When it comes to building a personal CEO brand, there are several key factors that influence a successful outcome including appearance, presence, and communication skills. But one aspect of communication that often gets overlooked in building a CEO’s personal brand marketing strategy is his or her specific use of language.
As a branding and marketing strategist, I’m often called in to work with CEOs and executives on building a personal brand. One of the first things I pay attention to is which “type” of core language they tend to be the most comfortable and fluent in.
The language of evidence. Data, verification, proof.
Leaders with this linguistic focus have personal brands that are driven by logic. They’re known for their no-nonsense, deductive reasoning and practical approach to problems and situations. The upside of this way of thinking is that these leaders never create a personal branding strategy out of thin air. Instead they usually have a well-researched approach that results in a logical and predictable plan for building a personal brand in the marketplace.
The language of structure. Construction, assembly, building.
Leaders with this linguistic focus have personal brands that are driven by details. They’re known for having a well-designed plan in place for dealing with problems and situations. The upside of this way of thinking is that these leaders create a brand marketing strategy that is laid out with specific deliverables, timelines and outcomes. The result is a highly detailed roadmap that can be easily followed in creating a personal CEO or executive brand.
The language of opportunity. Possibility, option risk.
Leaders with this linguistic focus have personal brands that are driven by exploration. They’re known for having a creative approach for dealing with problems and situations. The upside of this way of thinking is that these leaders create a strategy that often goes beyond the expected actions to out-of-the-box ways to create the personal brand.
The language of action. Achieve, accomplish, do
Leaders with this linguistic focus have personal brands that are driven by action. They’re known for their “ready, fire, aim” approach to problems and situations. The upside of this way of thinking is that these leaders don’t get caught up in developing the perfect personal branding strategy. Instead they have a bias toward action that has them test, then improve their path to a personal brand.
The upshot here is that you’re not stuck with the default core language you use. The best CEO personal brands have developed the fluidity to inherit different types of linguist focus depending on the situation at hand. By having linguistic flexibility, you can ensure that your brand marketing strategy encompasses the best of all worlds and achieves the maximum impact for building a personal brand.
Karen Tiber Leland is the founder of Sterling Marketing Group, a branding & marketing strategy firm helping individuals and companies build stronger brands. She is the best-selling author of The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build, and Accelerate Your Brand. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.