The Market Returns to Strong Employer & Individual Brands

This year, the competition for talent and market share has intensified on the elements of strong brands and inspiring leadership. An effective external brand should also represent the organization’s culture and… the value that the firm has been able to consistently deliver to its customers (i.e. attract the best talent and deliver excellence). And yet there is often a “value gap” between what customers and employees experience vs what organizations portend their brand to represent. The real problem is, the value gap issue has not been addressed in a strategic and holistic way. Additionally, we tend to see personal, individual brands as separate from team effectiveness and company market brands differently than employer brands. This “siloed” and piecemeal approach leads to the confusion and ambiguity experienced by customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders alike.

Tanvi Bhatt, India’s leading Brand Strategist noted that executives who promote their personal brands also contribute to boosting the viability of the company’s they represent. The executive’s personal brand, together with the company’s brand, has a direct effect on increasing the company’s market value.

In addition, while a company’s corporate brand is deemed important in how the company would fare in the stock market, a strong leadership brand is a value add to its marketability. Per Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, 49% of an organization’s overall reputation is attributed to the CEO’s “brand” and 60% of market value is attributed the company’s reputation.

From an ROI perspective, a strong, individual leadership brand equates to greater fulfillment in customers’ and investors’ expectations, thereby translating to superior financial performance ( think Jobs, Branson, Bezos etc).  It is also important that an individual’s value to the organization and marketplace be absolutely transparent, and to employ a holistic approach in leveraging authority and expertise without sacrificing “brand equity” (think about the disastrous sequence of Hewlett Packard CEOs).

For a company, it is all about becoming indispensable to the customer; for an individual leader, it is all about becoming indispensable to your organization.

From a market perspective, it is crucial to build an effective leadership brand through clearly defined talent development plans, and to know how to leverage your brand in the marketplace with a clear “leadership presence”. Many customers consider a CEO’s reputation before buying their product. These online and offline reputations not only affect customers, but investors as well. Whether a CEO is forming a start-up or managing the investment funds, shareholders may consider a CEO’s reputation before investing or getting involved.

At the Executive Next Practices Institute, the term we use to describe an individual or company brand that is truly indispensable is known as being “VITAL”. Being VITAL to the marketplace means that you are: Valuable, Impactful, Transparent, Adaptive and Leveraged across your organization.

This topic is being covered in detail at a series of our Workforce 2020 C-suite events and workshops this year. These sessions are designed to improve executive and team leadership brands for value, effectiveness and improved market visibility. Some of the practical skills that will be covered at these events include: how to identify and create a mosaic of leadership “differentiators” for improved team, customer and market effectiveness; how to best leverage and manage multi-media (video, social media, speaking); and how to use multi-rater feedback to enhance brand equity. View more details or request information at or email 888.857.9722.