Personal Brand vs Business Brand: Which Should You Build?

As an entrepreneur or creative, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether to build a personal brand or a business brand. Both approaches have distinct pros and cons that impact marketing, growth, and even your potential exit strategy. So how do you choose?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the key differences between personal branding and business branding to help you determine the best path forward.

What is a Personal Brand?

A personal brand is when you build your business around your identity and reputation Instead of creating a company name, you use your own name as the brand. The content, products, and messaging center around your expertise, personality, and backstory.

Some examples of successful personal brands include

  • Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Marie Forleo
  • Neil Patel

The benefits of personal branding include:

  • Easier to gain attention and stand out
  • Increased trust and connection with audience
  • More flexibility to pivot niche interests
  • Perceived as more relatable and human

However, the downsides are:

  • Your brand is inextricably tied to your personal life
  • Less ability to sell or exit the business
  • Potentially seen as less professional

Personal branding makes the most sense when you plan to sell services or digital products directly to consumers. It works best if you have a name that lends itself well to branding.

What is a Business Brand?

With business branding, you create a company name and brand distinct from your personal identity. The focus is on establishing brand equity beyond just you as the founder. Business brands are also referred to as corporate brands.

Some classic examples include:

  • Apple
  • Nike
  • Coca-Cola

The advantages of business branding are:

  • Separates your personal and professional life
  • Freedom to build a strategic brand identity
  • Increased credibility with B2B customers
  • Ability to eventually sell the company
  • Easier to scale through outsourcing

The tradeoffs are:

  • Harder to stand out in a crowded market
  • Less personal connection with consumers
  • Brand pivots tend to be more difficult

Business branding makes sense if you sell physical products, work with business customers, or envision an eventual exit or IPO.

Key Differences Between Personal Brands and Business Brands

Now that we’ve defined both terms, let’s explore the key differences between personal branding and business branding:

Brand Ownership

  • Personal brands are intrinsically tied to the individual. The personal brand dies if you stop working.

  • Business brands are owned by the company. It continues on after the founder leaves.


  • Personal brands have more flexibility to change niche interests over time.

  • Business brands generally need to stay focused within one industry or space.


  • Personal brands leverage the founder’s personality in marketing.

  • Business brands focus on product benefits, emotions, and brand identity.


  • Personal brands tend to attract more consumer followers.

  • Business brands can better cater to other businesses.

Long-Term Value

  • Personal brands typically can’t be sold, limiting future value.

  • Business brands can be acquired for significant sums.

When Should You Choose Personal Branding?

Here are some instances when launching a personal brand makes strategic sense:

  • Your focus is on selling services, coaching, or informational products directly to consumers.

  • You want to build a deep connection with your audience.

  • You plan to be closely tied to your business long-term.

  • Your name lends itself well to branding and creating a distinctive identity in your niche.

  • You hope to leverage your influence to secure partnerships and deals.

When Should You Go the Business Brand Route?

Some examples where business branding is likely the better choice include:

  • You plan to seek outside investment and potential acquisition.

  • You anticipate significant growth that requires outsourcing production and operations.

  • You want your brand to live beyond your active involvement.

  • You plan to work with other businesses or sell physical products.

  • You work in a conservative industry where personal branding isn’t the norm.

Can You Leverage Both Branding Approaches?

Rather than choosing one brand strategy, some entrepreneurs aim to get the best of both worlds. Your options to leverage personal and business branding together include:

  • Make yourself the face of your business brand through thought leadership and marketing.

  • Separate your personal brand from your business brand serving different niches.

  • Build your personal brand in conjunction with your business to amplify reach.

  • Start with personal branding and transition to a business brand as you grow and scale.

Key Takeaways on Personal vs. Business Branding

  • Personal brands focus on your identity while business brands create a company name.

  • Personal brands foster connections with consumers while business brands appeal to B2B.

  • Personal branding affords more flexibility while business branding enables scalability.

  • There’s no one size fits all – evaluate your goals, products, and target customers.

  • You don’t necessarily have to choose just one or the other. Find ways to leverage both approaches.

Whether to build a personal brand or business brand is a crucial decision point for any entrepreneur. Assess your target customer, offering, goals, and vision for the future. While a blended approach is possible, understand the inherent trade-offs and benefits of each option.

With the information in this guide, you can determine the best brand strategy for your unique business needs and priorities. Just remember, agility is key—you can always reevaluate and shift your branding approach as your business grows and evolves over time. The most important thing is establishing a consistent brand that resonates with your audience, no matter which path you take.

personal brand vs business brand

Power of the brand

What do I mean by power of the brand?

  • I mean how captivating is it?
  • How convincing is it?
  • How deeply does the audience connect with it?
  • How strongly does the audience identify with it?

Business brands might have values and a stance on a topic, Patagonias 1% for the planet comes to mind, which means that those for which the environment is a primary focus and concern will be more aligned with the brand, but lets be honest, business brands are faceless, and personal brands are human.

The personality in the personal brand likely has an extreme number of touch points a person in their audience could connect with.

Think about Jenna Kutcher.

  • If youve also had a miscarriage, you may have related deeply to her.
  • If youre from the Midwest she feels like she could be your neighbour.
  • If youve struggled with loving your body or wanting more than a windowless cubicle, or if you were a photographer or if youre also on a non-toxic skincare kick, youll relate to her deeply.
  • If youre religious, and take Gods will into consideration in your business decisions, again you relate to her.

Theres a reason business brands hire celebrities and influencers to be their spokespeople and feature in their advertisements.

Ease & cost of starting up.

When I started creating content, it was a team of me, myself and I.

Pst… if that sounds like you – make sure to grab my content creation outlines to help you on the content creation train!

Personal Brand vs. Business Brand | You Don’t Have to Be Popular to Be Paid

What is the difference between personal branding and business branding?

While personal branding and business branding share similarities in terms of establishing a brand identity, they differ in several key aspects. Personal branding revolves around an individual, with the primary focus being their skills, expertise, and personality. It aims to position the individual as a thought leader and industry expert.

What is an example of a personal brand?

One of my favorite examples of a personal brand is Gary Vaynerchuk. While he operates a very successful media company with its own business branding, Gary has established a wildly popular brand for himself as well. Entrepreneurs look to him for business advice when trying to build and grow their own companies.

Why is personal branding more difficult than personal branding?

Establishing an emotional connection or personal touch with customers can be more challenging when the focus is on the business as a whole. Unlike personal branding, where individuals can create deep connections with their audience. Less flexibility. Business branding requires a clear and consistent brand message across all touchpoints.

What is a business brand?

Branding is the sum of the parts of values entrenched in logos, names, slogans, uniforms, packaging and other such indicators that distinguish your products and services from the competitors. How the business brand and its “ personal ” alternative share similarities and differences provides clear pathways to marketing strategies:

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *