Giving your brand some flair and personality is essential for businesses looking to better engage their customers. With many brands having now entered the digital space, it is important for your business to find a way to break through the clutter and leave a lasting impression on your audience. Think about some of your favourite brands: how do they stand out from the crowd?
It’s very easy for businesses to focus all their energy on the name and design of their brand, rather than actually conveying their brand’s story. Supporting your brand with engaging content is paramount in establishing a real, human connection with your audience. Establishing this connection does not have to be complicated, however. Here are eight starter tips to add more personality into your brand:
Define Your Message
Before you get too creative with your branding, it’s important to ensure you’re getting the basics right. Your perceived lack of brand engagement could come down to you sending mixed messages across to your audience. These messages are your brand’s key selling points, which should become engrained in your customers’ minds. For example, I buy Nike apparel because it’s comfortable and high quality. Completing a brand messaging framework is a great way of nailing down your brand’s key selling points, while also providing a reference point for communication across multiple platforms.
Provide Emotional Value
Now that you know your brand’s key messages, it is time to establish that connection with your audience. Ideally, your brand should already be providing utilitarian and hedonic value to your customers. Utilitarian is the functional value that they receive from consuming your product or service, whilst hedonic is its emotional value. I previously listed Nike’s utilitarian values as being comfortable and high quality. But hedonically, I feel more confident wearing Nike apparel because of my admiration for its brand ambassador, Roger Federer. Whilst Nike is an extreme example in a small business sense, every brand has some sort of hedonic value that it provides to its customers. Knowing what that is will go a long way towards adding more personality to your brand.
Post Engaging Content
With your brand’s key messages and hedonic value in place, you can go about adding more personality to your brand. Posting effective content online - and collateral in-store - will allow you to engage your customers while you showcase your brand. This also demonstrates how much pride and expertise you have in your brand, and your willingness to share this with your customers. As discussed in my previous article, effective content is diverse and interesting in nature, but relevant to the audience. A content plan gives you the flexibility to post around important dates, while you deliver engaging content across all your social platforms. For in-store collateral, consider your sales and product displays, as well as the general ambience of your store. Simple touches like good lighting, paintings, and background music will add that human element to your store and therefore, your brand.
Maintain A ‘Human’ Voice
Perhaps the most obvious, yet surprisingly neglected aspect of content in business is maintaining a ‘human’ voice. This mainly comes down to company pages on social media being managed by non-millennials, or individuals without social media training. They might know how to use Facebook and Instagram themselves, but posting in ‘social lingo’ requires a different style of writing. Finding the balance between using shorter sentences but being informative, as well as writing professionally but maintaining a ‘human’ voice’ is not easy. Presenting content to an audience online is no different to doing so in-person: keep it simple and don’t be boring!
Showcase Your Business
It’s one thing to sound human, but to look human is another. With a lot of businesses today not being ‘brick and mortar’, it’s important to showcase yourself and everyone who is involved with your brand. This not only enhances your online ‘human’ voice, but it also provides credibility to the product and/or service you are providing. Posting the occasional photo of yourself, your employees and other stakeholders in your work environment gives your customers a ‘behind the scenes’ access of your business and brand. This goes a long way towards making them feel valued and a part of your brand.
Encourage Brand Ambassadorship
Finally, there is no better way of growing your brand’s personality than through your customers. Customers are arguably more influential than businesses themselves, particularly in small business. With customer engagement and feedback being so open today, it would be reminiscent of you to not facilitate brand ambassadorship. Social tags and merchandise are just two of the more popular methods going around. Implementing just some of these tactics, with a balanced content plan in place, will help you achieve your engagement goals.