How to Use Personal Branding in Establishing Company Credibility

BY Tim Londergan
Featured image for “How to Use Personal Branding in Establishing Company Credibility”

I am descended from Michael Lonergan who landed in Philadelphia in 1856. I know this because my brother, Gary, diligently researched our ancestry and even purchased a facsimile of our family crest. This coat of arms had a prominent place in his law office which clients could reasonably associate with his personal brand.

Interestingly, each color and symbol contained in our family crest has a specific meaning:

  • Argent/​white or silver denotes peace and sincerity.
  • Azure/​blue represents loyalty and truth.
  • Gules/​red is the ‘Martyr’s colour’ signifying military fortitude and magnanimity.

As an attorney specializing in real estate and trusts, Gary felt it crucial to quickly establish rapport. In part, the family crest is a way to break the ice and initiate conversation. So too, it’s an outward symbol of pride and a way to instill trust.

What is Personal Branding and Why is it Important?

Adam Heitzman says the process of creating a compelling brand identity for a person or a company is important. Essentially, it is how you project your brand and its values to the world. It ensures that your audience knows who you are, what you value, and why they should do business with you.

Building a personal brand will:

Individualize YOU among your competitors. Developing a solid foundation helps people know your unique characteristics. You become memorable for advanced qualities that set the course for stronger relationships.

Lead to better opportunities and a competitive advantage. Much like name-​brand products, your brand carries familiar top-​of-​mind positive characteristics. With your easily recognized expertise, you will have greater opportunities directed your way.

Increase trust among your clients and peers. A carefully curated and consistent message of reliability and integrity transfers to your personal and professional life. People come to know what to expect from you and will find comfort in that.

Your Personal Branding Strategy

The basics of brand strategy require an easily understood mission, a memorable name, and a defined audience. An instantly recognizable logo and brand style guide help to assure consistency of presence. Finally, experts recommend developing a unique value proposition (UVP) to firmly establish your position in the market.

All the above must be consistent with your credible personal brand as an extension of your company. Heitzman maintains, “…if you want to create a successful business, you must create a successful brand.”

What Symbols Will You Choose?

Each element of a family crest has specific meanings associated with the bloodline or the individual who created it. Elements like animals, flowers, weapons, and mottos symbolize various attributes like courage, strength, love, and protection. As the leader of your company, what traits would you desire to be seen by your customers and employees?

Heraldry is the art and study of coats of arms. Its history reveals the symbols that represent the following qualities:

Trustworthiness: The squirrel symbolizes providence for the future, dutifulness and trustworthiness.

Reliability: The dog symbolizes courage, vigilance and loyal fidelity, embodying qualities of reliability.

Integrity: The dolphin symbolizes swiftness, diligence, salvation, charity, and love.

Believability: The stag represents constancy, prudence and intelligence in armorial insignia.

The symbols of courage, strength, freedom, or grace ring hollow if they are not supported by corresponding behavior. Hanging a plaque, making a statement, or professing your expertise is the easy part. As we well know, being faithful to your values, living authentically and consistently following your heart is the ultimate challenge.

In addition, what you publish and share online, especially on social media, reflects on your brand. The same holds true for what you say publicly to your customers versus privately to staff members. Keep this messaging consistent.

Assuring your corporate mission aligns with your personal branding is essential in establishing trust with your customers and employees. When people check you out online what do they see? Is it consistent with the ideals, attitudes and expressions you envision?

Photo by Irishsurnames​.com