Over the past few years, we’ve been following an interesting trend in marketing as more emphasis is being put on “executive branding.” While this concept isn’t new, it’s growing in popularity and necessity as executives are showing a desire to strengthen their own personal “brand” and help their companies establish thought leadership.
Executive branding is a different and innovative growth strategy for companies. It’s a chance for highly skilled leaders to showcase their knowledge and serve as a value-added resource to ultimately fuel business growth. If done correctly, executive branding can boost brand awareness, improve a company’s reputation, strengthen client relationships, and even improve employee engagement.
So how can you establish your executives as real-life superhero thought leaders? Here are four best practices we’ve seen that are making a big impact with our clients and beyond:
1. Start with a strategy
Before you go out to the public with your executive branding strategy, think about what role thought leadership will play in marketing your company. Keep in mind that the personality of a leader should closely reflect that of his/her business, so consider how your executives’ beliefs, opinions, and knowledge will contribute to the company’s mission, vision, and long-term goals.
2. Establish your executive voice
Your executive brand voice should be separate from your organization’s voice or communication. It’s important that your executive add his/her own narrative and tone to the conversation and let his/her personality shine through while reiterating your company’s values, brand personality, and philosophy for doing business.
3. Use the power social media to your advantage
Remember your executives offer human faces that others are more likely to trust, and social media is the perfect place to showcase that. Thought-leader content often does well on channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn, since customers want and expect to hear from executives on topics that are relevant and meaningful to their brand. Just make sure to put your executives’ actual thoughts out there—not just canned responses that can be found on your company’s website.
4. Only wear the cape if it fits
If your competitor’s CEO is a sought-after speaker and yours is lacking skill or desire in that area, that’s ok. Executives excel in different areas—the key is to figure out which tactics give you the most consistent engagement, and then focus your time and energy on those.
Executive branding does not have to an epic battle. Most business leaders are passionate about what they do, and many are already tweeting or blogging—or have seriously considered doing it and just don’t have the resources. If you’re ready to implement an executive brand strategy, Incricia can help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.