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BRANDIN; It's Not Always Just Business, Sometimes its Personal

BRANDIN; It's Not Always Just Business, Sometimes its Personal

Published: June 15, 2010 Updated: March 2, 2012

This past week the Ohio SBDC at Columbus State held its sixth annual Ohio Growth Summit*. It was another spectacular event. The day opened with the largest panel ;ve, and -m sure anyone, has ever seen. The panelists* were convened by the moderator Nate Riggs* based on their successful leverage of their personal brand to drive their business. I was approached after the session by a business partner who felt that he and a few other attendees did-t see what the mornin's discussion of on's personal brand had anything to do with developing a brand for their business. Le's see if I can make the connectio'

What is a brand? A brand is an identity and personality of an entity that is all encompassing. A brand is represented by certain elements the average consumer typically thinks of such as a compan's logo and color palette, name, tagline, etc. But what also represents an entit's brand, and is equally, if not more, important, is how well it delivers on its product or service promises. In this sense brands are typically thought of in terms of a company or business; however, there is little difference from on's personal brand.

According to Chris Brogan*,'A strong personal brand is a mix of reputation, trust, attention, and execution. As a small business owner, many of whom are sole proprietors, you are your company and thus your brand. Your company is built on the interactions you have with your customers and the community in which you live, work and play. Say you are a baker who strives to share the wholesome, made-from-scratch delectable treats you knew as a child. Beyond designing your logo, menu, advertising and store décor how could you use your personal brand to drive your business? One possibility is to share yourself with your customers. Who is the baker? Is the baker a lively person who is always pleasant, shares tips on how to bake a perfect cookie, and supports the local little league? The experiences and relationship your customers have with you will be attributed to your business as well, positive or negative, regardless of your intention.

How do you go about using your personal brand to benefit your business? Chris Brogan has been generous enough to share an e-book* on using your personal brand - definitely a must read. Fast Company, has some advice courtesy of the some of the big business fellas, and Caron Beesley has 5 tips on being your own advocate and an opinion on using social media for branding that may be helpful to you. But most importantly, remember to be yourself, share your passion, be transparent and always be authentic.

A You can also find Tonya on twitter at @TonyaWilson


* This hyperlink goes to a non-government website

About the Author:

Tonya Wilson
As a member of the Ohio SBDC at Columbus State, we provide entrepreneurial development assistance and business consulting to start-up, emerging, and existing business owners. In addition to one-on-on advising, we create, coordinate and promote programs and events to inspire, educate and engage individuals who wish to start or grow a small business.