In this paper I address the possibilities offered by different programs on personal branding company, applications, advantages and disadvantages. Finally, indicated what the consultant profile / ideal trainer to carry out these programs.
Personal branding in the company: the great unknown
In Spain and some Latin American countries, the development of such programs in the company's testimonial. Responsible for that situation are not the companies themselves, We are consultants and trainers in personal branding, we have not been able to convey the benefits and the return they would get organizations to include in their training plans and consulting applications derived from corporate or personal branding personal branding in the company (employee advocacy programs, executive branding, employer branding…).
For me, I will try to amend the error.
The origin of Personal Branding
Although the word “personal” leads us to think that this is a individual action, the first author who coined the term “personal branding”, Tom Peters, he referred to as personal branding enhancing personal brand of employees and to discover their role as intraemprendedores. That is to say, professionals understood as micro-enterprises (he calls it Me Inc., translated as I S.L.) with initiative and ability to go beyond their job roles in creating value to the grupos de interés.
Personal Branding development
A few years after Peters coined the expression (it was in 1998), literature about personal brand management dissociated himself from the company and its advantages and wrongly associated -only- independent professionals.
The arrival of the web 2.0 and its impact on brand management staff
It should be noted that while the Internet already existed at that time, social and professional networks are not consolidated their presence until the end of the first decade 2000. There was a significant change: anyone could use for good or bad- the Internet means to vehicular his message and value proposition. Shyly markets began to be conversations and companies had to change monologue (advertising, RR.PP) yet ongoing dialogue with customers, contributors, shareholders, influencers, detractors. Definitely, grupos de interés. This dialogue was to blogging platform and social networks.
Emerge corporate digital reputation as a mechanism for monitoring and defense of brand identity and company. Organizations begin to create and activate profiles on social networks to protect themselves from crisis and attacks, but also as a means parallel to traditional communication to transfer brand value.
two curious phenomena occur:
1. Finally Crises always meet people with names which it is across the phone or computer. Reading: Brands do not solve problems reputation, why do people.
2. there are employers who still think that if your company does not have a Facebook profile are to deliver on that network attacks. Let's call it naivety 2.0. The solution is not to be present in all social networks or blogs, It is in control them and have a small army of “fans of the brand” -internal or external- they can converse with opponents and establish a constructive dialogue. It is difficult for brands to be assertive, but people can be.
Put a community manager It is not the solution
A mistake many companies and marketing and communication departments is to believe that a community manager solves everything.
The community manager can monitor the network for problems reputation, detect fans and brand influencers. You can share corporate messages in different digital media. You can make monitoring reports and evolution of trends stakeholders in the digital environment. In some cases it may be a generator or content curator. But can not afford a crisis alone.
As Ivan Diaz says (Branzai) branding problem will, no solutions. It refers to our unhealthy obsession with finding the solution before thoroughly study the root of the problem.
What time is now personal branding?
Between 2010 and 2015 many professionals have become aware of the importance of managing your brand. The crisis has helped, definitely. Also the increased presence of consultants personal brand texts, methodologies and ideas have helped many people to self-manage their brand (with or without mentors).
Since 2015, proliferate courses, workshops and talks about the personal branding. Many of them, Besides, sponsored by public institutions, other private entities, and others for business schools.
In Spain, for example, excellent texts have been published, books, blogs about. Highlighted the following books: And you, What brand you are? (Neus Arques), Expertología, Personal Branding for Dummies (Andrés Pérez Ortega), The challenge (Pablo Adán says), Brand are you (Eva Collado Durán), Desmárcate (Xavi Roca), Coffee with Chan (As Bondia), The map of your talent (Arancha Ruiz), Your professional brand (Fabián González) and, sweeping homeward, the entire collection of ebooks Soymimarca (6 Until now).
At the dawn of this little hatch, it appears intrusiveness. It is common. Emergen false gurus personal brand, who they call themselves experts but have not even had the decency to read a book about it or take care of your own brand. Intrusismo classic format usually comes from the hand of the experts Multilevel and self-styled experts personal brand 2.0.
Personal branding seems to be a good time. But there is a public that refuses to adopt: the companies. There are several reasons: fear (to promote employees and march), repudiation (It is usual), and what I call “toxic crosscutting“. I mean that the application of personal branding in the company affects three major departments: communication, human Resources, commercial (and therefore, to the general direction). And here come the problems Who should drive personal branding programs? Syndrome “that is from another department, it's not my competition” imposes. Inaction dangerous where there.
