Tony Elumelu: 5 Lessons in Building Your Personal Brand
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Business - June 14, 2023

Tony Elumelu: 5 Lessons in Building Your Personal Brand

Tony Elumelu’s inspiring journey showcases the transformative power of personal branding. As a Nigerian entrepreneur, philanthropist, and business mogul, Tony Elumelu has achieved remarkable success by strategically crafting his personal brand. 

Tony Elumelu’s personal brand is founded on a diverse range of accomplishments and expertise that transcends specific industries. From his role as CEO of United Bank for Africa (UBA) to his establishment of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Elumelu has built a brand that transcends industries and opens doors to new opportunities. 

By exploring his journey, you can gain practical insights to enhance your own personal brand and accelerate your career growth.

Elumelu’s distinctive fashion sense

Tony Elumelu’s distinctive fashion sense played a significant role in shaping his personal brand as an entrepreneur. The billionaire possesses an undeniable flair for fashion with an impeccable sense of style that resonates with his corporate persona.

Elumelu boasts a plethora of outfits suitable for any occasion with his signature attire often comprising black or navy suits adorned with a vibrant red tie and matching socks, serving as a distinctive component of his brand identity. The color red is incorporated throughout his organizations such as UBA, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, and Heirs Holdings. 

This played a vital role in shaping his personal brand as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs can learn from his example by embracing their individuality, differentiating themselves, paying attention to details, celebrating diversity, and maintaining consistency in their personal branding efforts.

His advocacy for youth entrepreneurship

Elumelu’s advocacy for entrepreneurship has been a significant driver of his personal brand. As a successful entrepreneur himself, he actively promotes and supports entrepreneurship as a means to drive economic growth and empower individuals.

For instance, Tony Elumelu established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which aims to empower entrepreneurs and young people across Africa. Through its flagship program, the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP), he provides mentorship, training, and seed funding to thousands of entrepreneurs annually.

His advocacy for entrepreneurship showcases the importance of knowledge-sharing, fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem, encouraging innovation and risk-taking, promoting social impact, and leading by example. These lessons can inspire and guide entrepreneurs in their own entrepreneurial journeys.

Elumelu embodies spirit of giving back

Tony Elumelu embodies the spirit of giving back as a driver of his personal brand. Throughout his entrepreneurial journey, he has consistently demonstrated a commitment to philanthropy and social impact which has contributed to his personal brand.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a division of Heirs Holdings founded to inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs which has become one of his well-renowned initiatives doubling as part of his brand. 

Since its establishment, the foundation has diligently operated across all 54 nations of Africa, while Elumelu harnesses his extensive network and connections within both the public and private sectors through the foundation, utilizing them as powerful tools to unlock opportunities and empower individuals to embark on a journey towards prosperity. 

Elumelu’s unique storytelling technique

Tony Elumelu consistently prioritizes sharing his story on social media, setting himself apart from numerous other billionaires who delegate the task to others or choose to remain absent from social platforms. Whether it involves his personal life, plans, or thoughts, he actively carves out time to engage with his online audience.

In addition to written posts on his social media channels, the art of storytelling plays a pivotal role in Elumelu’s presentations during conferences and public speaking.  Recognizing its power to captivate and inspire, he leverages this attribute to effectively communicate his experiences, ideas, and vision to a broader audience. Through his engaging storytelling, Elumelu connects with his listeners and offers unique insights into his journey and perspectives.

Elumelu’s hand-on and self-reliant approach 

Tony Elumelu’s journey to success was far from accidental. It unfolded organically through the arduous trials he faced, shaping him into the accomplished individual he is today. Elumelu’s personal brand came to life through his genuine involvement and active participation in his own success. 

Elumelu is not one to idly wait for assistance from others. From his early entrepreneurial venture of selling traditional garments crafted in Sokoto to spearheading one of the most significant mergers in Sub-Saharan Africa, which ultimately led to the establishment of UBA, he diligently paid his dues. This unwavering commitment to his endeavors has played a pivotal role in creating an impactful personal brand that resonates with others.

Entrepreneurs can learn that personal branding is not solely about crafting a polished image or relying on external assistance. It involves actively living out one’s values, being deeply committed to one’s endeavors, and taking personal responsibility for the outcomes

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