Using your image to back your business can be more powerful than any form of traditional advertising.
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Some of the oldest and most iconic brands have survived multiple decades — even centuries — operating as faceless brands. They have always been a brand name and a logo, and while it continues to work for them, it doesn’t mean you should take that same approach when it comes to your business.
Do you know who started McDonalds? Nike? What about Chevrolet? While some may know a name, they wouldn’t be able to match a face to that name. Today, many of the largest brands in the world can be matched with a face.
Elon Musk is synonymous with Tesla. It’s becoming increasingly popular for large brands to have a face associated with them, whether it’s a high-ranking C-level executive or the founder. There are several reasons why this is advantageous and something you should consider.
Related: 8 Reasons a Powerful Personal Brand Will Make You Successful
Consumers connect more strongly with a personality than with a faceless brand
A lot has changed over the years, especially how brands interact with consumers. Thirty years ago, there were very limited ways to advertise — TV, radio and print were the main delivery vehicles for advertisements.
Messaging was very direct. “This is our product, and this is what it does.” Brands had to be consistent with their messaging, driving brand familiarity through the use of a logo and tagline, hoping it translated to sales the next time the consumer was shopping in a retail environment.
Today, a logo isn’t even an afterthought. Many successful brands use a simple text-based logo with nothing more than font matching their vibe. The branding and advertising can be very direct and go for the conversion immediately because of online shopping.
With the goal of making that connection quickly, many brands began using a familiar face to establish a strong brand-consumer relationship. Consumers connect with and trust a brand with a face more than they do a faceless brand. Then, when that face has a distinctive and unforgettable personality, the results can be amplified tenfold.
Related: Your Personal Brand Is Just as Important as Your Business Brand
You can tell your story better than anyone else
Would Tesla have a similar success story if it used a random celebrity spokesperson rather than Elon Musk? No, because nobody can tell the brand’s story better than Elon. While he didn’t originally start the company, he invested, took control and quickly made sure to brand the company with his image and likeness.
He eats, breathes and sleeps Tesla. He is the leading authority on all things Tesla-related because he is in the trenches daily. Who else could relay breaking news, exciting developments and explain the direction of the company the same way? Nobody, and the same applies to you and your business.
Every business has a story, and the brands that figure out how to tell it authentically benefit greatly. Consumers love to hear the “why” behind brands. There are so many companies out there with amazing stories that never get heard because they never get told.
Put your story out there and be the delivery mechanism for sharing your story. It’s much more effective when it’s told by you.
Related: 61 Books Elon Musk Thinks You Should Read
Believing in your own product or service is the strongest statement you can make
Become the modern-day entrepreneur, an entrepreneur influencer. It is the strongest statement an entrepreneur can make — to be the face of the business you founded means putting yourself out there, not just calling the shots behind a desk. It means that you’re all-in on your brand and will be there for the ups and downs alike, committed to bringing the best product or service to market. No amount of fancy advertisements or paid celebrity endorsements can match that level of trust or commitment.
It’s easy to hide behind a name and company, or even staff members and executives, but those that step out in front of everyone ready to face the music head-on are making a bold statement. Consumers know that brands will face challenges and not everything will be smooth sailing, which is another reason they respect the move and will patronize brands with a face over one with no personal connection.