The Harmonious Dance Between Corporate and Professional Brands Navigating Positioning for Leadership Excellence is explored.
As a professional it is becoming more common to empower and elevate your own brand and reflect on how that aligns with the corporate brand.
In the ever-evolving realm of corporate branding, professionals aren't mere contributors; they're architects shaping their own success and pivotal in steering the corporate brand's course. LeadinGrowth helps professionals and corporate brands with transforming into high-value leadership brands through our ELEVATE workshop, or our consulting services or Brand-in-a-Box.
Crafting a leadership positioning strategy is a process and not a one-time event but an ongoing effort in the evolution of a brand. When brands take on a conservative approach to brand leadership positioning strategies this can slow down the brand’s growth or even result in brand stagnation (Interbrand 2023). There are strategic situations where it is advantageous to position the corporate brand or an individual’s professional brand as an industry leader. In this article I cover five actionable insights to provide architects of the corporate brand and of your own professional brand ways on elevating your brand while navigating a position for leadership excellence.
Corporate brand leadership positioning strategy
For a corporate brand a brand leadership strategy is particularly relevant in competitive markets where differentiation is key, and consumers often associate leadership with qualities such as innovation, quality, reliability, and authority. Here are some scenarios where a corporate brand leadership positioning strategy is important:
1. Competitive Markets: In industries with intense competition, being recognised as a leader can set a brand apart. This is especially important when multiple brands offer similar experiences, products, or services.
2. Innovation and Technology: If a brand is at the forefront of innovation and technology in its industry, establishing itself as a leader can help build trust and attract customers who value cutting-edge solutions.
3. Premium Products or Services: Brands that offer premium or luxury products often benefit from a leadership positioning strategy. This positioning helps justify premium prices and communicates a commitment to quality.
4. Global Expansion: When a brand is expanding globally, positioning itself as a leader can help gain trust in new markets. The perception of leadership often translates to reliability and credibility.
5. Emerging Industries: In emerging industries or markets, being recognised as a leader can be a significant advantage. It establishes a brand as a pioneer and can influence consumer perceptions as the industry develops.
Professional brand leadership positioning strategy
Developing a leadership positioning strategy for a professional brand (individual) is important in various career situations, and the timing can depend on several factors. Here are some scenarios when it becomes crucial to focus on a leadership positioning strategy:
1. Career Advancement: When you are aspiring to take on leadership roles within your organisation or industry, developing a leadership positioning strategy is essential. This positions you as a natural choice for leadership opportunities.
2. Industry Recognition: When you desire to be recognised as an expert or influencer in your industry, a leadership positioning strategy helps establish your authority and influence.
3. Organisational Change: In times of organisational change, such as mergers or restructurings, having a well-established leadership brand can provide stability and confidence to your colleagues and superiors.
4. Job Transition: When actively seeking new opportunities, having a clear leadership positioning can make you more appealing to potential employers. It helps differentiate you from other candidates.
5. Entrepreneurship and Consulting: When you are launching your own business or working as a consultant, establishing yourself as a leader in your field is critical. It builds credibility and attracts clients.
6. Innovation and Problem-Solving: When your professional brand is centred around innovation and problem-solving, a leadership positioning strategy helps convey your ability to lead in dynamic and challenging situations.
7. Career Plateau: When you find yourself at a plateau in your career and want to break through to the next level, a leadership positioning strategy can be a catalyst for advancement.
Five easy steps to creating a brand leadership strategy
Building a brand leadership position is an ongoing process. Regularly revisit and refine your strategy as your brand evolves and as the industry landscape changes. Being authentic and adding value are key elements in establishing and maintaining a strong leadership position. The same five easy steps for creating and evolving a brand leadership positioning strategy apply to both corporate brands and professional brands. These five crucial steps are:
1. Define Your Unique Value Proposition: Start by reviewing your brand from the inside out. Use Brand-in-a-Box to help you. Clarify your brand’s values. Be clear on what your brand stands for and the principles guiding your brand’s purpose, decisions, and culture. Create an authentic leadership brand from the inside out. Have clarity around your brand’s unique personality, superpowers, strengths, talents, skills, and areas of expertise. Identify which of these elements everyone has and which sets you apart from others in your industry. Define your brand’s unique value proposition.
2. Demonstrate Expertise: Showcase your brand's expertise in the industry. Contribute to industry discussions by sharing insights or by actively participating in conferences through speaking or sponsorship opportunities. Position yourself as a thought leader. Develop industry partnerships, provide educational content that establishes your brand as a knowledgeable authority. Showcase how your expertise adds value.
3. Invest in Quality: A leadership position is often associated with quality. Ensure that when people experience your brand, they are experiencing quality. Focus on meeting or exceeding expectations. Focus on excellence (not perfection), lifelong learning, continuous improvement, and how you can provide quality that adds value.
4. Engage Brand Communications: Actively promote how your brand serves employees, customers, or other stakeholders. Show how your brand transforms their lives and improves their situation. Develop brand pillars centring on your value proposition and leadership attributes. Use the brand pillars in your internal and external brand communications. Ensure your brand consistently communicates the brand pillars and leadership attributes across all channels. Highlight your brand's achievements, awards, and innovations. Utilise public relations and marketing efforts to build a positive image and reinforce the perception of leadership.
5. Examples, Testimonials and Case Studies: Provide examples of how your brand made a difference. Utilise numbers and words to demonstrate how you transformed the life of someone. Demonstrate how you match or exceed benchmarks. Provide examples, testimonials or case studies to demonstrate real-world examples of your brand delivering exceptional value and solutions.
Corporate or professional brands operating in technology, energy, luxury goods, or education industries or any industry where trust, authority, and innovation are significant factors influencing decisions do best by implementing a strong brand leadership positioning strategy. LeadinGrowth assists corporate brands and professionals with the process of transforming into a high-value leadership brand through its consulting and brand growth coaching services and brand-in-a-box workshops. Stay focused on who you serve while elevating your brand and navigating a position for leadership excellence. Remember, building a brand leadership position is an ongoing evolutionary process. Regularly revisit and refine your brand leadership positioning strategy as your brand evolves, your situation changes, and as the industry landscape progresses forward.