? of the Day to Meagan
You tweeted about the term brandividual. How do you view this from your perspective?
David Armano of Critical Mass recently coined the term “brandividual.” Brandividual is the marriage between an individual and the company they represent. It’s a melding of personal and professional brand. In this world of online social networking and engagement, what’s the balance to be found in co-branding yourself and your employer?
A big name example of a brandividual is Scott Monty who works for Ford. He came onto the Ford team to head up their social media efforts. With him came an impressive personal network that he has continued to grow and leverage in his new position. His Twitter stream has been subject to controversy of late because he tweets both from a personal and Ford stance (if you click on his name’s hyperlink, you’ll see there’s no mistaking the Ford presence on his page). Some argue that the two should be separate.
Less and less there is a clear cut separation between life and work. I maintain separate Twitter & Facebook accounts for personal, Pannos Winzeler (and Media Talk!) but parts of my life in each of these arenas spills over. The separation of church and state question is even more important when dealing with large corporate brands and identity. Representing a company like the Fords of the world on social networks is done on a global stage.
As a Gen Yer in marketing (and a relative newbie to the workforce) I believe that building my personal brand while helping to continue building my agency’s brand only enhances the effort and motivates me as an employee. I’m an ambassador for myself and Pannos Winzeler in and out of the office, online, at networking events and beyond. After working for a company that appreciates and encourages my growth as a professional in this space, I don’t think I could ever work somewhere that didn’t offer the same trust and respect. I know that there’s mutual expectation here. My growth (especially on company time) should correlate with my company’s. Brands that encourage motivated employees to keep developing their own professional presence (especially online) can greatly benefit from the results.
Social networking and its reach means it’s a new ball game when hiring people who could become an online brand rep for your company. As David Armano wrote: “hiring people like Scott means bringing his existing network into your organization and your organization into his network.”
What is it–no rewards without some risk? As a business, as a professional–figure out how the brandividual equation can work for you.