The power of personal branding

PlayAttack’s Helmet Guy on the impact that a personal brand of an employee can have on the company’s overall success

Building a unique identity and establishing a company with a recognizable and respected brand has now been dominating the agenda of corporate environments more than ever before.

Successful branding gives a company a competitive edge and helps them differentiate its products and services in a world overwhelmed by the existence of various players battling it out for attention within the same industries.

However, these corporate environments are often missing out on another crucial element, or rather an opportunity, that can elevate the brand and give it a massive boost — ensuring that they have employees with a personal brand in their arsenal.

Whether we choose to talk about Gary Vaynerchuk (Garry Vee), Oprah Winfrey or Gordon Ramsay, these people can all teach us something about the importance and the impact that personal branding can have.

Gordon Ramsey had gained his popularity through the TV show ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ and managed to capitalize on it and turn himself into the most recognized chef in the world. Gary Vee is an entrepreneur who managed to leverage social media by posting inspirational content. Oprah, who is also known as the ‘Queen of Media,’ has managed to transform herself into a collector of confessions on national television to the point where Prince Harry and Megan Markle gave her an interview detailing all their royal struggles.

These examples show that the appeal of one single person with a personal brand can be extremely powerful. However, as mentioned above, in the business world, when we typically talk about company branding we emphasize the ways that can help a company discover its uniqueness. In this way, we are missing out on the opportunity to utilize the power of personal branding in a way that will prove beneficial for the company.

This is especially true in the gambling industry, and more specifically in the field of affiliate marketing, where personal connections can be a massive driving force behind a company’s success. It is true that if you are a Goliath of the industry and your corporate brand has established itself well enough to attract the relevant audience, the personal brand of employees might be of less concern. Having an established corporate identity probably means that you likely do not have to hassle to find new clients, as they are naturally attracted to your brand. However, this is not the case for smaller-scale companies making their first steps in the industry. In such cases, ensuring that your hires are people with a strong personal brand, might be the competitive edge you are looking for.

Before moving on to all the benefits of having employees with a personal brand on board, it is important to understand what personal branding is. Personal branding is what shapes the perception around an individual in the eyes of the public. Therefore, if an individual has managed to build a personal brand that is well-connected and trusted among peers, colleagues and prospective partners, this could prove beneficial for the company they represent.

More specifically, and in the context of affiliate marketing, an established personal brand can help your Affiliate Managers bring in more affiliates willing to promote your gambling offerings. Trust is of utmost importance in our industry, and having an employee with pre-existing relationships, who has already managed to create a favourable and trustworthy reputation among other industry professionals is extremely beneficial. This trust can guarantee you great deals, a satisfactory return on investment and a friendly communication environment with your partners.

In other words, corporate brands can expand their value when they team up with strong personal brands in a multitude of ways. Let’s briefly explore them:

1. Increased brand awareness

An employee with a personal brand is more likely to be asked to be interviewed by media outlets in your area of expertise to share their opinions on where the industry is headed or how to do things in this business.

Those who managed to create a personal brand are oftentimes invited as speakers at thematic conferences, where they get the chance to not only express their opinions but also ensure a mention of your company. They can do so in multiple ways ranging from a brief introduction of the company as their workplace to a more elaborated analysis of a particular case scenario that uses your company as an illustrative example.

In this way, as an employer, you get free exposure and the possibility to appeal to a wider audience who will either look to start a potential partnership or would at least be impressed with your company’s thought-leadership efforts. Therefore, by hiring employees with a personal brand, or encouraging your existing employees to cultivate it, the corporate brand can be strengthened in unpredicted ways.

This is a win-win situation since the company enhances brand awareness with minimal costs,  which is extremely important in highly competitive environments like that of the gambling industry, while the employee gets to further reinforce their personal brand.

2. Attracting talent

The modern employee has a plethora of options in front of them, especially when it comes to the gambling industry. Companies are competing for the attention of top talent by offering numerous incentives aside from attractive salaries, such as wellness bonuses, gym allowances, free breakfasts or lunches, or (more recently) the possibility to work remotely.

Attracting the right talent becomes even more difficult, as aside from the need to match the competition’s offers,  employees themselves are becoming increasingly skilled in conducting rigorous research that would help them determine what their next career move should be.

If, however, your existing employees have a personal brand and do not shy away from associating themselves with your company on their professional (or even personal) social media accounts, your corporate brand is also positioned favourably and can enjoy remaining in the spotlight as an attractive workplace that values its employees.

3. Employee Retention

Your employees feel way more valued when the company embraces their personal brand. This, in turn, means that employee retention is more likely to occur and you will be able to keep your talent ‘within the walls’ of the company. Employees who feel that they are trusted to showcase their personal brand even if they are part of a company, will not only stay loyal to you but also have a bigger motivation to perform to their best potential, thus increasing your company’s effectiveness.

Final thoughts

Given the above points, it is clear that even though the focus of employers typically lies on creating a corporate brand, they should not fail to realize the strength of their employees on an individual level.

Whether it is hiring an employee with a pre-existing personal brand and helping them maintain their reputation, or helping your existing employees create a personal brand that will elevate your business, the companies who dedicate the resources and time to move towards that direction, are more likely to succeed in our highly competitive industry.

*This article was written for SIGMA: