What is Personal Branding & Why is it Important?

What is Personal Branding and why is it important?

What is a Personal brand

Personal Branding, to put it simply, is taking a person or individual and marketing or presenting them as a brand. There are various examples in the real world of successful personal brands. Most people may not realize that these people are indeed a brand until you stop and think about it.

Personal Brand Examples

How a Personal Brand Works

Each of these individuals has created their own brand by promoting what they do and what they stand for. Each of them is in a competitive industry: Cooking, home goods, personal coaching, music. Each of them has cultivated their brand to differentiate themselves from anyone else in their industry. Let’s look at the celebrity chef’s personal brands for example.

While all three celebrity chefs are in the same industry, each of their brands is unique and sets them apart from their competition. Their use of colors, typography, and images are unique to their own brand. Each brand is set up to mirror the individual’s personality.

A Personal Brand is More Than Just A Logo

It is a reflection of the individual

Continuing with the celebrity chef angle. Each brand is consistent with their chef’s persona. For anyone unfamiliar with them I’ll try and illustrate the relationship between celebrity chefs and their brands.

It should be noted that I have not had the pleasure of meeting with or working with any of the personal brands listed in this article. I selected them because of their notoriety and how well done their personal brands are.

Chef Gordon Ramsay

GordonRamsay.com website - Personal Branding Example
https://www.gordonramsay.com/ – Gordon Ramsay Group ©Copyright 2018

Chef Gordon Ramsay is portrayed as an intense individual. He has no time for non-sense and even less time for hurt feelings. He may also come across as abrasive and he isn’t afraid to drop some F-bombs and other more spicey banter in his interactions with people. His reputation for telling people off is quite well known and he makes no apologies for it.

As such, his personal branding is also very much in your face. Bright colors, high contrast imagery, typography that is bold and is reminiscent of a ransom note on the main banner let you know that he isn’t screwing around. His photo is front and center with a stern, unimpressed look on his face. The sans-serif typeface used for his main logotype is heavy in weight, geometric in design. It is very strong and straight to the point.

Martha Stewart

marthastewart.com website - Personal Branding Example
https://www.marthastewart.com/ – © COPYRIGHT 2018, MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Martha Stewart is a cooking and home/lifestyle juggernaut. She takes a much softer approach to her personal branding, though it could be said that she is anything but soft when it comes to doing business. She presents her self in a very clean well-kept manner. Always prim and proper. Trying to appeal to the masses.

Her brand is therefore also clean, contemporary and trying to not offend anyone. The typeface chosen for her logotype is a traditional serif font. Line thicknesses vary on the strokes vs the bars on the characters. Her name is even presented in all lowercase, possibly going for a more low-key presentation. It’s a very approachable brand. Well compartmentalized, as I imagine her kitchen would be as well.

Rachel Ray

RachelRay.com website - Personal Branding Example
https://www.rachaelray.com/ – © 2018 Rachael Ray Digital LLC

Rachel Ray is perceived as a bubbly & energetic in the kitchen and in the home. She has television programs, a line of cookware, home furnishings, pet food and more under her belt. She has quite a successful company with her personal brand. It is also a well-manicured brand. You would be hard pressed to find an on-brand photo of her NOT smiling.

The Rachel Ray brand reflects her perceived personality by using light and warm colors. She uses Reds, oranges, and yellows on her website. The color psychology for these colors falls in line with what I believe is her brand directives. Reds are seen as passionate and are said to encourage appetite, why do you think McDonald’s uses it? Orange is associated with warmth and excitement. Yellow is the color of the sun and associated also with warmth in addition to energy. All of these abstracts are concepts in line with her brand.

The logotype consists of both a handwritten and serif typeface. They portray a multifaceted brand, something that her target audience can probably relate to. It could be targeted at busy individuals who are looking to balance personal and professional lives, possibly even parents trying to figure out how to cram 40hours worth of to-dos into a 24hour day. The logotype is both natural, organic, and perceived as human through the handwritten type. It’s possible, though unlikely, that it could be Rachel Ray’s own handwriting. The logotype is also controlled and detailed in the serif font choice. Serif fonts are more traditional and have a visual foundation that makes them feel safe and stable.

Personal Branding is Important

It’s not just your font choices or your color choices. A personal brand is an extension of who you are. Personal brand, like all brands, can be someone’s first impression of you. Before they even meet you. Just like company brands, a personal brand is as much what you decide to put out there, such are your logo and your website, as it is what others perceive you to be. Successful brands are able to get both parts going in the same direction. So their target audiences are able to formulate an idea as to what they can expect when dealing with you/your brand.

Let Me Create Your Personal Brand

You might be asking yourself “Great! Now how do I make a personal brand?” I put everything I’ve outlined to work for a client recently who approached me “just needing some business cards” She was branding herself by “not being a brand.” While she isn’t a faceless company. She was already a brand, she just didn’t know it yet. Read the case study and see the final results here. She loved the work I did for her. So if you or anyone else you know is a “brandless” entrepreneur. Hit me up, I’m betting you’re more of a brand than you realize.


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