Most of the time when we think of branding, we think in terms of a business or organization, but we often overlook personal branding. Well known CEO’s, political and public figures have all established highly recognizable personal brands, endearing themselves to the general public and the corporate world. These individuals have consciously positioned their lifestyle – personality, style, and philosophy – as marketing collateral in crafting a favorable version of themselves for public perception.
These individuals have managed to monetize their identities and create business opportunities for themselves. it’s similar to applying (marketing) yourself for a job. Let’s examine how they impacted the success of a few notable personal brands.
When it comes to personal branding, the Kardashian family comes to mind immediately. Years ago, few people knew of the Kardashian’s and today their fans number in the millions. This is especially true for the most notable member of the Kardashian family, socialite Kim.
Personal Branding notes on Kim Kardashian
Brand ambassador for Hype Energy Drinks, and helped them enter the U.S. market.
In 2015, released the Kimoji app allowing fans to download Kardashian’s signature emojis.
In 2014, released Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, an app grossing over $160 million dollars.
Published a book comprised entirely of ‘selfies’, aptly titled, Selfish.
Looking at her resume, Kim Kardashian’s has clearly perfected the art of personal branding. In utilizing her personal brand as a wealthy socialite, she has been able to gain millions of media impressions. In turn, those impressions have led to co-branding partnerships and investment opportunities.
All the while she has used social media to engage with fans and build a grass roots following as a foundation for her brand. And now when she releases a new product, she doesn’t have to look far for an audience. With an expanding fan-base and business ventures, Kardashian’s brand has evolved from socialite to trend setter.
Before achieving success as a singer, Sia worked as a songwriter and collaborated with a number of artists and musicians — Rihanna, Maroon 5, Celine Dion, Britney Spears and other well-known artists. Throughout her career, amassed a catalog of songs that had been rejected by other artists. Instead of trashing them, she recorded and released them in an album entitled, This is Acting.
Personal Branding notes on Sia
Lives by the philosophy that talent takes precedence to beauty.
Sia doesn’t shy away from controversial subjects and embraces her own niche.
Steve Jobs needs no introduction, as he is widely respected as a pioneer in the development and adoption of personal computers. Jobs was known as an exacting boss by employees and fierce creative genius by competitors. Jobs forged his own path, never backing down in his beliefs which led to him being fired from Apple from 1983 to 1993.
Having an unwavering faith in his product and its quality, Jobs never thought twice about selling his product at a premium price. Nor did he hesitate to invest money into the right ad campaign. As a result, his stance on innovation forever changed the technological market. His focus on art, functionality, and practicality remain the legacy of visionary Jobs.
Personal Branding notes on Steve Jobs
Spoke on youthful experimentation of psychedelics and their influence on his approach to design.
Recognizable by his black turtleneck and rimless eye-glasses.
Jobs was significantly influenced by Buddhist philosophy.
The world has become captivated following the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections, due largely to one of the most notorious public figures, Donald Trump.
Noted for his signature hair-do, the real estate mogul-turned-presidential-candidate has considerable experience as an entrepreneur and business owner. A polarizing figure, Trump lacks political experience and has become infamous for gross etiquette and demeanor. For those reasons alone he has amassed a loyal following of supporters and detractors.
Whether you love or hate him, his business acumen and public persona have contributed significantly to his brand. While Trump’s business empire was built on inherited wealth from his family, the shrewd business has had the insight to make great business investments. The confidence exuded by Trump is on full display during his campaign. Having come from a marketing and sales background, he understands nuances of brand building.
Personal Branding notes on Donald Trump
Used wealth to crossover into pop culture — reality television, movie cameos, guest appearances, etc.
Cites business resume, which while not sparkling reveals the risk-taking traits of an entrepreneur.
Trump is recognizable by his signature hair-do… piece..? Real or fake, Trump has been true to his look for decades.
Adding to their professional accomplishments, the adopted and multi-ethnic Jolie-Pitt children only further added to their charm. Personal Branding notes on Brangelina
Created content for political campaigns, given sizable donations to non-profits, and produced social justice and outreach film projects.
Family include three adopted children from different parts of the world – Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam – and three biological children.
Regularly earned critical acclaim for their performances in film.
At TA we encourage our clients to embrace their identity and promote their personal brand. Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, work in sales or in renewable energy, whatever… there is a way to develop and utilize your brand. So, what is your personal brand? Do you have any insight on personal branding that we missed? Let us know!
TalenAlexander is an evolutionary idea hatched by Jason W. Ramsey. It has since grown into an advertising and marketing agency with old school philosophies currently based in Charlotte, NC, but serving clients locally and globally.