Imagine yourself in line for an audition among hundreds of others… You want to be taken seriously, but you also want to be different from everyone else because you want to be chosen for the part. Similarly, when it comes to the world of branding, you want to have a distinguishable presence that makes your company memorable.
In essence, your efforts–the overall brand strategy, individual campaigns, brand messaging and voice–are auditioning to win over consumers… Vying for the part in their minds.
Think about this. The most incredible and memorable marketing and branding strategies allow a company and its products and services to be top-of-mind because they are clearly genuine–a beautiful humanization of who their brand is, quirky characteristics and all.
How do you perform without falling flat?
Differentiation by humanization is key. It’s easy to fall into the trap of ‘selling’ whenever we talk about our company and its offerings. Time and time again, however, studies demonstrate that this practice is lost on our audiences. They will turn the channel and follow someone or something more interesting. Rather, we must focus on the why we’re marketing–to make connections.
How does one make a connection with another through branding? Focus on emotion. Happiness, sadness, anger, hilarity, the list goes on. Striking chords of emotion creates relatability. Relatability breeds connection and meaning and meaning creates memory.
Maya Angelou said it best when stating, “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Definitely applies to relationship building in general, but should also be applied to brand relationship building.
So, how can we take something that is not a human–a brand–and breathe life into it to become academy-award-worthy? Consider the following:
Your brand is who you want to portray that your company is and it should be 100% genuine. Not sure where to start? Start with your people.
Company culture is a good indication of who you are… How do employees interact with one another on a daily basis? In what manner do your leaders, lead? Do you work with engineers who have unexpected senses of humor? Do you work in a casual or more professional environment? Is every meeting run with a stringent agenda or do you plan on a white board in the breakroom? Is your staff passionate about causes? Does the company support its employees and their families by doing more than distributing checks for the work they do?
It’s also helpful to think about personality traits and sharing comfort. Do you feel comfortable using humor in some of your marketing efforts? Do you and others within your company feel comfortable sharing personal stories about your families that can be utilized in marketing efforts? There is much to decide, but the more you think about your brand and its humanization, the bigger, more successful impact you will make.
Once you have laid the foundation of your brand character (who), script the what of your company’s brand messaging. It doesn’t need to be verbatim like an actual movie script, but it should include some overarching statements and guidelines to create consistency in company-wide messaging efforts. This is highly important when multiple persons are responsible for relaying brand messaging via brochures, videos, social, website and email copy and so on.
Once you can identify the who and what, the brand voice or the how of your branding starts to develop. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with your voice. Be bold, or funny, or witty, or even nerdy as long as it’s true to your brand and consistent. People will want to know your company when it has a clear personality.
Don’t forget about your adoring fans! Your audience is absolutely a part of your branding. Relate to them, bring them value, thank them, find out what they love, find out what they want to know and take note of their engagement. Over time, when you try different tactics with your brand voice and messaging, you will see patterns of what works well and what doesn’t. Listen to them.
Captivate your audience!
Again, the ultimate goal is to humanize your brand so that audiences have motivation to connect with you, learn more about your brand and ultimately remember you when they need your product or services.
DIRECTOR’S FINAL THOUGHTS
It’s not enough just to have a presence; you want to make a lasting impression. While having a professional voice is important, don’t allow your brand messaging to be a run-on brochure of your company’s products and services. Having a brand voice and personality doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice professionalism. Contrary to popular belief, you can have it all. So, I implore you, get out there and humanize your brand. Your audience will love you for it.
If you are looking for an experienced director in brand humanization so that your company can dazzle audiences everywhere, our Capture team would love to talk with you! Please call 262-696-5177 or email firstname.lastname@example.org