Shape Your Brand with Personal Touch 2

Shape Your Brand

with Personal Touch



2 of 3

Following on from our look at the ‘brand personalisation’ of Donald Trump ‘the businessman’, let’s see how Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Arianna Huffington (of Huffington Post fame) use typography, photography, graphics and social media to define their brand personalities…

Mark Zuckerberg, as Facebook’s co-founder and CEO, unsurprisingly has a few followers on Facebook itself. About 80 million. His page features details of his personal life – observations from his travels, his political opinions, and projects he’s working on to make the world a better place.

We’re the same, you and me

As one of the world’s youngest billionaires, Zuckerberg’s got a job to do to convince people he’s not sitting on a gold throne drinking champagne and spitting on peasants. And he seems to be doing that job pretty well – followers see him as laid back, free-thinking… almost one of their own.

Not many people in the public eye would get away with a business card which reads ‘I’m CEO, Bitch’.

But Zuckerberg’s understated style (grey t-shirt and jeans as uniform), his simply-designed and plain-speaking written communications, and his photography-based social media feeds suggest a lack of formality that seems refreshing for one in his position. He allows us to glimpse into his personal life, and that openness (not to mention his charitable donations) is exactly what his brand is built upon.

Style to the letter

Zuckerberg understands the value of the details too – his personal stationery is simple, stylish, and emblazoned with an own-name logo. Designing a logo for your name – when it’s not the name of your company – is a pretty advanced case of personal branding.

It’s interesting to note, though, that when Zuckerberg communicates in writing via mail (rather than via Facebook messages), his body copy is a somewhat traditional, semi-serif font. Perhaps a reminder that while his approach is informal, he still means business.

Arianna Huffington became a household name as co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. She’s now stepped down from her role to focus on a new venture, Thrive Global. And with our focus on the people behind the brands sharper than ever before, it’s interesting to see how she’s chosen to merge her image with that of the company.

Looking after business

Thrive Global seeks to promote wellness in body and in mind within the working world, and rejects the view that success is born purely of pushing oneself to the limit and beyond. And, while the company is new and its offer yet to be fully appreciated, there are obvious signs of its brand – and Huffington’s – reflecting this.

There’s a soothing, caring quality to the colour palette chosen for Thrive Global, and graphic layouts allow for plenty of space. The new logo unveiled this month – featuring a sans-serif stencilled typeface and using stylised leaf images amongst its characters (and as a watermark on further posts and communications) – is more bath oil than business.

Like company, like founder

This all aligns neatly with Huffington’s online presence. Soft black and white portrait photography features on both the company’s website and on her personal social media pages. On Facebook and Instagram she’s a frequent poster of motivational quotes – and their design again bases itself around nature.

There’s an approachability to Huffington that has been achieved through these branding choices. It’s worth noting that the majority of quotes she posts aren’t her own. The reposting of others’ wisdom suggests not just an awareness of – and connection to – the world around her, but a respect for great minds and accordingly a lack of ego.


Two more are up in our final look at how CEOs brand themselves – Bill Gates and Richard Branson

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