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Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room, as per Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. It is about your behaviour – how you treat other people, what you say, how congruent it is to your personal values.
In companies where leaders highly value customer relationships and service as well as their people inspiration and development, leaders develop their leadership brand to better engage with their people and empower them to WOW the customer.
Personal brand development is more important
Personal brand has become more important than company and corporate brand development. Why? Because people that work in a company are building a company brand by how they serve customers, how they communicate and deliver or exceed the expectations of customers and shareholders. Customers trust people more than companies and they build relationships with people, rather than with companies.
If you have an issue with a product or service that you recently bought, whom do you call? The company? No, you call the person who can help you solve the issue. And who is answering the phone? The company? No – the person. The way this customer service person will treat you and help to solve your issue, you will make an assumption about the company brand experience and will develop your judgement about that particular company.
Great leaders inspire their people to serve the customer with excellence
I have been researching what takes it from a good to a great leadership, and here is what I have discovered: Leaders who develop their personal brand are much more impactful to inspire their people and teams to WOW the customer. They are very clear on what is their message, what is their purpose and role and what they want to achieve to exceed.
Employees need clarity from their leader and vision to follow. Personal brand development makes people more impactful and successful in their roles by having better clarity – what are their strengths and talents, how they can best add value and gain personal satisfaction in adding the value to customers, their company, their teams. Therefore, current workshops and coaching sessions for employees and leaders focus on how to develop their personal brand and to become an integral part of Talent or leadership development. .
Personal brand development is about clarity and adding value
I encourage people to build their personal brand to be able to better serve customers. Developing personal brand means having clarity on what value you are adding to the people around you, to your customers – in the way how you treat them and help them with solutions. Do you deliver a solution or service that exceeds expectations? People and companies with strong brands never start out with the intent to build a great brand for themselves. They build it to better serve others.
How do you help your experts to differentiate themselves in the market?, is one of the questions for you to ask to develop your company business success. For your employees to have clarity on how do they add value – by providing innovative customer solutions, by being visible, accessible and reachable for your customers, by managing the claims in the way that adds value for customer business, by developing innovative solutions and products that improve life for your customers.
When people build their personal brand, their confidence increases tremendously. Their impact in the team and market increases. They have better job satisfaction and engagement. They are much happier with what they do and how they do it. It is a benefit for employees, for customers and for the company.
The journey of personal brand development allows people to not just better serve customers, but also be more clear on their career aspirations – how do they want to progress in their careers based on their passion, talents, strengths, values – to choose the career that is most congruent for them.
We all know the saying that “people join a company, but leave the leader”. Unfortunately not many companies help their team leaders develop their personal brand to better succeed in people engagement and customer service. In the best companies, they do. That is one of the approaches that the best companies to work for are taking to develop their people, leaders and customer service.
Based on a survey conducted by Glenn Llopis organization in USA, less than 15% of people have truly defined their personal brand and less than 5% are living it consistently at work – each and every day. Why? It can be extremely challenging and it requires a tremendous amount of self-awareness, action and accountability. Because when you develop your personal brand and commit to it, you will live your personal excellence every day. That is very rewarding, but also challenging.
I believe that personal brand is not so much about self-promotion, but it is rather a commitment to advance yourself by differentiating the way how you are serving others and adding value to others lives. I wish there were more companies in the market who do so.