Brands are supposed to be things, not people right?
You see, all brands were the creative idea of a person. A real human.
So what about your brand?
Does it have a heart? A voice? A personality?
Is it faceless?
Here’s where I am going with this.
Lee Clow who is regarded as one of the top Advertising Creative Directors ever explains brand personality for you:
“Brands are very much like people. Do you think that brand is interesting? Would you like to have them over for dinner? Are they always the same or are they sometimes funny and sometimes serious?”
These were his words in the great documentary ‘Art & Copy‘.
To sum it up, your brand is person. And it should start communicating like one.
If it speaks directly to your target market, even better.
Read on for two great examples of brands doing just that and how you can give birth to your brand.
Before you do that, tweet this link out for me if agree with what Lee and I have said so far.
Would anyone invite your brand over for dinner? – Click to Tweet
Brash To The Bone
Old Spice for years had always been, well, old. I never used any Old Spice products growing up. Neither did my friends. Probably because we weren’t their target market.
They also were pretty boring. Same sailing ad after another.
That changed in 2010 with the famous “Your man can smell like me” campaign. In case you’ve been living in cave, here’s one of the commercials.
Even though the ads were geared towards women, I decided to try some Old Spice body wash last year. When I turned the bottle around, I burst out laughing in the shower! Here’s why…
If you can’t read the picture taken from my crappy iPhone 3, here’s what it says.
“Cleans hair, cleans body then wails on it’s pecks. Does it’s job and drives away in a sports car.”
Talk about speaking directly to their target market in a fun and entertaining way!
What’s also interesting is they treated the body wash it self like a human. Doing human things like wailing on pecks and driving a sports car. Awesome stuff Old Spice and a nice touch.
Axe has dominated the hygiene world amongst males ages 15-34 for some time now. They speak to their customers like a person which creates a connection.
Because of this they’ve had a stranglehold on male hygiene products. That was until Old Spice decided they needed to humanize the brand.
Since then Old Spice has done a bang up job by giving the brand a personality. All because they communicated like a real person.
Another great example of brand personality is Newcastle’s Facebook timeline image
I really like the stand they’ve taken.
One of the things written in the Meaningful Marketing Manifesto is that you should support good causes because you want to and not because you want more followers. They’ve stated that in it a bold way.
The brand alignment is also bang on with their ‘No Bollocks’ tagline.
Both examples are bold and in your face. Shocking for most because brands were things and not people before.
They’ve made me laugh and created an emotional connection. All because they communicated to me like a real human being.
Don’t be boring and Forgettable
How often does this happen to you.
You click on a website or read an advertisement and after 10 seconds of reading, you’re bored and on to the next thing?
I’m sure it’s happened often.
Why does this happen? They don’t have a brand voice. They’re blurting out their message like a robot speaking monotone. I suppose robots can only speak monotone but you get the point.
Those brands don’t understand that people are craving a connection. It’s like being able to talk to your favorite actor, actress, athlete or someone you admire. If they’re boring face to face, they might be your favorite anymore.
You want to see their human side. It’s the same with brands in this socially connected digital world.
Many brands are creating meaningful connections. Simply by having a voice and a personality.
Giving Birth To Your Brand
It’s really simple.
Start talking like a human being in every marketing and advertising piece the public sees!
Let your hair down. Stop standing up straight and being all proper. Being polite will not generate an emotional connection with people.
It’s like this. The last thing you want to do is fit in. By giving your brand a personality and a voice, you’ll be a breath of fresh air and stand out from the competition.
What do you think?
Is there anything holding you back from giving birth to your brand?
If you’re already doing so, tell me about it!
I’ll be discussing more about brand personality in future posts. If you’ve liked this post, subscribe to my updates so you can receive them straight to your inbox.
How to make people feel like this when they see your brand? Read on.
We form opinions of people instantly.
But what about brands?
When you see a brand for the first time, you ask questions.
“Do I like this brand? What do they do? Why should I care about them? Do I trust them?”
The answers to these questions form your opinion.
When people first see your brand/logo/business name, they’re forming an opinion. This is also the case for those who know about your business but haven’t actually done business with you.
What can you do to influence people’s opinion of your brand? Read this post of course!
We Are Customers Too
I was reluctant to write this post today. The reason? Because I wonder if customers actually care about brand images. But I’m a customer. You’re a customer. I care. Do you care?
Many times you can answer your own marketing questions by seeing what influences you. Recall what it is about a certain business that makes you loyal to them.
I was reading John Morgan’s book “Brand Against The Machine” last night.
One quote confirmed I needed to go ahead with this post.
“Every marketing piece someone comes in contact with leaves an impression on your brand. Even those who aren’t purchasing your product are forming an opinion of you.”
That really sums up this post quite nicely.
The natural tendency when marketing, branding or advertising is to slap your logo everywhere. More awareness means more sales right?
Those businesses that create value and an emotional connection through their branding and marketing are going to be the ones who stand out from the competition.
Not those whose logos are everywhere.
My case in point is our friends over at Star Toilet Paper whom I talked about in my last post.
I’ll repeat John’s quote.
“Even those who aren’t purchasing your product are forming an opinion of you.”
When those people are wiping their bottoms, their doing so with with someone’s brand. Obviously they’re forming a pretty crappy opinion of that brand.
I certainly hope those businesses wake up and start to value their own brand more. Would you really want your brand to be aligned with crap?
If you’re reading this post and my site, I doubt it. This is all about Meaningful Marketing after all.
But hey, some businesses are taking advantage of the low cost to advertise on toilet paper. They’re thinking short term not long term however. Customer loyalty is built on value and service. They may get a few people in the door redeeming (can you imagine yourself saving toilet paper to redeem at a store?) toilet paper coupons but are coupon redeemers what you’re after?
Coupon clippers do not turn into loyal customers.
Ok I’ve made my point loud and clear about advertising on toilet paper. I give props to the Brian and Jordan who started the business.
But we can do better.
Consistent Brand Image
When influencing people to come and do business with you, not only is it what your brand is displayed on but how it looks.
Here’s another story that ties into my last post and brand image.
There is a luxury condo development in my city. They’re currently advertising on all of the squash courts at one of the clubs in town. This club hosted a tournament a few months back.
Talking with a few players at this tournament revealed that the many thought the courts were not nice to play in. It was true. The walls were dirty, the floors were dark and the paint was chipping off the walls and the area where this brand’s logo was displayed.
On a couple of courts you couldn’t even make out the name of the brand. Their logo had been hammered with squash balls that most of the paint was gone from the logo.
They’ve slapped their brand all over a product (poorly marinated squash courts) that doesn’t align at all with luxury.
This really makes no sense to me. The brand image is off. Nothing about the courts is luxurious at all. Most importantly, there’s no connection to the squash players playing on those courts.
Create Value or an Emotional Connection
So what does it take to succeed in your future branding, marketing and advertising efforts?
- Create value – Here’s an example of how to increase value in advertising. Here are seven great examples from companies increasing value through their marketing.
- Create an emotional connection – Here’s a way the luxury condo company above could create an emotional connection with the squash player. John Morgan had another great quote in his book. “People are emotionally tied to brands and not products.”
Just because someone see’s your logo doesn’t mean they’ll automatically remember your service and call you up when they need it.
In branding, marketing and advertising you don’t have long to capture one’s attention. Do your best to make a great first impression!
What do you think?
Do you form opinions of brands like you do of people?