It’s always been seen as important for a business to have some kind of personality. Some kind of distinct character that makes people think of your brand before they think of anyone else’s. But it’s rarely been seen as truly essential. After all, you can probably name a hundred different companies off the top of your head. How many of them could you think of as having a distinct personality?
You’ll often find that it’s not the really big companies that have this sort of character. And when I say really big, I’m talking about the giants. I’m talking about the likes of Microsoft, Google, Coca-Cola, Oracle. These companies often seem like completely faceless machines, devouring every resource in their path. Like they’re on a ruthless pursuit of profit (albeit with high-quality products… usually).
Now, of course, all businesses have to put profit on their list of priorities. I’m not saying you should make your company seem like some altruistic, business version of Barney the Dinosaur. But the fact is that many smaller companies rely on having a distinct image when it comes to selling themselves to the public. And I’m not talking about something as simple as logos or identifying color sets, here. I’m talking about something more specific, something that many companies have a hard time trying to nail.
Taking a look at some examples
There are loads of brands out there that conjure up specific, positive images in the minds of the public. When people think of them, they don’t just think of a profit-driven company. They think about the image that brand projects.
Some of the names that come to my mind include Jack Daniel’s and Old Spice. They’re big names, but they’ve taken care to cultivate personalities. Jack Daniel’s is a fantastic example. Over the years, they’ve given themselves a rugged, grassroots, “rock and roll” kind of image. The eponymous man himself, Mr Jack Daniel, has been elevated to the status of myth.
Old Spice has a similar “classic” vibe, and their advertising is consistently humourous. Look at the inventive “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” video campaigns. And what about their embracing of the “elderly” vibe people sometimes associate with the brand? One of their slogans is “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist”.
Why do people care?
The key here seems to be making your company “likable”. People may enjoy your product, but do they have a positive image of you as a company? Can they imagine that smart, funny, inventive people are hard at work behind the closed doors of your offices? It’s hard to imagine even the biggest fan of Coca-Cola drinks being much in love with the company itself. Coca-Cola have the privilege of being able to get by with their name and logo alone. They don’t need to “endear” themselves to help sales. (But that may be changing.)
In today’s world, consumers are much more cynical. They will stick to the products they already know and wave away any newcomers on the scene. If your brand and its marketing doesn’t stick with them, then they’re going to assume you just want to appeal to their wallets. People want brands who are going to appeal to much more. They want character.
How do I do it?
The first thing you need to do is identify what “personality traits” you want your company to project. Do you want your brand to make people laugh? Being funny, after all, is perhaps the most endearing personality trait of all. Do you want to come across as chummy to consumers? Or do you want to give off a more suave, charming sort of vibe?
Perhaps your company deals in quite gloomy endeavours that don’t seem to suit the above personalities. Let’s say, for example, that your company deals with funerals or serious accident law cases. Don’t make the mistake of believing that “formal” and “serious” means that your brand has to be devoid of personality! If you’re feeling at all stuck, you should look into getting assistance from a branding agency.
Methods of showing off your personality
Once you know exactly what type of vibe you want to give off to consumers, then you need to figure out how you’re going to do it. One of the most obvious methods is in your video advertising. This is where companies often find it the easiest to pull off. After all, thirty to sixty seconds of video is quite a lot of time to make someone laugh! That is, if you compare it to something like a billboard advertisement that needs to be taken in in seconds.
You should also look at more modern methods. Consider having a blog on your website. This is a great way to get your website filled with text content that fully reveals your brand personality.