Stop Stepford Branding
admin, April 27, 2012
This post will be about branding. Branding is good for online marketing. It expresses passion…which is very unlike my first few lines here. Did you find yourself doing 'the robot' as you were reading them? I do that sometimes on and off the dance floor. The latter occurs when reading generic posts. Who's the author? Why can't I extract a single, personable sentiment from these things? It's a small wonder (80's television reference) anyone but robots are reading these things.
I read an awesomely refreshing post this morning on 'why I don't read your blog.' It's real and insightful. One of the best points I gathered was not being a candidate for the crowned Mr. Roboto of blogging. I'm not the only writer who agrees:
@content_muse It is definitely important to let your personality shine through! Robotic blogging makes me want to cry tears of boredom.
However, I'm not writing this post on blogging. It's about inserting the essence of communication (character) into your branding. Why? Same reason as above, businesspeople, partners, and all types of consumers enjoy personality. It helps us makes better decisions, better aligning us with likeable and like-minded brands.
Consider the following:
Having Personality is Not Unprofessional
I like hovering outside of the 'uber professional' box; maybe it's a bit too stuffy in there for my personality. I have one. I'm okay with that; and, I believe other professionals are as well. Having fun with your job, smiling, and expressing personality does not make you unprofessional; it makes you an individual. If you need to keep your brand 'in line,' 'hiding' the personality of workers and collective beliefs, then something is off. What is your brand's collective personality? If you can't accurately identify that, then maybe your brand is a bit too stuffy. If bankers above the age of sixty-five is your market then proceed with minimalistic expression of personality (I guess). Otherwise, it's okay to be your brand self.
Where's Your Team?
It's sad to come across a company site void of worker presence. Who's onboard your company? I want to know. It just might influence my decision to engage your brand. If you're not showing your main players, in these times of super social marketing, I just may grow suspicious, wondering, "Well, why not!?" Owners, are you sharing your workers and their work with the rest of us? Why not? You hired them; so, I assume you're proud they're working for you. Why hide them and their contributions? No really- I'm actually thinking that when I don't see them.
Many online brands don't have storefronts. Many brands don't attend workshops and events. Many brands don't have the chance of experiencing consumers three-dimensionally and vice versa. That's a disadvantage for those with personality and passion. How do you compensate? While so much energy is devoted toward 'ranking' services/products so many brands pay no resources toward exposing browsers to their 'brand.' A brief about us page is not enough. When was that penned? Five years ago when the brand started? What's happened since then? Update the about us page. Why not make it into a scrolling, blog-post-like page? Many products and services vary very little when it comes down to it. What's your brand's story? I really want to know; I have choices (like the rest of your consumers). Telling me more about the supplied source gives me more reasons to make a decision.
This is BS
Do you think this is BS? (If you're thinking this is great business strategy, I agree; if you're thinking of other terms, I hope you reconsider; I'm really trying to fertilize your success.) I predict some owners may read this, giving my words the 'pfft-into-an-eye-roll' sentiment. I understand; 'Anthony's just ranting about his favorite topic, branding; he's passionate about wanting me to be passionate; but, I'll just sit back and keep doing what I'm doing'…the bare minimum of branding. Here's the thing. I notice. Others notice too. Just like the author of the 'why I don't read your blog' post above is turned off by personality-less posts, people are turned off by personality-less brands, especially in verticals where face-to-face meetings are few to none. You may disagree with me know; but, entertain me; put forth some extra branding effort. I think you'll thank me later.