Posts Tagged Web presence
In a fascinating article entitled “Does Your Brand Have a Lame Personality?” on Talent Zoo, Tommy Walker starts out seemingly contradicting some of the basic tenets of branding that I have posted here on Royal Pain. Shocked and dismayed, I read the article voraciously, trying to discern if there was some new idea in branding that I hadn’t seen coming. Has the UVP (Unique Value Proposition) been replaced with a multifaceted personality that works with different audiences in different ways? Maybe. But by the end of the article, I breathed a sigh of relief, for my foundation had not been rattled. Emboldened definitely, but not shaken.
I am intrigued by the concept Walker raised of being a “living, breathing” brand, just as a person has many aspects to his or her personality. He asks, “[D]o all of your friends like you for the same reason?” It is worth pondering how the many faces of Eve can happily coexist in a brand that still manages to define itself. And finding the answer to this puzzle as well as why those friends do actually like you is where the 007 bit comes in.
But before we get to that: the UVP. I’m not quite ready to do away with it. I still think that you should choose a genre and customer personality that best fits you and commit to something, because the worst kind of person is the chameleon who puts on a different show with everyone he meets.
However, if you take Walker’s meaning as a nod to the way we present ourselves a little differently at home than at work, or the way we might love to attend the indie crafts market and show off our tattoos, but we also have a hard-driving business side that feels equally comfortable in a good suit… Read the rest of this entry »
In a stellar article on branding from Talent Zoo, Andrew Davis writes about what he believes are the two key points in branding: Singularity and consistency. As the article discusses the importance of simplicity, I love that he pares branding down to these two words. He writes, “Singularity means that you keep your brand narrowly focused and constructed around one central idea or theme. Consistency means that you keep this focus unchanged.” This premise makes total sense, and is one that is often ignored or not understood by many companies.
If you’re trying to make a name for yourself as an entrepreneur or small business, or you’re a big brand trying to capture more of the market, the game is the same: KISS – Keep It Simple, Sweetheart. (We southerners prefer the nicer version.) Customers need to be able to associate you with something specific – that’s what a brand is. You should be able to tell your story in seconds, if necessary.
“Keeping the brand narrowly focused ensures simplicity,” according to Davis. “And, simplicity means you can begin to ‘own’ a term in the mind of consumers. It’s this term that consumers use to define your brand.” This term is also what you would buy up in Google Adwords. It not only gives your customers something to grab onto when you have a long-term focus, but it helps you design a marketing plan and narrow your target audience.
And keeping “the focus unchanged” does not mean you can’t expand your offering or grow your market or take on new ventures. It means you need to know what you stand for and help customers stay loyal to you by continuing to stand for it. There’s enough whiplash change out there for all of us to wallow in. Offer a safe haven (or a fun one, or a seriously twisted one…) for your customers, and be truly singular in a market filled with underachievers.
Personality makes more of a difference than you might think. With so many options out there in the marketplace, people are choosing their services and products more and more based on how that company’s or individual’s ideals and personality mesh with their own. Loyalty is hard to come by these days, and the only way to stand out among your peers is to let go of the mass market and find a niche. It’s called branding, and your niche will have much greater loyalty to you and your business personality than the masses ever could.
For example, do you put “green” concerns first in your business? Let your customers know how you feel. Eco-consciousness is an important factor in the current climate. Don’t “greenwash” your offering – people can smell a rat a mile away, and you will be
shunned for your falsehoods. However, if you are genuine in your mission, you can inspire customer loyalty by honest efforts to reduce your impact and provide green options for your customers through your brand.
Or maybe you’re an edgy business with rock n’ roll style? Does your “CEO” have a few body modifications? Adopt a style for your blog that conveys this aspect of your company. You’d be surprised about how far it will take you with a large percentage of your customer population. Sure, you might lose a few. But you will gain a genuine brand that you can feel good about promoting because it’s truly you, and your customers will appreciate it. And you might be surprised at how much of the population is tattooed and pierced. Get an icon professionally designed with a caricature of your most hard-core employee – is it you? – and flaunt it, baby!