Personal branding applications in the enterprise
The different types of program that can adopt personal branding in the company They have a triple beneficiary, on the one hand company and its corporate brands, on the other own professionals the organization and on the other the market. Without understanding this principle something for something It is impossible to advance.
A term coined by the specialist William Arruda. Basically programs individual consulting made to company executives. It is the best possible start, as managers become aware of managing their brand in symbiosis with the corporate branding of the organization. When the mindset is created above and flows to the rest of the company is operating. The reverse is useless.
Training personal brand
It is workshops of varying lengths (ideally one to two days) that professionals (middle management, senior managers…) become aware of what brand they project their peers, bosses, customers…, analyze your business model, message, and discover the possibilities of personal communication, both internal means (key aspect) and external.
Employee Advocacy (Employee mark)
Also known as programs Employee Branding, Internal Brand Ambassadors O Advocate Branding. It is mixed programs of training and consulting to project the brand used in parallel to the corporate brand, strengthening communication activities of the company and its brands. Makes employees (only voluntarily) in the best influencers marks the organization. well used, These programs include techniques social selling to obtain measurable results in improved confidence, media exposure and sales.
The guiding principle behind these programs is the People trust people (people trust people) and coined by Arruda Your People are your Brand (your career is your brand).
Employer Branding (Employer brand)
Programs are attracting external talent based on the projection of the brand values, the working environment in the company, testimonies of experiences (storytelling). They act like pull, They are part of a philosophy inbound marketing. A candidate prefer to work in a company “Best place to work” in another that offers better economic conditions.
Advantages of Personal Branding in the company
Humanization of brands
A corporate blog without personal signatures is not a blog, It is a news section 1.0 unable to emotionally connect with the audience it addresses.
People attract us. My colleague Fran Segarra, humanizing where there, often refers to the pareidolia as a psychological phenomenon in which we tend to identify human faces or objects in nature. In this phenomenon continues Instagram with the hashtag #Iseefaces, totaling more than 450.000 images.
Build trust (or rebuild trust)
We know, thanks to the excellent work of Edelman and its annual barometer Edelman Trust the big bosses of companies do not inspire confidence. Conversely, our peers, people like us, technical and academic profiles profiles inspire us confidence.
The graph shows how, despite the general loss of confidence in 2017 compared to 2016, vector credibility of a person like us (a person like you / peers) becomes the largest, while the sufferer is less wear.
Alignment of values (corporate and personal) in one voice
One of the advantages of training programs personal branding in the company It is that help brands and employees put on the table their values and coincidences and affinities are analyzed. It is important that corporate statements (view, mission, values) They are not written so that they are alien to the professionals who will support the company brands. In the same way, it is important that employees internalize their role as spokespersons for the brand and understand very well where your company is going and each of the brands.
In an article I wrote a few years ago in blog titled Soymimarca How to transform employees into brand ambassadors, He detailing the three essential steps to implement a program employee advocacy programs:
- Promote self-awareness and personal identity (personal branding) among employees
- Turning knowledge of internal brand a priority (Corporate Branding)
- Connect the personal and corporate
What would the communications director of a company if I told you thank your employees can sixfold messages reach of their brands? Surely I'm lying. But for my download, data are published in the excellent book by Cheryl and Mark Burgess The social employee. The text recounts real cases of companies like IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, house, Acxiom or in their social media plans shared with its employees as brand ambassadors.
Far from seeing their professionals as a threat to corporate communication plans, they see them as allies in a something for something that employees internally and externally reinforce their professional recognition, your personal brand.
This was the particular issue that tried in the TED “Small Data, the power of people“, which it based on the strength of the connection company / VALUES market to connect employees / VALUES grupos de interés. Something I call Superpowers.
Help crisis settings
I'll leave something clear to avoid misunderstandings: managing an internal crisis is the responsibility of Communication, vice presidency, protocol… And no employee. But clarified this aspect, who better can support the company in crisis management are human persons as maximum generating confidence and credibility.
In this excerpt from an academic article entitled “Employees: The key link to corporate reputation management” and the importance of employees glimpsed in crisis management.
Clearly a committed employee will be more impervious to external proposals for change than one that is not. But I prefer to call retention “Talent conviction“. The Anglo-Saxons call lasting power, but whatever the expression that defines, motivational talk, illusory, Shared Project, future participation and decision-making, of involvement.
