“Good, you see it differently.” Personal Branding at Cofinpro AG

25. Jun 2019

Personal branding is an essential factor at Cofinpro AG so that the consultants can use their individuality. Christopher Spall interviewed board member Christine Martin.
A graduate in business administration with more than 15 years of consulting experience with financial service providers, she worked for a global corporation before moving to consulting for a DAX-listed company. She is a co-founder of Cofinpro AG with headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. Cofinpro is a management, specialist and technology consultancy specializing in Germany’s leading banks and capital management companies. There, Christine Martin has been a member of the Executive Board since 2013 and in this role is responsible, among other things, for corporate and HR strategy as well as the company’s central divisions.

Christine Martin

Our employees are energized.

Christine Martin

At Cofinpro, they have developed a target consultant profile. It says they are “not looking for stereotypical consultants.” What is it all about?

When we started at Cofinpro, we noticed that consultants often walked around like they were licked and acted in an almost stereotypical manner in the client. We were a little bit about saying to our customers, “We’re individuals doing the work with you.” We want to be more relaxed in our cooperation and thus create a benefit for the customer. For us at Cofinpro, a key factor in enabling our consultants to leverage their individuality is personal branding.

You have been training your consultants to become personality brands since 2016. What do you expect from this?

Everyone has an effect on his environment with his personality. We believe: sovereignty in appearance leads to trust just as much as professional competence. Trust determines whether customers are satisfied and recommend us. An objective external assessment is very important for one’s own personal sovereignty. This creates an important self-reflection. Each participant puts his identity on paper, an identity that is not clear to everyone beforehand. If you were to set up a blanket concept like that, I don’t think it would work. The reference to one’s own identity makes the difference. That’s what’s so exciting about the approach.

In the meantime, do you have any empirical value as to which types of employees are most helped by such a development program? Are there differences in terms of experience levels and characters?

Yes. More experienced colleagues know more quickly what they stand for. They had an easier time being specific about what made them tick. But they too have had eye-opening facets reflected about them. As a result, colleagues with more professional and management experience also gain important insights. The young colleagues are given a viewing angle that they have never had before. You come out of training in a euphoric mood. And then it also depends on whether someone is more introverted or extroverted. Introverted colleagues gain self-confidence above all. That’s a big win in consulting. For them personally. And directly for us as a company. Extroverted colleagues get further facets of their personality illuminated. Thus, they can use them in addition to their conscious strengths and make them their own. Regardless of this, the training helps each of our employees because they get a chance to look at themselves from a different angle.

Employees who have gone through personal branding develop a higher tolerance for the individuality of their counterparts. This increased understanding makes for better collaboration.

Do you see any impact on the motivation of employees who have received training in personal branding?

Our employees appear “energetically charged”. I feel a sense of drive. Moreover, I also see that they refer to it in their daily professional life. For example, if someone has identified empowering people as their drive, they will now reinforce that and focus their activities on that. The action changes. In addition: If someone acts according to his personal drive, then he also does his job well. He feels better about it.

The interview with Christine Martin was conducted by Christopher Spall.

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