When you’re setting up a new venture, it’s worth considering how you will market your business. One question to ask is whether to brand yourself as a company or an individual. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and the choice you make may depend on the nature of your work. Let’s take an in-depth look at personal branding vs corporate branding.
A good place to start is with some definitions:
- Personal branding involves marketing yourself (or a version of yourself) as an individual, over and above the services you provide. You’ll probably use your own name, or a stage name, as your professional brand name.
- Company branding positions your company as the service provider. Your brand identity and personality are separate from your status as an individual.
Why opt for personal branding?
It’s easy to fall into personal branding by default if you begin as a sole trader, a jack-of-all-trades with no support staff. But it’s useful to think longer-term to determine whether this will work as you develop your business.
Personal branding might be a good fit if your character and personality are a big part of what you’re selling. Celebrities, authors, personal trainers and consultants can all use their personal brand identity to good effect, and it can help them to market the unique contribution they offer.
The personal touch can be a big advantage in personal branding, because it helps you to connect with your audience on a human level. This can be a challenge for some corporate brands, who struggle to humanise their business and forge those valuable relationships. But on its own, easier engagement is not a big enough reason to opt for personal branding.
When company branding is a better choice for your business
Company branding offers several advantages over personal branding in many industries. Customers often prefer to put their trust in what they see as a company, rather than an individual. Perhaps they feel more confident in the perceived reliability of a corporate brand, or they can simply identify better with exactly what the company offers.
It’s also good to look to the future. If your personal brand is a success but you want to move on – whether you’re retiring or simply seeking new challenges – it’ll be tricky for your personal brand to continue without you at the helm.
By using company branding rather than operating under your own name, you can be more flexible, hiring trusted subcontractors when the work demands it and expanding to employ permanent staff. You can create a company name that communicates unambiguously what the company does, whether that’s plumbing, accounting or design. You can also appear more professional and compete more easily with larger and more established brands – your customers won’t need to know how small your operations are behind the scenes. If you’re not able to carry on working for the company, your brand can live on, independently of you.
Discover your brand at a workshop
Not sure how to market your business? I offer brand workshops in London and St Albans for ambitious business owners who are looking to re-energise and grow their business. Whether you are looking to enter new markets or simply build a team, I can help you identify and discover your brand to get a clear message to your customers. Give me a call on 07557 768107 to find out more information, or contact me today.