Answer provided by: Nishika de Rosairo, CEO and Creative Director, dE ROSAIRO. Previous Employment: Strategic Human Capital Advisor for 9 years at Deloitte Consulting, Apple, Levi, Cisco, Salesforce and others.
How important is it to build your own brand?
When you’re in business, there are two types of brands you need to be fully aware of:
1. Your personal brand
2. The brand of your business
Spending time to create and understand both of these brand identities will be invaluable to you during the inception of your business. While these are two separate brand identities, they should be interwoven, and when they are developed in a way that they compliment each other they can give your business the competitive edge it needs.
So how do you create and manage your personal brand? Start by asking yourself a few questions: what do I want to be known for? What words do I want people to use when they describe me or talk about me? How should my brand identity match or differ to the brand identity of my business? Is it a good thing if these two brand identities match or differ?
I’m a strong believer of your personal brand identity shaping your business. Being in the fashion industry, I remember a time when I was walking a tradeshow in Los Angeles, and I met this designer from Paris who was selling beautiful high-end jewelry. I fell in love with her pieces, but there was a big disconnect for me. I couldn’t get past the brand identity of the designer in relation to the brand identity of her business. There didn’t seem to be a correlation, and in fact the two brands were quite contradictory. While the designer was dressed in very casual and rough street attire, the jewelry was delicate fine jewelry with precious stones. The disconnect between her personal brand and business prevented a positive brand experience when viewing her jewelry. To test my understanding of the role I believe personal branding plays in conjunction with business branding, I asked her how her sales were going during the tradeshow, and her answer was that they weren’t going well. I wasn’t surprised at her response, and it reaffirmed the need for a consistent brand experience extending from personal brand to business brand.
With my namesake brand dE ROSAIRO, from the very beginning I had to make sure that there was plenty of good overlap between my personal brand and the brand of my business. Luckily this wasn’t difficult for me to do, because the woman that I was serving through my brand was the woman who was an extension of me. If that was not the case, then I would have had to do a thorough analysis of the two brands to build them both in the right direction.
Creating the right brand identity for both yourself and for your business will be the most important thing you do at the get-go. Test your own brand identity by asking people (some who you know well, and others you don’t know well at all) to describe you using 3 words. That could be a great starting point to analyze your personal brand identity. The most important thing is to develop your personal brand identity to a point where it’s clear, precise, and is consistent with the business brand you are building.