When individuals become brands

It’s inevitable. Every professional will sometime in his life wonder about this question i.e. the merits of creating a brand of his own name VS a separate brand name for his professional services.

This is a bit of a controversial question. When you think logically, the negatives are obvious. Having your name as your brand would mean:

1. Your name and its associations become the brand name

2. Your personality becomes the brand personality, which people associate with on a personal level — the bigger challenge especially for introverts is that this is something that should be preexisting and conducive for your brand

3. Your image becomes the brand image — this image has to be carefully constructed, it needs to be in sync with your personality, it needs to be monitored, managed, corrected if need be.

4. Your time /expertise / style becomes the brands offering — the obvious question of scale exists; you only have so many hours in a day and there is only so much process efficiency that can be brought in without losing the personal touch

5. The onus to market yourself is with you — it’s all the more difficult to act objectively since you are so invested in yourself,

6. It’s a piece of you out there — You can’t shut shop and change your name, you can’t re-launch or re-brand. You have no exit. Going by the failure rate of startups / consultancies this is the scariest

Yet… So many professionals still go for personal branding, why?

· To leave a legacy

· Because what matters is the relationships you built with people

· When to put yourself out there is the only option available

· To confront your greatest fears and to face the music

· To literally live up to your name

All the symptoms of a great brand. What would you choose?