Personal vs Career Brands, it’s all in the Mindset

First, I need to set the context for this post, it’s mainly in regards to individuals in the workplace, not so much applicable to celebrities, musicians, or politicians.

While anyone who blogs or actively tweets is creating a brand around their persona, there are two fundamental approaches.  This trend is unavoidalbe as the brands of individuals are popping up, and they are sometimes supercededing that of the brand.  Yet, as you look deeper into branding of individuals, you’ll see there are two different kinds:

  1. The first approach is called a ‘personal’ brand, which focuses on that of the individual.  The ‘personal’ brand focuses on the individual, essentially focusing on ‘me’.  While there’s nothing wrong with that, it is fundamentally a different mindset from the second type.
  2. The second type of approach is what I call  a ‘career brand’.  The difference is simple.  This is a brand that’s focused on “what can you do for your clients or employer”, with a focus more on ‘we’.

It’s easy to spot the difference between the two brands, you can see it in the content, or in the the focus.  And employers are paying attention to this too. Some brands want to promote their employees to have personal or career brands, but at the same time, they’re fearful, as they now become an asset that can easily be ‘sucked’ right out to another firm.  The real question is this: can a companies business model support those types of brands?

I’m actively trying to focus on a career brand, and write for interactive and digital marketers at corporate. This blog is written by me, but for them.  Love to hear your feedback on this topic, which was a point of controversy during my speech in Hong Kong.

So in the end, there’s a place for both, I’m suggesting you be cognizant of which type is for you, and be deliberate as you foster either your personal or career brand.