Personality, you have it and your brand needs it. Gone are the days when you could simply put words to a page. You have to stand out from the crowd, differentiate or die as the dire saying goes.
One of the tools at your disposal is brand tone or brand voice. Just like people, brands can have a personality and the most successful brands have strong ones.
Think of Franks Red Hot Sauce and their ‘I Put That Sh*t on Everything’ slogan. Irreverent, funny, and a little spicy. Those descriptors can describe not just their slogan but their commercials, logo, and website.
How about Apple and their ‘Think Different’ tagline. Accessible, inventive, and personable. Now, personable is not be confused with personality. I say personable because they literally put their CEO front and center. There was Steve Jobs and now Tim Cook.
You know who else is approachable, conversational, personable and a little closer to home here in Calgary? ATB Financial. They put Dave Mowat, their CEO front and centre in their ads, they feature their people and they do not use stiff language. To be conversational they are constantly asking questions. They reference the word community frequently, after all, they are a community financial institution.
The reason why Franks Red Hot, Apple and ATB work is because they have a cohesive brand voice that is authentic and true to the core of their company. Large, medium or small, just because your company is not a global powerhouse like Apple doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have a strong personality. So, how do you carve yours out?
Define your audience
This is so important. If your core demographic is people in their 70s who frequent the opera and sip sherry, communicating to them like they are beer swilling snowboarders will do you more harm than good. The key to defining your audience’s voice is finding out who you are talking to.
General note: If your audience is professional, that doesn’t mean that they are stiff automatons. So often professional sounds robotic when it really doesn’t have to, professional can still be conversational and engaging.
Find 3 words that reference your brand
Kinda like what we did with Franks Red Hot, Apple and ATB Financial. Find the three descriptive words that you want people to get from your brand. Ie.
Fun, Witty, Modern
Thoughtful, deep, respectful
Serene, relaxed, approachable
Here’s a tip, if you have brand values that is a good place to start to find your three words. Once you have your three descriptors you have set the foundation of your personality.
Find your no-no words
Find language you can’t stand and outlaw it. On the flip side, find better versions of the outlawed language and make them your keywords. For instance, in the charitable and voluntary sector, saying “using” volunteers is definitely outlawed language as it has a negative connotation. Instead, they say “engaging” volunteers and it makes it more fun for everyone involved.
Find your brand mentor
Find a few brands that you really like, find memorable or hell, even a few you really hate. While we definitely do no advocate ripping off someone else’s tone, knowing what you like or what you hate is a great place to start.
Make yourself different
What did we say way up there in the first paragraph? Differentiate or die. Find your competition and see what they are doing. Find ways to make yourself different from them, of course if they suck that will be really easy, but you can’t really count on your competitors to be crappy.
Remember, your brand personality is not just about words, it is found in every avenue of your marketing, from social media, to videos, events, and the content on your website. It is all encompassing and if your personality isn’t consistent in every piece of your businesses identity your audience will see the disconnect and tune out.
Not sure if you have your brand bases covered? Hit up the talonX team, have a drink and a chat with us and see if we can’t help set you on the path to success.