By Tatu Reginaldah, Senior Content Writer & Executive Brand Strategist.
Companies invest millions, sometimes even billions of dollars, to build the value of their brands, and it usually takes years for those brands to take hold.
When it comes to the tech sector, however, sometimes the personal brand of tech innovators carries as much or more value than the organization with which they are associated. Certainly, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos are all household names–so well-known that three of them have already been the subjects of Hollywood movies.
Indeed as the following graphic shows, in many cases, a tech innovator’s personal brand is more influential and carries more sway than the brand of the company they built or run.
Take AI researcher and coder Dr. Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, for example, who first made front-page headlines in 2016 when she demonstrated that AI and other facial recognition programs failed miserably when it came to recognizing the faces of people of color. Her TED Talk alerting people to the biases and inequities in so-called “neutral” AI programming has generated more than 1.4 million views. More importantly, tech companies now regularly consult with her to learn how they better reduce the risk of discriminatory biases in their apps.
People choose to do business with Dr. Joy, as she likes to be known, invest in her, work for her, partner with her or even buy from her – all because of who she is.
But if you have no or a limited personal presence online, you will have difficulty reaching and engaging with your target audiences. Now is the time to change that.
Ninety-three percent of consumers believe that CEO engagement on social media helps communicate company values, shape a company’s reputation, and grow corporate leadership in times of crisis. Furthermore, 76% of senior executives believe that having a CEO on social media gives the brand more credibility.
So in today’s highly competitive world, it’s definitely in every CEO’s best interest to adopt a more relatable and personable communication style to connect to their audience – an approach that has helped CEOs to not only to act as ambassadors for their businesses, but also to strengthen their own personal brand and raise their profile as a thought leader within their industry.
Personal Branding For Tech CEOs
Personal branding has become essential for tech CEOs to establish credibility, differentiate themselves from competitors, and build trust with stakeholders. By crafting a unique image and reputation, CEOs can position themselves as thought leaders and experts in their field while still being human and relatable.
Here are some reasons why tech founders or CEOs need personal branding:
- Crisis management: When faced with challenges, leaders are expected to provide guidance and reassurance. A CEO’s personal brand can be instrumental in cultivating trust and goodwill with stakeholders, which is especially important in times of crisis. By exhibiting credibility, transparency, and empathy, CEOs can establish themselves as reliable and capable leaders, thereby instilling trust and confidence in the company’s management.
- Establishing expertise: Personal branding can help tech CEOs to establish themselves as thought leaders in their field. By sharing their insights and opinions on industry trends and challenges, CEOs can demonstrate their expertise and position themselves as trusted advisors. This can help to build credibility and trust with stakeholders who are looking for guidance and direction.
- Humanizing the brand: Personal branding can help to humanize a tech company by giving a face and personality to its leadership. By sharing their personal stories, values, and experiences, CEOs can help stakeholders to connect with the brand on a more personal level. This can help to build trust and loyalty with customers, employees, and investors.
- Building trust and credibility: By creating an authentic and consistent image, CEOs can establish a sense of reliability and trust with their audience, which is crucial in the tech industry. This helps differentiate them and their company from competitors by showcasing their unique values and strengths.
- Driving business growth: By leveraging their personal brand to establish relationships with potential partners and investors, tech CEOs can drive business growth and create new opportunities for their company.
To take full advantage of this opportunity, CEOs must develop their personal brand. While there is certainly no “one size fits all” approach, our team at Prestidge Group can help you choose the right way to kickstart your personal branding and elevate your role as a CEO, both internally within your company and externally to the public.
Tatu Reginaldah is a senior content writer and executive brand strategist at Prestidge Group who has nearly two decades of experience developing key client relationships and crafting and building personal brands for tech executives and other business leaders through the use of story and other effective techniques.