One of the predicted trends for 2019 (yes, we are already looking forward into the next year – sorry, it’s one of those things we can’t help but do!!) is a marked increase in the use of Personal Branding.
Now, Personal Branding can, as the name suggests, refer to an individual building a profile for themselves in order to create a buzz or to impress their desired audience. The specific type of Personal branding we are interested in at RDZ PR is that which has been filtering in to corporate campaigns for a number of years now; the personalisation of a brand by the presentation of more detailed information on the people behind the product.
In the past corporations were, in the main, relatively faceless. We knew about products, we knew about locations and we even sometimes got to learn a bit about company history. What we very seldom got to hear about was the people who were making the main decisions and, ultimately, making a healthy profit off the back of the loyal clients buying their products and/or services.
The shift in play now is that the audience (i.e. the target market) expects to know a lot about the personalities involved in a brand – probably because we feel that we should identify with them or indeed want to like them, to give ourselves further justification for buying whatever it is they want to sell to us.
This may just be sounding a little bit ‘social media related’ and for the younger generation that is the most likely platform where the majority of buying decisions will be made. For us here at RDZ and the wonderful clients we work with, the reality of Personal Branding is, well, a little more real. In our experience we have seen the positive effects a business can achieve by letting their potential clients see a little more of what goes on behind the scenes and who is involved at the sharp end of the operation.
Even in the case of industrial, manufacturing companies we never shy away from the fact that the customers (be they end consumers or another business) like to get to know what the structure of the business looks like, who does what and what matters to them as individuals. Family businesses have been very early adopters of this move away from corporate shyness. Perhaps it has come from the fact that they are generally very proud of their heritage or because they like to show that family values are at the heart of what they do. Whatever the reason, the addition of personality to the product they are selling is working – and working very well.
The idea of Personal Branding is not a particularly complicated one and has been subtly used for some time – think of the number of brands who are very proud to advertise that they are family companies for instance. What’s new is the fact that the level of detail sought by the audience is much deeper and that there are now a huge number of routes available to get the message in front of a significant number of people. Indeed, many of these channels are designed specifically for the upload of content which lends itself particularly well to personalised likes, dislikes and opinion.
Personal Branding will most definitely continue to be an important part of the RDZ PR mix into 2019. But then again, we have such wonderful clients that we’re desperate to show them off and let everyone else see how great they really are too!