Want to Be More Trusted as a CEO? Build an Executive Brand, Expert Says
Furniture World News Desk on
Far from being optional or an exercise in ego, building an executive or CEO brand is a requirement in today’s world, with nearly 50% of a company’s reputation attributed to the standing of its CEO, explains Karen Tiber Leland, branding expert and author of The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand.
“In the post-COVID world, companies must have more than a hot product and stellar service,” she says. “Today's customers insist on knowing the leaders behind the companies they buy from. If you are in the C-suite and are not working on building a strong personal and executive brand, you do so at your own peril."
Leland points out that research shows that 75% of those surveyed believe C-suite and executive leadership is improved by participation on social media. In addition, 71% of U.S. respondents feel that C-suite executives are more trustworthy when they communicate their core mission, brand values and purpose on social media.
Beyond this, Leland says there are several reasons why CEOs and leaders must create an executive brand, including:
Social Media Matters. "It's critical to make sure your online presence, especially LinkedIn, is in line with your personal brand, and gives a clear sense of who you are and what you stand for — not just what you have accomplished," says Leland. She points out that, according to a CareerBuilder poll, 52% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. In addition, 4 out of 5 people say who and what they find on LinkedIn helps drive their business decisions.
Thought Leadership Counts. "The greater a CEO’s or executive’s recognized expertise and credibility in their field, the more value they bring to their personal and business brand," says Leland. One recent survey found that almost 61% of leaders believe that thought leadership involves creating inspirational content that drives changes, and 46.5% say it involves educational content. Leland says that CEOs and leaders build their executive brands through content that combines trends, informed experience, deep knowledge and research.
Removing Yourself From The Story Is Risky. "I often get called by CEOs and executives who know they need to build a personal brand but are hesitant to make themselves part of the story," says Leland. But Leland says that today's customers demand to know who you are and what you think. "Staying off social media and keeping silent is no longer an option," says Leland.
And it's not just consumers who benefit. Leland points out that 81% of employees believe that socially active CEOs are better equipped to lead companies, and 80% say they'd rather work for a CEO who engages with people on social media.
“Anyone who plans to wait out the personal-branding trend until it passes needs a new plan," says Leland. "CEO and executive branding is no longer an option. If you don't define your brand, someone else will. Start now. 2023 will be here before you know it."
About Karen Tiber Leland
Karen Tiber Leland is the author of The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand, and the president of Sterling Marketing Group, where she helps companies, CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs build stronger personal, team, and business and executive brands. Her clients have included Apple Computer, LinkedIn, Twitter, AT&T, Avis Car Rental and Bank of America, among many others. She is a regular media guest and has been interviewed by Fortune, Fast Company, CNN, MSNBC and Oprah, among others. Leland has spoken for Stanford, Harvard, TEDx, The American Management Association, Young President's Organization and others. For more information, visit www.karenleland.com.
The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build, and Accelerate Your Brand
Publisher: Entrepreneur Press