Executive branding is a strategic concept that allows you to be your true self while establishing individuality as a leader within your niche, growing your brand awareness, and creating a following. While expressing your views and opinions, you create a network of like-minded people who elevate your brand and assist you in making a mark in your industry. “An executive brand enhances and magnifies their unique personality, points of view, and commitments. It is (the act of) establishing oneself as an expert or thought leader in the public sphere,” says Karen Tiber Leland, author of The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand.
Client and customer attraction and retention
When CEOs and C-suite executives are willing to put their own image on the line in the name of their company, it fosters client and customer trust and makes them more willing to use their hard-earned dollars to purchase a product or service. This equates to higher attraction and retention rates, improving your business’s bottom line.
Brands are built on consumer trust and loyalty, which is essential when it comes to sales:
- 93 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from companies whose leader’s beliefs on social issues align with their own.
- 81 percent of consumers want to form a relationship with a brand.
- 33 percent of consumers will pay more for brands they are loyal to.
Executive branding also impacts business-to-business (B2B) decision-making. After reading a compelling piece of thought leadership, executive decision-makers:
- Awarded business to an organization: 58 percent
- Shared their contact information with a company: 47 percent
- Invited an organization to bid on a project after not considering them: 45 percent
Top talent attraction and retention
When you’re an established and known thought leader in your industry, it becomes easier and faster to fill open positions with high-quality job seekers. In fact, 77 percent of senior executives feel that a strong CEO reputation attracts new employees. Your executive brand will draw candidates to your organization—60 percent of job candidates research a company’s CEO’s social media platforms—because they feel connected.
Just like executive branding builds customer retention, it also plays a prominent role in employee satisfaction and retention. Over 83 percent of employees prefer to work with organizations whose C-Suite leaders use social media. When employees see leadership participating in organizational initiatives and regularly engaging on social media, they are more likely to do the same. In fact, 70 percent of senior executives believe that a strong CEO reputation retains current employees.
There is no formula to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of executive branding. However, if you nurture it over time in a clear, concise, and consistent way, it will generate value in the form of client, customer, and talent attraction and retention.
Check out Part I of this feature, where we shared the 4Cs of building an executive personal brand that illustrates your uniqueness and creativity.
Related: The 4 Cs of C-Suite Personal Branding Part I: Understanding the “How”
This blog was written by TalentRise Executive Search Practice Leader Peter Petrella.