What separates the brands you love from the rest? It’s a personality that you want to buy from, which is why you shouldn’t ever keep your brand all business.
In this blog, we’ll look at how small businesses can create a strong brand with heart, and why it matters.
But first, I want to preface the blog with my own experience of a brand.
Brand lessons from the east
I live on the Gold Coast, but have travelled to India several times.
Every time I visit India, I see the Indian guru Baba Ramdev plastered on every billboard and shop selling everything from flour to shampoo. Baba Ramdev has a mass following in India that began in yoga, and evolved into an all-encompassing consumer brand.
He looks every inch the guru – wears the classic orange robe, has the long hair, is pictured in yoga poses and everything he touches turns to sales. To bolster his credentials, his brand sponsors everything from Indian news to sports events.
I found it funny at first; of course a yoga guru is the face of rice in India. Every poster of the smiling yogi next to hair care looked contrived to me. ‘Do Indians really fall for this?’ I asked. Then, faster than I realised, I started caving in to the image. It started one day when I went to buy oats. When several options were placed in front of me, I instantly picked Baba Ramdev’s brand. Who else could I trust for breakfast?
Even as a foreigner outside of Baba Ramdev’s market, where 90% of the brand message is lost in my poor language skills, I would still rather buy from a person I ‘know’.
Why personality matters
Another point to consider is this: the most-visited page on websites is often a bio or ‘About Us’ page. It just shows what customers care about most is the personality they’re purchasing from.
In the past, branding wasn’t so critical when the store only had one type of milk. Walk into a supermarket today and there are 20 types all vying for attention. The only thing separating most of them is brand.
We live in a world too where few things are 100% original. Most are iterations of something already done – part of what makes them new is the brand applied.
A brand creates real impact when it has personality and heart because it taps into people’s emotions, and that’s better than any sales pitch. A business that is just advertising is tapping into customers who are only ready to purchase straight away. In comparison, a strong brand is continually supporting its niche and creating a deeper experience so customers keep thinking of it.
How to you create a strong brand that sticks
- Show up. Customers want a brand that’s honest and relevant, inspiring and resourceful, and is willing to take the extra step. They don’t want a sales pitch. They also want to purchase from a personality not a business – show up where you can in blogs and social media, convey personal insights and experiences, and take stock of your personal brand.
- If you want a custom brand, look ahead not sideways. It’s so easy to compare yourself and your brand to everyone around you. If you take inspiration from other brands though, you’ll end up looking just like everyone else. Look at what inspires you to create a brand that reflects your work and speaks to the customer you want to reach – so they can find you too.
- Give your customers a reason to relate to you outside of what you do. If you love ice cream, make it a thing. Show your followers where you eat ice cream every Friday. Add it to your positioning statements to create depth and dimension. Weaving in what you love most will make your customers think of you outside of what you do. What can you incorporate into your brand to create points of connection? In a competitive market it will set you apart.
- Stay clear about your why and brand values. If you can’t clearly communicate why you do what you do, you can’t convince customers to choose your brand. Your values are what you stand for and should carry into every part of your brand – from the positioning statement to every piece of content your copywriters create, and every image you select.
- Present relevant solutions in original ways. Whether it’s creating a shift in depictions or starting a conversation outside the paradigm, present solutions in a way that set you apart. Underpinning everything you do should be a brand that supports its market.
So level up your brand and boost its presence in all the right places. And if you’d like help with updating your content to support your brand, our content strategy review is a great first step.