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An attractive personal brand is synonymous with the success of a business. It has been researched and proven that people generally associate a brand with a dominant person working in the company.

People are more interested in following other people rather than following companies.Human connection often creates a level of trust that is stronger than any relationship a company can attain.

Elon Musk is a living example of this theory. His follower base on Twitter is greater than that of his 3 companies (Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity) combined.  The same is true for Oprah Winfrey and other entrepreneurs like her who leverage their personal brands to increase business for their companies.

We are living in unprecedented times. Never in living memory has a crisis affected every company, from every industry, in every location, worldwide. No business has escaped the effects of coronavirus. Now more than ever, brands find themselves under the microscope. The way that they communicate, how they treat their staff and the services that they offer throughout this period of history are all decisions made by the leaders of our companies. The decisions that these leaders make now,  might follow them for the rest of their professional lives.  

The leadership team at grocery giant Morrisons have received acclaim for their handling of the virus; tripling bonuses, giving staff access to emergency funding and loosening sick pay rules. Morrisons group people director, Clare Grainger, firmly cemented the importance of her team, stating “Our highly valued colleagues have stood tall amidst the coronavirus pandemic, playing their full part in feeding the nation.”

On the contrary, professional football clubs Newcastle United FC and Tottenham FC, have come under intense scrutiny, being condemned for furloughing non-playing staff whilst players and higher management remain on their standard salaries. In other parts of Europe, players at Spain’s FC Barcelona have accepted a 70% pay cut while Italy’s Juventus players have waived salaries for four months. In the UK, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is sticking firmly to his £3,000,000 yearly bonus.

Players who are often universally loved are finding themselves on the wrong side of public opinion. How does the ongoing situation affect the reputation of not only the clubs, but the personal brands of the players, some of whom are receiving up to £350,000 per week? Will we see players announce their willingness to take reductions? Time will tell, and individuals  will be judged on the decisions taken in the coming weeks. 

A strong influential brand cannot be built overnight, but it can be lost in that time.  It takes years of perseverance, dedication, authenticity and rigour to build something that will stand out. It is an endless cycle of creating and loving what you do.  

You may often wonder, “How do I create my personal brand?” The answer lies in simplicity. Just be yourself! The foundation to build a strong personal brand lies in the ability to demonstrate your skills, passion, values and beliefs as organically as possible. The process to create your own brand can be summarised in 3 easy steps:

  1. Find your uniqueness – something that will set you apart from most people
  2. Build your reputation based on the things you want to be known for – Remember to always be authentic!
  3. Identify your target audience and have a strategy in place to continually engage with them. 

Consistency is the key to achieving success. There are several living examples of global business leaders who have strong personal brands and profitable businesses. Richard Branson (Virgin group) is one leader who has managed to achieve great success in his ventures, all while building a powerful reputation for himself. Through his various stints he has not only managed to attract business for Virgin group but also managed to create a brand that portrays him as a fun-loving individual. On many occasions, he personally sorts airline issues with passengers and comforts them, which only goes to prove that he is extremely sincere and accommodating. Although he has received a lot of criticism as well, his success far outweighs his failures.  

Another example of a leader who has created a strong personal brand for themselves is Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. She has portrayed herself as a feminist and a supporter for strong women in the workplace. Documenting her journey of balancing motherhood and her career, she has won over many hearts. These great leaders demonstrate to us that building a brand is a continuous and evolving process and never really ends. 

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos 

Now is the opportunity to start building your personal brand. Now, more than ever, the world is looking for leaders. LSPR’s programme on Influential Personal Branding is the perfect platform that will help you to build your presence on social media and engage successfully with anyone, even under stressful conditions. Under the guidance of our experienced lecturers you will learn how to stand out and leave a lasting impression.

- Miloni Jogani, April 3rd 2020 

Last updated: 21 Apr 2020

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