As a group, the C-suite are often thought of as early adopters of the idea of building a personal brand, recognizing that it would enable them to leverage their strengths to help their teams achieve goals and benefit the company. As an executive in today’s age, personal branding is being seen as a “leadership imperative” according to Glenn Loppis in his recent article for Forbes. Think “Apple” and “Steve Jobs” likely comes to mind; “Jack Welch” and you probably think of GE; for better or worse – Mike Jeffries and Abercrombie and Fitch. It becomes difficult to separate the executive from the organization they represented.
As the spokespeople for your corporate and employer brand, take note of how the executives’ personal brands support the organization’s Employer Brand. Are they easy to find? Are they actively communicating in a way that is consistent with your corporate message?
A 2011 study by Weber Shandwick found that 66% of consumers agreed; their perceptions of the top leader in any company impacted their view of that organization. As the C-level executives are the public face of a company, it’s critical to understand that consistent communication of your Employer Brand needs to start at the top.
Thanks to today’s international, interconnected technologies, individuals can reach a large audience with minimal effort. Social media provides many tools for building and maintaining a personal brand through an online persona. These tools can help your executive develop an active voice within your target candidate and client communities, creating thought leadership with a blog or by leading industry discussion threads.
Consider what additional vehicles your leaders use to express their brand. Twitter or Instagram are great instant ways to showcase an executive’s strategic thinking and sense of humour; creating a more personalized experience for the public when interacting with your organization. Once things are posted, however, it’s impossible to take them back – so it is key to ensure that the messaging reliably reflects the values you want to be known for.
How your C-suite build their personal identities within your organization is also important. Does it align with the corporate branding? In their email communications, intranet articles, or town-hall meetings, do they support the organization? When an executive’s voice, or behaviour is inconsistent with what the company is trying to build, it can weaken the message by making it appear less authentic.
Your employees are ambassadors for your company within their own personal networks and when the employee value proposition is reinforced through corporate communication and is supported by the executives’ personal brand – it strengthens the overall corporate brand.
About Blu Ivy Group
Blu Ivy Group is a leading employer branding and employee engagement consultancy that aligns your organization with contemporary workplace paradigms. Blu Ivy Group’s mission is to help client’s build award-winning people practices, inspire extraordinary employee engagement, and cultivate unique and desirable workplaces.
Blu Ivy Group provides integrated solutions in employer brand and engagement research, strategic consulting, employer brand integration, creative and talent communications.
Blu Ivy Group is a trusted partner to many of North America’s most respected employer brands. For more information, go to www.bluivygroup.com