5 Celebrities With A Strong Personal Brand & Why

Laurenne Mercier

Laurenne Mercier

In today’s world of technology, instant gratification, influencers, and online marketing, we are hearing one common theme: A Personal Brand. The mere idea of a personal brand seems daunting: “I don’t have that kind of time!”, “As if people want to hear what I have to say” ,“ It’s too big of a commitment”, “you have to have thousands of followers to need or want a brand”. False, false, false, and more false.

Building a brand is simple. It is about being authentically who you are (link internally) and engaging with people on that simple fact alone. Building your brand is about using your gifts, using them to your advantage and using them well.


Brene Brown - One Main Idea

An important aspect of your personal brand is the idea behind consistency. Consistency doesn’t mean that it has to be crazy creative, or groundbreaking content, it just means you consistently show-up to deliver a theme to your audience. A perfect example of someone who has nailed this aspect of her personal brand is Brene Brown.

Whether you’re watching her speech on Netflix, listening to her podcast, reading her book or perusing her LinkedIn page, Brene Brown consistently delivers the idea around Vulnerability.

As an audience, we know what to expect from Brene. In this way, she has not only identified content that is important to her audience, she has also created an audience that is engaged in her content. Her entire brand is focused around one big idea, and thus her one big idea is her brand.

Colton Parayko - Aligning With Community

Colton Parayko, a current member of the St. Louis Blues NHL club and a native to St. Albert, Canada has developed a brand for himself without even knowing it. A humble, well-respected and resilient player on the ice, Colton garnered respect from the hockey world most recently off of the ice with his heart melting story starring 11-year old Laila Anderson.

 With the St. Louis Blues 2019 Cup Run and the impressive story of battling from last place, Colton Parayko spent his time off the ice visiting Laila, a young patient who was undergoing treatment for a rare disease known as HLH. The story gained great legs amongst the hockey world as the team went on to win the Stanley Cup with Laila in the stands. Laila was then gifted a Stanley Cup Ring by Colton and teammate Alex Steen. The story was picked up by the media and broadcast for the hockey world to be a part of.

 Colton’s brand has been created through an approach that is genuine, authentic and compelling. He is not going to great lengths to create a personal brand or garner media attention. Instead, Colton has dedicated himself to what matters to him off the ice: making a kid’s day. Colton spends his off-days visiting the Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. And he does this with no nudge from anyone else.  In aligning himself with initiatives that are important to him, Colton remains humble and conscious of those who are battling around him.

RONDA ROUSEY - Authentic Representation

Ronda Rousey is an exceptional example of a celebrity who has manufactured a personal brand, with or without consciously trying to, through humanizing herself. Rousey has connected deeply with her audience through her authentic representation around a cause based in personal experience. In Rousey’s book, she speaks in depth about her struggles growing up including her father’s death by suicide, as well as her battle with bulimia nervosa.

Those suffering from eating disorders are commonly misrepresented as fragile. Rousey, however, strikes us as anything but fragile with her exceptional mental and physical toughess both in and out of the ring. She is remarkably resilient and is vocal about battles that she has faced and insights into factors that perpetuated these battles. Rousey attributes her eating struggles to being an athlete, holding perfectionist standards, her low self esteem around body image, as well as a lack of social support. This openness about her past helps both decrease the stigma of weakness around eating disorders and creates a community of support and empathy for her audience.

Rousey’s positive message around body image and women’s empowerment has also been praised by several other celebrities, including Demi Lovato and Beyoncé.

JJ Watt - Understand your Platform

It is not just about knowing your audience… It is also about knowing your platform. JJ Watt, NFL defensive end for the Houston Texans, uses his social media like the rest of us. It isn’t full of ads or content that we don’t want to see. It’s engaging

Especially now, during times of quarantine and uncertainty in the world, JJ Watt isn’t looking to leverage his presence or his status, he simply relates. In other words, Watt’s instagram is like any other average guy’s… just that he’s a record breaking, super star NFL athlete. His presence is, to say the least, refreshing. And he says so himself: “Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Instagram, they know they’re not going to see tons of ads and not a whole lot of product placement. I don’t operate like that. I’m not going to have some paid ad. It’s all going to be organic.” In this way, JJ Watt has brought a humanizing aspect to his brand. It brings in his day-to-day life, a life that many celebrities are not willing to expose.

Christiano Ronaldo - Endorsed

Another avenue worth noting, especially in the world of celebrities, is the avenue of sponsorship and endorsements. Take Christiano Ronaldo for example. He has 196 million followers on Instagram, which is more than any other athlete. Companies are paying him $44 million each year to pitch their products because of this impressive platform. He is the second-highest paid athlete in the world, behind only Lionel Messi.

Endorsements include the likes of Tag Heurer, Altice, DAZN, Electronic Arts, Herbalife, MTG, Nike, and many others. Some of these endorsements will continue to pay him long after his career has finished. While this avenue is not something that any average joe can venture on, Ronaldo has created an entirely different space, universe even, of branding himself.

While creating a personal brand may feel daunting, it is becoming more and more something worth thinking about. Especially for celebrities, their presence online is constantly under scrutiny and being observed by hundreds of thousands of viewers. Now more than ever, athletes are able to deliver a message and tell a story to their audience. And more than ever, we want to hear it. 

So how do they set themselves a part from the rest? How can celebrities follow suit and create a personal brand worth talking about?

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