I am the first who argues that the difference is nothing if we do not join the relevance. But personal branding in the company makes a mark different from its competitors. Although it may seem utopian, a brand is also imbued with the values of the people who drive. I do not like to use famous people, but to illustrate the case we will: Amazon carries DNA Jeff Bezos, one of the world's top rated CEO and one of the biggest drivers of personal branding.
Blaise James, a strategic brand consultant Gallup, He concludes in an interview call “The Value of Personal Branding” (2009) the next:
“Employees own brand are self-sufficient and more innovative. They are problem solvers, and commit themselves thoroughly with the corporate brand”
The principle that we can all connect comes alive with personal branding company. Normally the role attributed networking the management team, Board of Directors and commercial team. But with a properly applied program contacts will also emerge from the conversation that project employees. My colleague Ricard Pons He holds-and I agree- We sell all. Matiz: we sell, but we do not sell. We sell the products and services we offer, with which we feel comfortable, aligned.
What if the company would be forced to close due to financial problems, legal…? The application of personal branding programs will equip professionals that organization skills of self-knowledge, self-management, entrepreneurship, and communication to perform better in a crisis scenario.
Disadvantages of Personal Branding in the company
Where there are advantages there are also disadvantages. And the Personal Branding in the company no stranger. Here I detail the most relevant:
It is public enemy N1 of Personal Branding. Such programs should start from the top and down to be effective. Imagine that among the recommendations of the external consultant, include the implementation of a corporate social network (kind Yammer). If there is no involvement of managers, always be frowned upon an employee is putting a like in a review of internal social network.
Big problems of lack of use of these resources are given by the lack of positive mindset by “bosses”, value that only this type of communication channels as a waste of time.
no immediate return
The managers Today they are essentially short-sighted. They do not consider an investment if the return is not fast. Do not blame. But programs personal branding in the company They are not the rabbit chistera. Require several phases: mindset, structure, determining the persons who will perform the program, make formations, implement action plans, measure outcomes and improve the worst rated areas.
ROI is not an investment in machinery for a sausage factory. competences soft -and what is personal branding- generally they have a positive return but slower than that of hardware.
The advantage in the ROI is that good consultants will choose the most likely professionals to develop personal branding programs. This not only speeds up the implementation, but guarantees its success and subsequent internal diffusion.
The idea associated programs personal branding in the company cost is. Rarely it arises as a depreciable investment. The fact that a program Employee Advocacy can help reduce the marketing budget will be welcomed by Human Resources, but not Marketing. With the church we have encountered.
The vertical type organizations very unlikely to achieve consensus on a responsible application of personal branding in the company. Or the role it has overall direction, or personal branding programs “they filed” in the trash.
Flight of talent
Many managers with whom I have spoken say that personal branding can contribute to the brain drain. It is not easy to convince them that those who abscond are not receiving any training or mentoring. It is not easy to convince them that as the director of Gallup says, own brand professionals are more committed to the company.
Who can implement programs in organizations Personal Branding
To end, Some advice for any company are encouraged to implement these programs.
- consultants / trainers must project a strong personal brand, both offline and online, and be recognized by the market as specialists. A professor of personal brand without personal brand can little mentorizar. In this sense, welcome to read the post A teacher without personal brand personal brand? which he brought some controversy. In Spain, for example, there are some 15 professionals who fulfill this requirement.
- consultants / trainers must have experience in consulting and training in holistic personal branding. And with comprehensive I mean not only have skills related social networks, or only strategy or techniques of introspection. They must be able to treat all. The process personal brand is an iceberg, which it requires a lot submerged part to the emerging shine.
- consultants / trainers must have experience as employees and managers in organizations. Otherwise it will be difficult to understand the problems of their client or assess and quantify the opportunity presented by implementing programs.
I hope I have helped clarify some essential role personal branding in the company (personal brand management in organizations). There is much to do, but first break barriers.
I have a detailed program of how to implement the personal branding in the company. And the best, I have the support team of some of the best consultants and trainers in personal branding. The choice is yours.
If you want to discard this article in PDF, here you have the link.
PD: The 3rd edition of the congress Personal Branding Lab Day (Barcelona, 22 June 2017) It will focus precisely on the implementation of Personal Branding programs in organizations. If your company is interested in participating, I beg you to send me a message through my section Contact.
Faces image by Shutterstock.com