Leaders: Control and develop your personal brand
Leaders: Control and develop your personal brand
Marketing strategy and its development is an activity at the heart of the day-to-day management of a company, regardless of the sector of activity of the same company. Today, business leaders and other senior executives are all trained in marketing rigor, all techniques and theories related to the development and construction of a good marketing policy for their company. It would even be impossible to envisage, nowadays, developing a company without giving it a clear and defined marketing strategy in the short, medium and long term.
But other questions may now arise, now that a marketing strategy has been understood as such and implemented by most companies in France but also in the rest of the world: what about the image of the company manager? Indeed, within the framework of this marketing strategy, isn’t the image returned by the manager of the same company an additional channel to be mastered to ensure the success of this strategy? Of course, this applies primarily to large companies and in particular those in the CAC 40 in France. However, this central question will therefore concern us throughout this article, in all the lines and paragraphs that follow.
The personal brand of the director
Large international companies like Apple, to name just one, have often relied on the personality of their executives to grow. If we take the example of the apple firm, it is really because this multinational company is a perfect illustration of what this first part is all about: sometimes, the manager of a company says more than an entire marketing strategy, however good it may be. Steve Jobs was the calm, calm leader in the media, the famous black turtleneck sweater, the little round glasses, a man who made conferences and presentations with a tone of his own that was enough to measure the quality and perfection of his brand’s products. Steve Jobs alone made Apple a brand ahead of its time and competitors. The image conveyed by the American company’s manager was, in itself, a marketing argument justifying the price range put forward by the company but also the quality and know-how of the company’s products.
The example provided by Steve Jobs makes it clear that, sometimes and most often in the case of large companies, the manager of a company has his own executive brand. His presence on social networks, his presence in the media of any kind, all this says a lot about his company. A leader who is uncomfortable in front of the media will give the impression that it is his entire society that has things to hide and blame itself for. On the other hand, a confident, friendly and pleasant manager will make his company a good company, close to his employees and the realities of the market, even if the real situation would be quite different. It is therefore essential for a company manager and more broadly for a senior manager to ensure that all the signals he sends to the media, journalists, on social networks and on all platforms where his presence may be necessary. These signals sent by the entrepreneur provide an opportunity for as many interpretations as possible that can harm, or conversely benefit, his company. Be careful not to sink into the opposite side of this idea: it is true that the image of a manager is important, but it should not be constantly scrutinized to judge the state of health of his own company. The misinterpretation quickly occurred when one considers that the personal brand of the manager of a company is sufficient to judge the well-being of a company and its current development. As is often the case, it is important to maintain a certain measure, even in this area.
When a company’s marketing strategy meets that of its manager
The question then arises: how can a company manager manage both his company’s marketing strategy and his own marketing strategy? How can we avoid cannibalization between the signals sent by the company and the signals sent by its manager?
Here again, a step back is necessary to be able to answer this question. The company manager must be equal to the image conveyed by his company. A serious company, applied in its working methods, should not have at its head a manager who would permanently publish videos of his favorite cartoons on social networks. A certain consistency and control must be maintained in the communication process, both for the company and its manager. But this coherence can only be achieved when the entrepreneur becomes aware of the communication of his company and vice versa.
So, and if you are the head of a company and you have this question about the marketing strategy you should pursue with your own personal brand, take the time to study the image your company reflects. Also take the time to consult all your collaborators to find out their point of view on the issue. This will make it easier for you to send positive signals to all your company’s stakeholders (media, current and potential customers, subcontractors, etc.). This hindsight and time consuming approach is essential for a manager who would like to succeed in mastering and maintaining a personal brand that is equal to the one claimed by his company.
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