McDonald's Arches Can't Feel

Beyoncé is a celebrity and the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company. She is also the product that company sells. Beyoncé is a person and a commodity. She’s a brand, and in the twenty-first century, we call her a macro-influencer. Just like all other influencers, Beyoncé has to be able to separate herself from her product in order to maintain long term viability and sustainability.

What makes influencer branding unique from traditional branding is that the core product is a real person, not an inanimate object. Sure, a CEO could be emotionally attached to a company or a product, but they are still one step removed. When their product receives harsh criticism or they experience the sting of a failed partnership, it is not a direct hit. In my upcoming book, From Individual to Empire: A Guide to Building an Authentic and Powerful Brand, I share the secrets of positive psychology that not only help you protect yourself from the ups and downs of the business but factor heavily into the creation of your brand.

A real, live, breathing person presents many challenges to creating a successful brand, challenges a product-based company simply would not face. There are psychological components that must be addressed and incorporated into an influencer’s brand identity that are nonexistent for a typical product. These forces must help shape the brand as well as grow it over time. Failure to tap into the psychological components at the onset will spell disaster for anyone building a brand.

The very first thing an influencer must do is learn to view themselves as a product. Th