Here’s a story I usually share in my branding classes:
Last year, I had a conversation in a particular coffee shop about two particular computer companies and the conversation shifted to how company A represented sexy arrogance and company B represented mediocrity. It got pretty heated.
It’s no secret I’m a Mac.
Macbook, iPhone, iTunes all day, everyday.
When people ask me why I like Macs, I used to rattle off all these reasons why I like the product.
“Oh, I get the organization of the system.” “It’s better for design work.” “They last longer than PCs.”
But the truth is, I shelled out that $1500 for my Macbook almost five years ago, because I wanted one.
I can freely admit it.
I like Apple products because I LIKE Apple products.
There’s a cult-like following for Apple products and I admit to being a part of it.
I accept it.
Sexy arrogance and all.
So many companies today evoke such strong emotions, when it’s hard to consider that brands of the past, a beef brand, for example, probably didn’t evoke anything but hunger.
There’s a personality, a feel and a culture to the brands people get most excited about.
BTW – have you ever noticed that the word CULT is a big part of the word CULTURE?
But, there are some brands that have practically NO personality.
Plain straight forward.
Straight shot. No chaser.
Look at most milk brands. It would be interesting to find ANYONE (outside the dairy community) who is willing to argue about how much better Maola is than Walmart’s Great Value brand.
Look at Kraft sliced cheese. Chances are you won’t find too many people who want to bust the proverbial cap over a slice of cheese.
This straight approach probably won’t work so well for crafting a creative business.
You WANT people to get excited about your products and about your company.
Adding personality and punch to your brand IS A GOOD THING! Especially in today’s society where everything is very social and about “connecting.”
Who would buy jewelry from an anonymous online crafter with no indication of what they can expect from the product, customer service or company.
Now how many people may want to by jewelry from a stay-at-home mom who creates glass jewelry from recycle goods with the help of at-risk teenagers from her neighborhood, because she believes that creativity can be a positive outlet for troubled youth…and her site is filled with anecdotes from the kids, testimonials from customers and beautiful pictures of the jewelry?
Well, definitely me, because I’m getting teary-eyed just writing that paragraph and I totally just made up this example!
What is your unique spin on your company?
What makes you special?
Why do you do what you do?
Adding personality and a story behind your business makes it feel more authentic.
It connects people to your business.
It makes them want to support and champion your business.
Let’s be clear, your brand doesn’t HAVE to make people want to jump around, fight, shout or boycott in order to be effective.
It just needs a little personality.
And it needs to be authentic.
It needs to be you.