Everything You Need To Know About Executive Branding

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 8, 2022

Published September 15, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Executive branding is when C-suite employees purposefully create a public and professional image through an online presence. A person's branding is how they market themselves, and executives can use branding to show that they are experts, attract top talent and expand their professional networks. If you're an executive or want to become one, learning more about executive branding and its importance can be beneficial.

In this article, we define executive branding, explain its benefits, compare it to personal branding, describe how C-suite employees use branding and provide helpful tips for improving your executive branding.

Related: How To Develop Executive Presence (With Steps and Tips)

What is executive branding?

Executive branding is the process of developing a set of ideas, aesthetics and philosophies by which you express yourself online and in person as an executive. Executive branding is important for helping executives improve and expand their reputations within their industry and the business atmosphere as a whole.

Related: What Is the C-Suite? 10 Example Roles Plus Skills To Succeed

Benefits of executive branding

These are some benefits of using executive branding:

  • It allows you to market yourself as an expert. C-suite employees who focus on executive branding can share their knowledge on industry topics and market themselves as experts in their field. Doing so allows them opportunities to sway opinions and trends.

  • Branding is an opportunity to develop. Executives who improve their branding can use it as an opportunity to develop as business people and as individuals. They can strengthen their image and personality by evaluating their current brand and recognizing where it can improve.

  • You can use it to build your network. Executives use branding to gain a following and expand their professional network. By communicating who they are, their experience and what they do, they can easily introduce themselves to other experts in their field and make professional connections.

  • Executive branding allows you to attract talent. As an executive, if your brand is strong online and you market yourself correctly, you may attract top talent to the organization. Many skilled professionals choose to work in environments with highly capable executives.

  • Attention for the company may increase. By marketing yourself and communicating your value in the industry, you may gain a following and direct that attention to the business or organization you work for. By doing this, brand awareness for the organization can increase and sales may rise.

Related: How To Develop a Branding Strategy

Executive brand versus personal brand

These are some differences between executive branding and personal branding:

Focus

One difference between personal branding and executive branding is the focus of each. Executive branding is usually business-focused and involves content that covers information within an industry or for companies and organizations in general. Personal branding can involve many focuses depending on the person, including fitness, lifestyle, relationships, personal finance and more.

Individual

Personal branding and executive branding also differ considering the individual it applies to. Executive branding is usually only useful for C-suite employees who are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their positions. Personal branding is useful for most people who have an online presence, but executive branding is only helpful for those who are already executives or C-suite employees.

Strategy

The strategies for personal and executive branding are different. Each branding style uses a different strategy because they usually appeal to different audiences. Executive branding usually appeals to those who are interested in a particular industry or professional development, while personal branding can appeal to a wide variety of people within an audience. Someone who is developing their personal brand, for example, may appeal to an audience of people who like food by releasing content about learning to cook, seasonal meals and restaurant food.

Read more: Personal Branding 101: Examples and Tips

How do C-suite employees use their executive brand

These are some ways that C-suite employees can use their executive brand:

  • Expand business opportunities: C-suite employees can use their executive brand to expand their business opportunities by marketing themselves as experts in their industry. For example, they may develop their execute brand into their own business or create more professional relationships.

  • Author successful books: When an executive brands themselves well, they may become a well-known name and author a book about business, development or details of their field. Once a C-suite employee publishes a book, their credibility may increase, which adds to the effectiveness of their branding.

  • Gain an online following: C-suite employees who use their executive brand successfully can gain a following of people online who are interested in their content and information. Followers and subscribers online can become consumers, clients and passive marketing agents for the executive, which makes having a large following helpful.

  • Develop their team members: Executives aren't the only team members who can use branding to elevate their professional abilities. By refining their executive branding, C-suite employees can also encourage and guide their team members by strengthening the company image.

  • Build trust with consumers: By marketing themselves as experts and sharing their knowledge online, executives who brand successfully can build trust with their consumers or clients. Having a strong online brand can communicate transparency and trustworthiness.

  • Speak at important events: When C-suite employees refine their brand and establish their proficiency within the field, they may receive invitations to speak at important events, which can further demonstrate their expertise.

  • Influence trends and opinions: C-suite employees with strong executive branding can use their platforms to influence public thought and behavior. For example, if an executive has a large following of business-minded professionals, the executive may convince them that a new program is essential for effective management.

Related: What Is Branding? Why Branding Is Important for Your Business

Tips for creating an executive brand

You can use these helpful tips to create an effective executive brand:

  • Create a content plan: One primary aspect of creating an executive brand is the content that you produce, and it can include blog posts, social media, articles on reputable sources, your website and a portfolio. Creating a content plan can allow you to monitor and control both the frequency of your production as well as the quality.

  • Be brand consistent: Defining yourself and staying consistent with the brand you create is an important aspect of effective executive branding. To facilitate brand consistency, consider writing who you are and your purpose in one sentence, as this can help you align your content and appeal to your audience.

  • Identify your audience: To best appeal to your audience, it's important to identify who they are. You can do this by examining your current audience and describing your ideal audience.

  • Use multiple platforms: There are many social media and writing platforms you can use to promote your ideas and publish your work, and by using several of them at once, you can reach a wider and more diverse audience. Some of your potential followers may use only one or two platforms, so positioning your content in several locations can make it easier to access.

  • Maintain a website: As a modern executive, it's important to maintain a website that communicates your purpose and vision. A functional and informative website can function as your resume, allow you to promote your ideas and products and provide a core for your branding.

  • Measure your progress: Measuring your progress with executive branding is a great way to ensure you can continue to strive for improvement. To do this, you can consider search result information, your following and the reach of your articles or website traffic.


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