The personal branding of the entrepreneur - a unique asset for a new venture: a study with young french entrepreneurs
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This research aims to identify the characteristics of an entrepreneur’s efficient personal branding strategy that is valuable for his/her company. It also tries to analyze the projected outcomes of the personal brand of the entrepreneur on the success of his/her new venture. First, a literature review was conducted to fully understand the concepts of entrepreneurship, personal branding, and the dynamics of social media. It also provided first elements of answers for the research question. Then, a qualitative approach is taken. It consists of interviews of young French entrepreneurs having experienced the benefits of personal branding or looking to do so for their own companies and case studies of emblematic personal brand images of entrepreneurs that have influenced (positively or negatively) the soundness of their businesses. Results show entrepreneurs’ personal brand images, if well-managed, are privileged means to enhance brand awareness of the newly launched venture. They should even bring more revenues by raising brand awareness and people’s willingness to try out. However, an entrepreneur should not rely on it to get easier access to investments. To be efficient, the personal brand image of an entrepreneur has to be authentic and to rely on the person’s true qualities. It has to set a clear story lining on who the entrepreneur is and what drove him to launch a venture. It should rely on many appearances in the press and the social media to bring the attention needed to raise brand awareness. This way, the personal brand of the entrepreneur should be an asset in that it is unique and impossible to copy for competitors.