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There is no doubt that branding is a critical component of building a business. One thing to consider, however, is whether or not you need to build a business brand or a personal brand. This is going to make a huge difference when it comes to marketing your business. Here are three key questions to ask yourself to determine what kind of brand you want to build.

What type of product or service are you offering?

If you are an independent consultant, author, speaker, or offer a product directly tied to your own expertise, then you want to build a personal brand. A brand is essentially the type of person your business would be if your business were a person. So, if you are literally your business, then your brand will need to be a reflection of your own personal values, goals, and mission. A business brand, however, will need to embrace and encompass the values, goals and mission of a collective, even if that collective has not been established yet.

Does your product or service directly relate to your specific area of expertise?

The exception to this, however, is if you are building a business based on a specific skill or area of expertise that you possess. For instance, if you are a dermatologist who is developing a line of skincare products, then you definitely want to create a personal brand that will also become your business brand. Keep in mind, however, that if you choose this option, it may be much harder to sell your business if you decide you want to move on to other things. The more your business is tied to your personal brand, the harder it may be to move on if your business becomes a success.

Will you be the face of the company?

Steve Jobs may not have set out to be the face of Apple Computers, but he certainly became it. While he may have started the company with Steve Wozniak, it was Jobs that quickly became a household name while Wozniak spent decades in far greater obscurity. There are many business brands that have become synonymous with specific individuals, while the key movers and shakers behind other brands remain much more anonymous.