Creating a meaningful connection with customers, fans, and followers is a major key to any successful brand. Nike has it, Apple has it, even Twitter has one, and no two brands are the same. Some brands quote Drake lyrics, and some drive by motivation and strength, more like Beyonce.
Your brand’s personality is what helps you stand out from your competition. The way you sound, look, and feel identifies you, makes you human, and helps customers relate to you. Creating these ties builds equity, but even further, let’s you share what your brand really stands for, and what your goals are.
Crafting a powerful, unique personality is one of the most important tasks in building your brand.
Here are 5 tips to help you stand out in your niche:
- Get Into Character.
An important exercise in creating your personality, as well as ensuring everyone on your team will both understand, and be able to speak in your voice, is character portrayal. Decide who this person is, what they like/dislike, subjects they talk about, who are they friends with, what are their hobbies.
When I’m thinking about a new brand, I pick 2 to 3 examples of a character, say Elon Musk meets Gary Vaynerchuk, and throw in a wild card, like Vince Staples. A character can also be created with adjectives instead of people.
She has 100k Tumblr followers, is well versed in every tv show and meme, says things like “cyber goth,” goes to Coachella, and is only 14. Talking to her might make you feel old, but she has thousands of friends that are just like her. From the inside, intricately crafted fandoms rule all and “weird” translates to good.
With this character, you’d have a lot of room to run and be flexible, and the direction is clearly more like a cool, young cosmetics brand than a luxury skincare product with an older target.
2. Visualize It.
If a follower doesn’t see your profile picture, do they know it’s you? Your brand’s style, look and feel, let’s your audience identify and connect with you through a visual voice, which is perfect key on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
Through your posts, people should be able to identify your brand in 5 words or less. Beyond logos and mascots, the culture you set adds additional brand context with your audience.
This is achieved with storytelling through visuals systems, with a consistent brand aesthetic (colors, photo style, content categories).
You can also experiment with your layout or posting style (more on that in this post about creating a next level Instagram theme), which helps create a link between your brand photos and your audience.
3. Know Your People.
To build your tribe of dedicated followers, you have to know them. You should evaluate how they talk, and what they’re interested in to help you craft your character. A customer of Spirit Airlines is different than one from Virgin Airlines.
Spirit knew that, which is why they created the funny (and relatable) campaign “cheap flights for cheap asses.” To truly know your people, do a bit of research. Look at the interests and brands that your customers like aside from yours.
Find subcultures. I like to use Facebook Groups to discover niche groups. For example, a Real Housewives-themed podcast I listened to has subcultures of listeners that love makeup and skincare (predictable), and also ones that love true crime (not predictable).
Knowing the underlying interests of your audience can help build a stronger connection with them through your voice, and your social media copy.
4. Tone It Up.
Tone is a subset of voice, that shades based on the audience and content type. Tone changes depending on the emotional state of the person you’re addressing. As part of creating your voice, establish multiple scenarios that your tone will shift, and what that will sound like.
For example, when a superfan is excited to share a review with you, your response will differ from one that is complaining. If your priority is great customer service, your tone should reflect that when engaging with your audience.
5. Crush Your Competition.
Why do people care about what you have to say, more than your competitors? Identifying the voices of your competitors or other brands you admire, can help you take your own brand to the next level.
Figure out the holes, and improve your brand in those places. See where you can contrast them, or create stronger niche ties where they lack. Establish ways to be more creative, more unique, and crush them.
BONUS TIP* Document Everything.
Your brand is nothing without your process. Keeping your character in your head, or having only one person be responsible for knowing and speaking with the brand voice will only grow inconsistencies.
The best way to use (and constantly refine) your voice is to document it. If you have a team, have everyone write down how they would describe your brand voice.
Create a brand messaging framework, and a visual style guide, which includes keywords and visual keys that your brand uses. Get everyone on the same page, and trust that everyone could pick up your brand and run with it.
Want help building a beautiful brand personality? Need to fine tune your messaging to crush your competition?
Hit me up, and we’ll work on making you (and your brand) #FeedGoals.