Unleash the Dual Branding Beast: How Aligning Your Personal and Business Brands Can Give You an Edge
What’s Dual Branding in the First Place?
Dual branding is a structured strategy that involves parallel work at building both a strong corporate brand and a solid personal brand associated with a business’s leader(s). The corporate brand represents the company’s image and reputation, while the personal brand represents the leader’s image and reputation.
Combining both allows the company to differentiate itself from competitors in the most authentic way possible and personally connect with its target audience. Influencers and content creators can also benefit from dual branding by aligning their personal brand with their content or business brand.
You can find great examples of dual branding in the relationship between Patagonia and its founder, Yvon Chouinard, and the relationship between Apple and its founder, Steve Jobs. Patagonia is known for its commitment to environmental sustainability and ethical business practices. These values align with the personal brand of Yvon Chouinard, a well-known environmentalist, and advocate for sustainable business practices.
Similarly, Steve Jobs was known for his innovative and visionary leadership style. His values are closely aligned with those of Apple to create technology that is not only innovative and cutting-edge but also easy to use and accessible to everyone. Apple products and services all exude Steve Jobs’s passion for design and user experience and for making technology better integrated, more intuitive, and more user-friendly.
Why Dual Branding Is Next Level Brand Strategy
It’s easy to think that personal and corporate branding are separate disciplines, one more in self-development and the other in the business or marketing sphere. Still, they are closely intertwined and, when used in parallel, have a significant effect on each other, the business, and its reputation. To have more impact and success, businesses must have both a strong company brand and a solid personal brand as entrepreneurs and thought leaders in their industry.
Every individual is unique, and a solid personal brand backing a business will help it stand out in today’s marketplace. It will also greatly guide the company’s business and innovation efforts. This will build trust with the target audience and ultimately drive more understanding, loyalty, sales, cross-selling, and customer self-selection, to name a few side effects. It will also help to attract and retain employees, sponsors, and partners who align with the leader’s values and mission.
How Dual Branding Can Work for You
When your personal brand aligns with your company brand, you project a powerful and authentic message that resonates with the right audience. This alignment makes a stronger impression and helps your business establish a clear and recognizable brand identity. It will generate a powerful, lasting image with more depth and meaning than a more anonymous or strictly commercial brand.
Influencers and content creators should also consider working on their personal brand and aligning it with their business brand. This allows them to differentiate from other influencers and creators in their field and match with their target audience on a deeper, more cultural level. Here, a connection is everything, indeed.
Consistency is, of course, another critical aspect to keep in mind when implementing dual branding. Consistency in messaging, tone of voice, and visual identity across all platforms, including social media, websites, and marketing materials, establishes and maintains a solid and recognizable brand identity. If you choose to leverage dual branding, you must continuously evaluate and adjust your personal and company brands as the business and industry evolve. This will ensure that both brands remain relevant and aligned with overarching values, purpose, and mission.
Finally, storytelling is essential to create a personal connection with your target audience and convey your company’s values, purpose and mission. There’s abundant literature about corporate brand storytelling. Still, personal branding will also be greatly enhanced by sharing your personal story as a leader, how you got to where you are, your struggles, and how you overcome them, and by sharing your vision and how you see the future of your business. Personal storytelling will make you more relatable and authentic to your audience. This is the secret to creating brand fans.
Remember that it’s crucial to be authentic and genuine to yourself when developing your personal brand story. I would also recommend you’re willing to take risks and be a little bit of a rebel. As Steve Jobs said, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.”
But whatever you go for, when you use dual branding, always be consistent and use the same messaging, tone of voice, and visual identity across all platforms. And because branding is never a one-time task, continuously monitor and adjust how your two brands interact: they are two sides of the same coin.
Why You Should Start Now
Dual branding is a powerful strategy that can greatly benefit a business, influencer, or content creator, if not the most powerful. At the end of the day, building a solid personal brand instead of competing with traditional marketing spending makes more sense. It is cheaper, more efficient, credible, and immediately more relatable for your audience. It will ensure you stand out in a crowded market, attract investors, and increase your chances of success. Aligning it with your company brand will project a powerful and authentic message that resonates with your fans and makes a lasting impression.
I know what you may think now: “That’s all great, Manelik, but branding is costly stuff for the big guys, and I’m a small business.” Let me disagree. It is not for the big guys; it is actually how they became big.
In my career, I’ve met many small and midsize businesses that felt professional branding is only for large corporations and not something they can implement at their level. But please remember that many of today’s large companies were once small and midsize businesses. They achieved their current success by implementing strong branding strategies right from the start.
Apple was a small startup when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded it in 1976. The company’s early success was partly due to its innovative and cutting-edge products. Still, it was also due to the strong branding and marketing strategy that they implemented from the beginning. By aligning their personal and company brand, they established themselves as a leader in the technology industry and connected with customers on a personal level.
Similarly, Amazon started as an online bookstore in 1994, and now it is one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world. The company’s success is due partly to the strong branding and marketing strategy it implemented from the start. By aligning their personal and company brand with convenience, reliability, and customer service, they established themselves as a leader in the e-commerce industry and connected with customers on a personal level.
In both cases, solid branding from the start was a crucial factor in the growth and success of these companies. Small and midsize businesses can achieve the same success by implementing a solid branding strategy from the start and aligning personal and company brands.
Businesses of all sizes, influencers, and content creators can benefit from dual branding. All at their level and in their own context. Branding, especially personal branding, is not necessarily a significant investment in money. Still, it’s certainly an effort in terms of time and energy. But it’s undeniably worth it to up your game, lower your marketing costs, accelerate results, and drive lasting success.
Manelik is a branding expert with over 20 years of experience leading branding efforts for multinational companies and agencies. With a deep understanding of how to create effective and impactful brands, he is now dedicated to helping small and midsize businesses, and startups improve their branding quickly and affordably.