarily brands, as Paul Chaney says in his article, Balance Your Personal and Corporate Branding, be personable in your content and don’t hesitate to reach out to your audience for more involvement.

What do you think of Duque’s advice for personal branding vs. corporate branding? How do you balance between the two? Share your thoughts and leave a comment below!