Perhaps your company’s branding strategy is YOU.

Mark Schaefer
6 min readSep 4, 2019

Personal branding strategy is simply a fact of business life these days. In fact, as traditional PR and advertising becomes less relevant (who is seeing these ads any more?), I could argue that increasingly, the personal brand IS the company brand, especially in smaller companies.

Branding strategy is about creating an emotional connection to your product or service. It’s a lot easier building a connection to a person compared to an ad or a piece of company content.

Personal branding will undeniably have a more important role in marketing strategy because it can create a permanent and sustainable competitive advantage based on emotion. There is only one you. That can be a legitimate point of business differentiation!

For the love of Jeni

Here’s an example of how a personal brand can become an integral component of a corporate branding strategy.

Ice cream is basically a commodity. You can tweak the ingredients and the flavors but there are only so many ways to make and sell ice cream, right?

Jeni Britton Bauer

How is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams breaking from the pack to become one of the fastest-growing retailers in America? Because people love the company’s founder, Jeni Britton Bauer.

They love her never-say-die founder’s story, passion, commitment to the environment, and honest business partnerships. The love of a real person like Jeni turns the act of buying ice cream into an act of devotion.

Of course she creates a delicious product. But lots of companies do that. Compare the growth opportunity for Jeni’s stores with Baskin Robbins (also yummy and expensive by the way) — the largest ice cream retailer on the planet. How do you grow Baskin Robbins? More ads that nobody sees? More flavors? Lower your price? Tweak the logo?

Jeni is growing her company through love. That can’t be copied by competitors. Who do you love at Baskin Robbins?

To a large extent, Jeni is the brand.

The time is now

Mark Schaefer

Keynote speaker, marketing strategy consultant, Rutgers U faculty and author of 10 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Belonging to the Brand!