Life attracts Life: Give your brand a personality

Branding has been a topic to be approached with great caution as questions on the real definition of branding is like stirring a cup filled with both juice and sediments. Feedbacks received on the definitions of branding sometimes range from the signature hairdo of the ladies in top management all the way down to the tiny dot on that awesome company logo. Others would argue that it’s a lifestyle, an experience or simply corresponding visuals. These are all correct answers.

All business interactions, from Mary the receptionist to the updates Marvin the social media manager regularly posts on Twitter, FB, Instagram or LinkedIn are all a big part of the branding concept because individuals buy an experience and not features or products. A lot of agencies write copies that are filled with technical terms  forgetting they are supposed to be selling to real live human beings and not other companies. Many brands are on the precipice of going out of business and the only solution to this problem is simply having to relate to the real live humans who patronise your business for what they truly are. HUMANS.

The entire organisation needs to put in deliberate and concerted efforts into ensuring that the communication channels are more human, realistic and emotion-centric (and this in no way has anything to do with the staff in customer care putting up permanent smiles because we see through that. Thank You).

Here are some tips to help you get started with building the brand personality that could make all the difference.

Tip 1: Ease Up:

The up-tight communication has to be stopped and the brand should live like a true human being who gets to be trained with each passing day as it grows. The Corporate Communication manager will teach him how to speak, the accountant will be his financial conscience and the HR team can nanny the company and choose who its playmates will be.

Tip 2: Invest in Staff:

To achieve tip 1, it means that the guys who handle various aspects of the company must be adept at what they do. The best way to achieve this is to ensure that you get to invest in staff training sessions. If the organisation is a start-up, the CEO/Manager/Director could go lean on expense by speaking to friends in other fields to come in with key staff and share their experiences on the job with the guys and girls. This is something that has worked for us as it leaves us excited and eager to learn more knowing of course that we might be called upon to return the favour.

Tip 3: Create a Brand Life:

How will your brand sound to your customers if it were human? Say you we’re a coffee shop. I guess “Bright Coffee Morning Ma’am/Sir” could be an apt way of greeting your customers every morning. Afterall, it also gives you an opportunity to add zest to their day before it even starts as opposed to “Welcome to Coffee Ville” plus a plastic smile. You might as well just add the classic eerie vampire “Ha, ha, ha” laugh

Tip 4: Organise Communication Points:

Make it a rule of thumb to ensure that all your communication channels not only sound human but sound like what your brand can say. If this isn’t happening, it could be a good reason to gather the team or the agency handling your organisations communication and brief them. After this exercise, mock letters, posts, tweets, updates can be written to ensure the lesson has been learnt by all. At this point, it would be nice to state that though it’s good to create a brand life with a human touch, the people breathing life into this business should NEVER forget that it is still a business. In effect, it means that when “Mr Austine” who has been a customer for 2 years responds to your FB post on how great the weather has been with an “Yo Coffe-ville, It’s a great beach day for me and ma girl”. Jerry the Communication manager had better not be seen responding with an “Austine holmes, do your thing bro! wink, wink”.  Instead a mild “Great day it truly is” would suffice.

Tip 5: Get a Vision & Mission:

We all had a set of rules growing up that ensured we walked to a large degree on the moral side of life’s lawn. This is equally applicable to building a brand as every brand needs a set of rules and goal to help keep it focused. For example, “Coffee-ville’s” mission could be “To help create a world of focused individuals”. Now this mission statement could simply help the brand create everything it needs for it’s business down to sales and getting the customer back using these few examples.

  1. Whenever you come into the shop, motivational tapes, songs, news quietly play to allow customers engage in their primary activities while subconsciously listening.

  2. The staff greet you with an uplifting “Bright Coffee Morning Ma’am/Sir”

  3. All communication channels are geared towards informing individuals to achieve, excel and aspire.

  4. Motivational Speakers are invited every quarter to inspire customers and teach them new ways of being productive across various sectors while still using the opportunity to unveil a new product at the venue.

That’s all for today and hope this helps every one seeking to build a brand with a more realistic feel.

Written by Temple Obike

Twitter: @swampsage

Facebook: De Swamp Formula

Linkedin: Digital Content Africa