Why a Strong Personal Brand is Good for a Company's Bottom Line....
Recently Social Media Today hosted a webinar with Porter Gale, Michael Brito, and Martin Jones that explored the benefits of a personal brand.
Michael Brito said, "There's a way to look at that personal brand as... a way of influencing change within the organization and having a strong personal brand internally is a way of driving change... Having a strong brand externally is just as important...[It's a way] of telling stories, having employees serve as brand journalists or advocates is a way to influence people and customers.
If we think of this idea of employee advocacy, we know that if we do it right, if we can operationalize these programs it can have a significant effect on changing a brand's perception, and on sales."
According to Porter Gale, the value of personal brand, or "recognizing the power of connections" helped to bring about a partnership with (Virgin America and) Twitter. "We had wifi in the planes ... it wasn't just a customer service thing, it was also a way we were generating a lot of press, there was just a lot of buzz, about how we were using social... That word-of-mouth can be very powerful."
Interestingly, Gale noted the value of the social graph, which can help in terms of building a trusted brand and lies at the heart of trust-based new businesses like Airbnb.
Porter's book, Your Network is Your Net Worth, recommends the method that Apple uses in product development, The Funnel Test, a way of creating focus around three areas that you are most passionate about. This test should guide your choice of your own personal brand. This leads to the greatest success in your online brand.
Martin Jones is responsible for a platform, for Cox Blue, that has brought its customers personal brands into an aggregation platform to discuss business issues. This is a smart marketing strategy of creating content collaboratively in way that celebrates brands outside the company whose interests are similar.
"We're continuing to add more media and are testing new forms," says Jones. To Gale's Funnel Test, Jones points out that while focus is key, producing a broad amount of content of the kind of content they are developing on Cox Blue can "maintain our dialogue with a prospect. It allows us to focus on how to build those relationships and grow that engagement over time."
Many, many thanks to Martin and Cox Blue for sponsoring this conversation.
image: personal brand/shutterstock