Entrepreneur's Identity in Personal Branding - A Study on Building the Brand

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


  • Mikael Iso-Berg

Research units


In the field of branding, entrepreneurs are no longer viewed as identified by their products; rather, they are seen as active personalised themselves. Their action is understood in recognising the interplay between brand identity and the entrepreneur's identity. This study looks at how those theories approach the research focus. Brand identity systems individualise human personality, allow changing the perspective and build a bridge to personification. Being a creative and innovative actor in a society forms the branding viewpoint. Personality is the core concept in identity and branding and focuses on an individual to identify him or herself in the society. The narrative study represents the hermeneutic–phenomenological philosophy and selects the research participants by using dimensional scaling. Entrepreneurs are part of their brand meanings with their behaviour. The interpretation of the narratives produces brand stories with themes and plots by individualising their owner. The identity of the interviewed entrepreneur's personal brands works at the level of his or her personality. The power of identity pushes social entrepreneurs towards identity-based brands because they are real in firms. They contribute a methodological choice which is integrated into the theoretical understanding of the interaction between the entrepreneur's identity and personal branding. The analysis shows that the discussion contributes to the concepts of personality and identity. The study argues that entrepreneurs develop their identity by using their characters in business. The interviewees personalise their social interaction to branding. Becoming part of the brand system, they brand their products by giving them their personalities and name. They turn the perspective from external to internal as the person becomes a brand by working at a high level of personal involvement. Within personal branding, entrepreneurs and the success are marketed as a promise of special value. The brand is an offering from known sources and authentic brand identity simplifies the customer's choice. A personal brand is not how an individual sees him or herself but how others see him or her. The study argues that personal characters and plots are the themes of archetypes in a drama as a hero of liberty; as a compassionate recycler of satire; as an international pioneer of comedy and designer of decor items as a merchant of aesthetics in romance. The interviewees believe in themselves and take risks, come out and talk about what they have done. Those branded accept themselves and their doings. An entrepreneur's brand is an option from self-expression to succeed as originators' brands tell stories about us and we tell stories about them by using their services. The study shows that organisations should consider the innovative potential of entrepreneurs' brands.


Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Print ISBNs978-952-60-6113-9
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6114-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

    Research areas

  • personal identity, social identity, brand identity, brand personality, personal brand, personification, brand management, narrative

ID: 18165824