Is Your Employees Personal Brand F*#$%ing Up Your Company’s Brand Image ? PART 2

by Calvin Cox on February 23, 2009

UPDATE 3/2/2009:

Found an interesting article on Advertising Age from a tweet by Dan Schawbel @danschawbel detailing a Personal Brand/Corporate Brand conflict with Ford Motors.   Interesting read.

You can read part 1  of this series here: Is Your Company’s Logo Design F*#$%ing Up Your Brand Image?

Branding by definition implies a level of trust in your product or service, something that your clients and customers can depend on.  Apple for their innovation and service, Google for their quick and relevant searches.  A part of building a true brand aside from having a great product or service is the consistency of the brand’s image and actual brand message across multiple media platforms.

But who is responsible for  your company’s brand message?

A few years ago a company’s  advertising and PR departments  were the gate keepers of their information and decided what and how the information was disseminated.  Now with the introduction of Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Styleapple,  your company’s blogs, etc,  you find that people are no longer interested  in what the company has to say directly, rather they seem to be gravitating to information being shared through employees and company executives themselves.

I would personally rather follow Steve Jobs updates rather than  Apple, Inc. updates on Twitter (if I had to choose)  Given the gloomy recollection of corporate information and how difficult it was to understand exactly what their press releases were about, I think that  bad taste in our months  still lingers…  even if it’s now disguised as a Twitter bird dressed up in Facebook clothing. Taking a phase from our most recent American political election  “You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig”

Frankly, Social Networking has drastically changed the way companies will build their brand images going forward, where your most valuable assets  become even more valuable (Employees  and corporate execs now takes center stage in how well a company’s brand is communicated to the masses)  The important thing is to make sure the message is consistent and clear when your company’s brand becomes a sum of its parts or rather, a sum of your employees personal brands. Take a look at  How to Lay The Brand Foundation For A Consulting Business Blogger, Dan Schawbel  for a bit more insight of how to start a cohesive branding strategy when your business has to manage your employee’s personal brand.

How do you manage your company’s brand when your employees are actively involved in Social Media Networking?


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