And yet, we talk about ‘brand personalities’ all the time. What Is A Brand Personality? Just make sure that you’re communicating (and organizing) your brand’s identity clearly. Audiences are making fun of your company’s over-the-top marketing message. In a Harvard Business Review article, Kelsey Libert and Kristin Tynski explain how marketers can increase the chances of a creating a viral campaign: Make people care (and share). Negative emotions were less commonly found in viral content than positive emotions. Focus on growing your business by creating delightful brand experiences. Branding is something that your company should measure on the macro-level. Is your marketing message adding or extracting value from the world? Emotions make us vulnerable.
Consumers think with both their rational and emotional brains. Study after study says that when we buy, it’s for emotional reasons. Logic comes into play when we try to justify the money we have (or are about to) spend — especially when we’re giving into our wants.
Here is what one Psychology Today article says about our shopping habits.
- fMRI neuro-imagey shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (personal feelings and experiences) rather than information (brand attributes, features, objective facts).
- Advertising research reveals that emotional responses to an ad has greater influence on a consumer’s intent to buy an ad (more so than the ad’s content).
- According to the Advertising Research Foundation, ‘likeability’ is the measure that best predicts whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales.
- Positive emotions toward a brand have far greater influence on consumer loyalty than trust and other judgments.
- Emotions are one reason why we gravitate toward brand name products over generics — big brands pump a steady stream of advertising dollars into branding initiatives.
Okay. The findings make sense. In fact, they’re common sense and have been instrumental to marketers for years. But how can businesses harness emotions to connect with their consumers? Harness the following example tacts. We’ll show you how.
Positive Emotions = Long-Term ROI
Emotions are the key drivers behind our everyday decisions. They’re what keep us motivated to get up and go to work at 6 AM. It’s how we convince ourselves to run that extra mile on the treadmill. Similarly, emotions are what convince us to do business with the brands that stand out to us.
The problem is that marketers are on a completely different wavelength. What makes us happy? Clicks, pageviews, time on site, and high conversion rates.
What marketers need to keep in mind is that conversion optimization is a process, not a moment. It’s the whole marketing funnel — not just the five minutes that it takes for your customers to sign a contract or commit to a sale.
Your company needs to prioritize long-term relationships above sales.
Researchers at the University of Michigan wanted to find out how positivity could affect a negotiation scenario. In the study, participants had to coordinate the final arrangements of booking a catering service for an upcoming wedding reception. The business manager of this catering company (a professional actor), explained that the quoted price of $14,000 would need to be increased by close to $3,000 due to market pricing fluctuations.
The study revealed that even a subtle change in pitch could dramatically impact the outcome of the conversation. People who heard a positively toned pitch were twice as likely to accept the deal as people who heard a negatively toned pitch.
Zappos is a brand that thrives on positive energy. The company aims to make its customers extremely happy — and it’s not just to get them in the door. Zappos wants to keep people happy through the entire sales cycle.
Zappos transformed what most companies consider to be a cost (call centers) into a positive customer experience. Zappos reps are not required to follow a rigid script. Instead, they’re encouraged to live in the moment and let their personalities shine through.
Zappos is famous for sending customers flowers, granting surprise upgrades to overnight shipping, and staying on the phone with some customers for hours.
“Sometimes people just need to call and talk”, said Shaea Labus, the employee who was on a call with a customer for almost 10 hours. “We don’t judge, we just want to help”.
Make your customers happy, and you’ll win their business for life. Your competition won’t stand a chance.
Engaging the Senses
Visual communication is the heart of online marketing. That doesn’t mean, however, that your company is limited to two-dimensional communication.
One way to harness the senses is to appeal to your audience’s imagination. Help them imagine an experience with your company’s products. One option? Sound. Talk to your customers by producing a branded explainer video or by hosting a webinar.
You don’t need to create something expensive or overly complicated, either. When Spotify launched in the U.S., the company created a very simple visual and soundtrack:
A personality is something that we usually give our friends, family members, coworkers, and acquaintances. These are qualities that form a person’s distinctive character.
Personalities are in the eye of the beholder. We love people because of their personalities. We hate people because of their personalities. We find some personalities wonderful — and others, we find horribly obnoxious.
It’s weird to think that brands can have a personality. And yet, we talk about ‘brand personalities’ all the time.
What Is A Brand Personality?
A brand personality is the set of attributes that give an organization a distinct character. Some brands have incredibly strong and unique personalities. Others have weaker personalities (or no personalities at all). Usually, these personalities revolve around a distinct set of attributes.
Great personalities don’t happen by accident. They’re planned well in advance.
Moosejaw is a great source of inspiration. This sports and outdoors goods retailer is fun-loving, experimental, adventurous, and has an amazing sense of humor. Their marketing team takes the time to try new branding initiatives (like mystery gifts and freebies) and also deploys subtle tactics of making fun of the company’s own legalese. Check out the company’s return policy, for instance. It’s hilarious. It’s a “living will”.
Where Do Brand Personalities Come From
A brand personality can be whatever its leadership wants it to be — fun loving, serious, professional, or any combination of characteristics.
What’s most important is that the company defines it up front. This process should capture the entire time — not just a select few managers within the organization.
The reason why is that it’s your team members — at the ground level — who will ultimately put this carefully designed personality into action. These individuals will plan new product features, business development tactics, and customer service offerings around this extremely important identity.
As an example, take a look at KISSmetrics. The company strives to be analytical, educational, helpful, to-the-point, metrics-driven, aggressive, and (kind of nerdy). These core brand personality traits are readily apparent throughout the site — on the homepage and especially on the blog where the company is sharing tips, how-tos, and detailed best practices in web analytics.
Who Is Responsible For Your Company’s Brand Identity?
he short answer? Everyone.
The personality that you assign to your brand should touch every aspect of your business from marketing copy to social media, customer emails, and product descriptions. Every single person on your team — executive leaders, mid-managers, and entry level team members should be able to clearly define and embody who your brand is.
In many ways, your team members are your company’s brand identity. In building out your team (hiring) and forming strategic partnerships, you need to hire people who live and breathe your brand’s core values. When your team is committed to a shared and focused set of values, your company will have an easier time.
Culture, marketing, and design are elements that go hand-in-hand. For these disparate business goals to converge, a clear strategy needs to be defined from the top-down.
How Do You Define Your Company’s Brand Identity?
A brand identity isn’t something that will materialize into thin air. The process takes careful planning and consideration. You’ll need to hire a team, and if you have the funds, you may need to hire a consultant. This core business asset will unify your product, marketing, design, and customer communication. In other words, it’s really important. You’re not wasting time by overthinking it.
Here are step-by-step guidelines to help you get started:
- Come up with a big list of keywords that represent your brand image (right now). Invite your entire team to participate in this process. You can use a whiteboard, Google doc, or spreadsheet to sketch out the details — whatever you think is most effective — to share ideas.
- Come up with a big list of keywords that describe how you’d like your brand to be perceived….