Corporations invest a lot of time and resources into brand reputation and management, but CEOs who also focus on CEO reputation management have a significant advantage over companies that don’t. A CEO with a strong reputation and the proven knowledge to promote their achievements can put their company in the forefront of their target audience in ways that the corporation and corporate brand cannot do alone.
When people read about business success stories, or watch short video clips on their news app, they don’t want to hear about the company itself. They want to hear how the founder and CEO overcame challenges to build the business from the ground up, or how a CEO completely and successfully reformed the brand. People want to form an emotional connection with the CEO and believe that they have the ability to achieve similar goals.
When the only difference between two companies (i.e an airline or electronics company) is the CEO’s reputation, CEOs who are ahead of the game in terms of CEO reputation management will likely get the sale. Brand loyalty to a CEO can often trump brand loyalty to a product. People connect with people. Not products.
Creating and promoting a CEO brand is not a one time make-it-and-leave-it deal. CEO reputation management is a continuous and evolving cycle that requires commitment and dedication. So what is the cycle?
1. Develop a CEO Brand Strategy
Analyze your brand strengths as a CEO, and make sure they align with the company’s brand and culture. Emphasize the strengths that are reflected in both your CEO brand and the company brand.
2. Determine Your Target Audience and What Message Will Build an Emotional Connection
Again, people want to connect with people. Get to know your target audience and what resonates with them on a personal level. This connection with the CEO serves as a bridge that leads the consumer to the company and product.
3. Select the Platforms to Spread Your Message
Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are one of the fastest ways to reach thousands, if not millions, of people almost instantaneously. Let’s not forget the power and nostalgia of an excellent PR or marketing strategy. Books and speaking engagements are also ways people still enjoy making those personal connections.
4. Determine How You Will Measure Your Success
Before you can reach a goal, you must define it. What specific benchmarks are you looking to achieve? An increase in leads? An increase in website traffic? More followers
on social media? Whatever you choose, it should be the best fit for you.
5. Analyze the Results
This is where the cycle begins to repeat. After analyzing the data measuring your success, revenue statistics, close rates, and pricing variations, you must determine what strategies worked and what needs to be reworked.
Perhaps the most advantageous part of having a well-known and successful CEO brand is the portability. Should you decide to start another business venture, your reputation will follow you on the road to success which is paved over your excellent CEO reputation management skills.