Recently I was asked what the impact of personal branding is.

Many companies are an extension of personal brands that have been leveraged. As an example, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods personal brands have been leveraged by Nike to create a brand within a brand.

Other brands such as Apple or Virgin are a reflection of their founder’s brand creating a “house of brands” strategy. In many cases, these personal brands have the option to either develop extensions themselves into products and experiences or license the image to other manufacturers to produce products that take advantage of the brand’s assets.

In the digital age that we are in, social media has presented itself as an effective avenue to grow personal brands that are outside of sports and entertainment. Blogs have allowed subject experts to elevate their stature and become widely known within industries, essentially creating strong personal brands for themselves.

It is conceivable that in the future, social media’s evolution will allow groups of personal brands to band together to create a traditional brand. This will also enable brands to be built on a platform of personalities and demonstrated expertise. These initiatives will allow small and emerging companies to develop brands based on a following.

The antithesis, however, can be challenging for brands to evolve beyond the original founding personal brands to grow a brand outside its original form.