In previous episodes, we talked about touchpoints – those occasions where the consumer meets, or touches, the brand. We looked at logo and naming, at uniforms and front line staff, at storefronts and how to talk on the phone. On top of all this, there is still one important touch point we haven’t talked about yet.
Yes, you – the owner or founder of your company. When you started your brand, you probably thought about everything else – the business idea, the production process, pricing – but not about how it would affect you as a person.
This is what personal branding about. And I don’t mean the type of personal brand that by now we all seek to portray, especially through our social media presence. I am talking about the owner or chief executive of a company, a brand. You know, people care about people. And however interesting and well positioned your brand may be, however desirable your products: consumers and by extension the media will be interested to know who’s behind the brand. Just like for any the big fashion houses, all established brands, there’s ongoing speculation on the creative director who is moulding the brand in his image.
But I’m no creative director, you may say. It’s not about me. I’d rather stay in the background. Understandable since being the face of the brand will come with increased scrutiny, and you may prefer to avoid the limelight.
But people matter, and instead of looking at this interest as a burden, take it as an opportunity. People like Richard Branson or Jack Ma have used this to their advantage, since having a face of the brand that is closely associated with its story, someone who can convincingly talk about how the brand was started and why, gives the media a different angle to write about (Think about the portraits of business leaders in the business papers) and creates attention.
So you better get ready. If you’ve been closely involved with your brand from the beginning, you would already talk about it with knowledge, enthusiasm and conviction. Who better than you to tell the authentic brand story since you’re part of it?
The challenge may lie not so much in what that you talk about, but more in the how. Many of us are more comfortable in a 1-on-1 conversation, or a discussion with a small group of good friends. Standing on stage before a large audience at a conference or being interviewed on radio or on TV may be intimidating to us.
But these hesitations can be overcome through training. In Singapore, there are a number of good trainers to be found who are excellent at coaching CEOs and business leaders to make their case in front of big audiences or the media. It’s about memory, breathing techniques and how to speak clearly and slowly. But most of all it’s about confidence and you will see that you will get better with time.
Just imagine you’re talking to your good friends, and let your enthusiasm for your brand show.