The Pros and Cons of Personal Branding
When you’re branding your business you may be wondering what direction is best for your venture. An obvious option is naming your business with your own personal name.
How do you know if this is the right decision for you?
If you’ve read my book Branding on a Shoestring you’ll know that naming is the very last step in the brand development process.
It’s important that you’re clear first on your businesses big idea and especially your brand strategy before you can decide if a personal brand name or branded company name is right decision for you.
Your brand strategy should answer the following:
- Why does your business exist besides making money? (Purpose Statement)
- What’s your long-term future goals for your business? (Vision Statement)
- What is the truth about how your business will behave? (Core Values)
- What are you selling and who are you selling to? (Brand Positioning)
- What promise are you making? (Brand Promise)
If you’re not confident how to answer these questions you could end up making a short-term decision that will cost you in the future.
Having to re-name your business later on, is not cheap and it can create confusion for your existing community of customers.
Over the years, there has been an explosion of new websites online. Many bloggers started with a branded company name and then eventually ended up using their own personal brand name. A personal brand name may or may not be right for you.
Here the pro’s and con’s for personal branding to help you decide if this is the right direction for your new business.
Pros for personal branding
- People like to do business and buy from real people
- It allows your message to grow and evolve as you do
- It keeps you and your authenticity at the core of your business
- If you have a unique name it can be virgin territory on the internet
- It’s a great option if you want to establish personal credibility
- You can establish the like, know and trust factor faster
Cons for personal branding
- If you’re building your business to sell it then choosing a personal brand is not your best choice (unless you don’t mind changing your name :-))
- It can be challenging to scale the business for high growth because your customers may want to have direct contact with you
- If you get negative press it will follow you around like a bad smell
- You cannot afford to be shy if you have a personal brand
- If your name is difficult to spell it might be hard for people to find you when they search for you online
- If your name is common it may be challenging to carve out a unique space online in the google search
- If you’re a private person a personal brand might not be the right choice for you
What are personal brands are best suited for?
What are some great examples of personal brands:
I hope this article serves you. In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you. What’s your business name?
Bright love & gratitude,
Andrea, this is a great article. I just went through a re-brand of my business and contemplated shifting to a personal brand. At the end of the day, I stuck with Lighthouse Visionary Strategies. It felt right to do so. What you wrote in this article is really clear and simple — wish you wrote it awhile back!! 😉
I’m a beautypreneur and I’ve had this challenge. When I was practicing I was my brand, (Rashida B.) my beauty studio was The B Spot. Now that I’m transitioning into another area of the beauty industry — I’ll be helping solo beauty pros with their marketing as well beauty start-ups with creative funding options like crowdsourcing (their campaign pitches, media, marketing etc.).
Initially, I wanted to continue to use my personal brand Rashida B, and I’ve already began to see the challenges and I haven’t even launched yet. 1. People won’t let go of the fact that I’m no longer a beauty technician (Sorry not doing brows and nails anymore ladies) 2. I thought about the fact that I would like to scale in the future and develop an official curriculum that I’d like to shop around to beauty schools. So I’ve decided to go with a branded company.
I refer to your book often and have attended a webinar of yours. Very helpful and insightful information, I appreciate the value you bring. Have a great remainder of the week.
Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your log in Safari, it looiks finbe but
when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing blog!
Thanks for letting us know! We just made some changes to the blog so I appreciate your feedback so we can fix it. Cheers,Andrea
Such a nice article and it’s cover almost all the points that were come in my mind before start the branding, I started with the business name imsimplycreative but in the end i discover that personal branding is more easy and useful. Now i use my personal name http://ataurrehman.com for business.