Business brand vs. Personal brand in Africa (The web and your brand)

Business brand vs. Personal brand
(The web and your brand)
Ayo Alex Alao – CEO of Jetheights Services Ltd

For me, in Nigeria this is one of the most difficult decisions you have to make if you run a startup or you’re into content management, writing, blogging, gossip or what have you. Nigeria understands personal brands and it’s a little easier to promote one person, which in this case is YOU. With the likes of Bella Naija, Ladun Liadi, OSG, Linda Ikeji and co on top of the personal brand game, the likes of Pulse, Jumia or Konga have also shown than there are exceptions to the “Rule” or the norm whichever suits you.

The war between these two is probably the most important thing to decide before posting content on the web.

For me, I made an obvious choice to promote Jetheights instead of Ayo Alex Alao alone, this is a decision which was quite difficult at the time, didn’t pay off quite quickly, but now people are starting understand what we do and believe more in our brand. We now have several sites with social media pages with over a 100k. We reach out to millions of people daily online. Our goal is to be able to reach out to over a million people in Africa every hour in the next couple of months.

Let’s make this clear, it’s not going to be easy trying to promote a business brand with limited funds as a startup. In Africa, there are special challenges; challenges of capital, internet, staffing, theft, insurance and many others. However, this is your call!

If I had the chance to go back, I might definitely go for a business brand and remove my personal brand completely, but that won’t be without first approaching a venture capitalist.

With a personal brand, every time you need to share or say something, you start the sentence with “I,” while with a brand you would start with “We.”


After some time, you might feel you are too much, or that your voice is too loud. There would be cases of readers who read too much meaning into your articles, as such you have to develop a very tough skin in order to survive and thrive.
You would also have issues with friends who think they’re doing you such a huge favour each time they click to like, tweet or promote your posts on social media. You’ve just got to be able to deal with that.

I don’t think a personal brand is a bad thing, however. You just have to make sure it’s right for you. Gary Vaynerchuk writes great stuff about it, if that helps.

For me Jetheights was bigger than just me, I had lots of Ideas and solutions which couldn’t have been either captured or promoted using the personal brand model alone.

Just be sure to pick the one that matches your personality and business goals before the storm starts kicking in. In Africa, if you run a startup, an ideal combination of the two would not only become a very good option but a lethal business concept.


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Written by How Africa

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