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Personal Brand or Corporate Brand

Which Mask to wear?


With an increase in Brand presence on Twitter, it is interesting to note how the brands are actually represented.  Putting a human face to a brand, makes it more accessible and real. That is one side of the story. Just a quick look at some of the brands on Twitter will give a good compilation of good and bad Brand representation. However, there is another side of the story that is the interest of my today’s writeup. In cases, where a Personal Brand is as powerful as the Corporate Brand – what are the terms and conditions of the two co-existing. I will take an example of CTO of CISCO, Padmasree to make a point, or rather channelize brainstorming for the topic.

CTO of Cisco, Padmasree has 614,795 followers on Twitter. She follows 68. Her followership increased by leaps and bounds, after she was announced a candidate for CTO USA position. By, all means, these are impressive numbers.

Some of her tweets are Cisco Specific:

While many are personal, like this:

  • @Padmasree: Fathers Day Haiku: “Soft tears and loud cheers. Many sleepless nights, endless drives. Make a frown smile, Dad”
  • @Padmasree: Happy Olympic day – Chicago 2016!

While, her Bio reads “CTO of Twitter”, this still is her personal Space. With the amount of exposure, the large number of following puts Padmasree into, any Cisco specific pitch she makes, gets very high traction.

Isn’t it only natural that companies will leverage the personal brand for promoting corporate pitches? But, who owns the decision? Are there any guidelines? As long as everything goes well, it is golden – what happens if they don’t. And what happens, when a person who has a large number of following, on who the company piggybacks on, leaves. Who owns that account now? One argument is that Good Relationship goes a long way. But, is there a technical solution to this? Or is there even a need for one?

Twitter has come a long way from just a service that asked “what are you doing” to a strategic channel for businesses. It is no longer a community network, where friends mean what their dictionary definition suggest. While, businesses are working on problems of monetizing these channels, some thought on corporate governance is also called for. And sooner, the better.

It would be interesting to hear what others think about the issue of leveraging Personal Brand for promoting Corporate Brand.

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