Building a Personal Brand as a CEO: A Case Study of Vivy Yusof, the Cofounder of FashionValet and the dUCk Group: Marketing Management, Assignment, OUM, Malaysia

University Open University Malaysia (OUM)
Subject Marketing Management


Social media is a new platform for CEOs to build their image and create a strong personal brand to represent themselves and their company. This research examines an outstanding Malaysian fashion icon and social media–savvy businesswoman with over a million followers on Instagram, Vivy Yusof, the youngest Malaysian e-commerce mogul and an example of a successful CEO who has used personal branding to build an empire in the fashion industry.

The objectives of this research are to identify the type of messages Vivy Yusof communicates to her audience through her personal Instagram posts and to identify the ways Vivy Yusof’s audience engages with her posts on Instagram. Her Instagram post content is classified using the Honeycomb framework that comprises seven functional building blocks, namely, presence, relationships, reputation, groups, identity, conversations, and sharing.

In this study, the content of Vivy Yusof’s Instagram posts is categorized by how she focuses on the various functional building blocks in her posts and the implications these blocks have on how her audience interacts with the posts. Her social media presence confirms the importance of CEO personal branding because of her role and influence on the masses evidenced by the willingness of her followers to interact (through likes and comments) and engage with her posts on any subject matter, relating either to her business or personal life.

The study contributes to a growing body of literature on personal branding strategies by shedding light on the association between content strategies and engagement with social media content.

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Traditional brand research has focused on generic terms for product or business brands. Social media has changed the way branding is approached by introducing the concept of a personal brand. A personal brand helps people effectively market themselves and their personalities. As such, social media and active involvement on social media significantly influence personal branding (Gorbatov et al., 2018; Jacobson, 2020; Karaduman, 2013). The phenomenon of social media has induced a change in branding strategy, with new actors and new influencers making an impact.

Most often, personal branding prevails among celebrities, athletes, politicians, and public figures because these individuals need to be noticeable and unique and publicize their competitive advantage to continuously acquire influence and power (Glucksman, 2017; Gorbatov et al., 2018).

Many CEOs utilize personal social media accounts to create personal branding by posting about their personal life, building interaction among users, and being transparent about their lifestyle and company activities. CEOs’ active involvement on social media can significantly influence brand engagement even among noncustomers (Andreini et al., 2020; Erdoğmuş & Esen, 2018; Karaduman, 2013).

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