How to Add Personality to Your Brand

    By Ali Luke
    Published: May 19, 2014
Add personality to your brand

Is your content marketing drawing customers to you … or turning them off?
Bland, boring, dry posts and updates won’t do much to advance your business. Potential customers (and existing ones) will be much more attracted to content that’s packed with personality.

That doesn’t mean you have to be cracking jokes every minute (unless that fits your brand!) or being “edgy” with swear words in every other sentence.

Your brand’s personality will help you to:

  • Hold the attention of readers – so they read your content and come back for more.
  • Build a real connection with your audience – encouraging them to go on and buy.

Here’s a great example of personality in action:

“The flight attendant on the return flight, #2853, who pantomimed the welcome, safety procedures, in-flight directions, and finally the final ‘welcome to the city you flew to, have a nice day’ speech was a marketing genius. She was informative while being personable and funny which, because of this,  caused me to listen to her every word.” – Gerry Blakney

However big or small your company, you need personality. It could be the difference that lets your tiny startup stand out … or the key to greater customer loyalty for your big brand.

Not sure how to get begin adding personality to your content? Here are a few simple steps – we’ve started with the easiest.

Step 1: Use photos of people on your website and blog

Photos of people help readers make an instant connection, and they draw attention: look at almost any magazine in your local newsagents and you’ll see a face dominating the front cover.

Instead of just using corporate headshots, add in some more candid photos – perhaps even a few silly ones. You could even use photos of customers with your product, if they’re willing.

Step 2: Show your human side

When you write about you and your employees, or introduce a new hire, you might add a few light-hearted touches, like your interests, hobbies, or unusual talents.

Here on Zen Optimise, for instance, our bios include some non-businessy titbits (like Joe’s love of kite flying, and Ali’s love of chocolate…)

Step 3: Have a sense of humour

It’s hard to go wrong with humour, so long as you keep it clean and non-offensive – which hopefully goes without saying!

If you’re experimenting with humour for the first time, you might want to pick a particular occasion (like April Fool’s day, or Hallowe’en).

Having a sense of humour really helps when it comes to recovering from social media faux pas, too; check out the Red Cross tweet, #3 in our 6 Awesome Social Media Wins.

Step 4: Figure out your brand’s core values

Although this might seem an obvious first step, it can take time and experimentation – and you may find that trying the above three steps beforehand gives you some ideas.

Big Brand System’s Uncover Your Brand Personality in 10 Minutes or Less is a great tool to use. This will help you map yourself on a spectrum from “contemporary, fast-moving and energetic” to “traditional, corporate and professional.”

There are other aspects you’ll want to consider when working out your core values, though: perhaps you’re environmentally friendly, or philanthropic, or committed to amazing customer service (like Zappos). You may even find that getting clear about your values leads to a whole company shift: read 6 Reasons Why We Rebranded (and 3 Reasons We Hesitated) for more on that.

Step #5: Use your brand personality consistently

When people encounter an organization with inconsistent or incongruous personality traits, it undermines their sense of trust.

7 Tricks to Find Your Brand’s Personality is aimed at financial institutions, but contains some great tips for any company. One crucial point it makes is this:

“You might find the message in your ads is fun and playful, but your website is as serious as a heart attack. That’s a big brand disconnect, sending a schizophrenic message to consumers. When people encounter an organization with inconsistent or incongruous personality traits, it undermines their sense of trust.”

Make sure that your brand personality is being used consistently: in your blog posts, on Facebook, on Twitter, and in phone and face-to-face interactions too.

By giving your brand personality, you change it from a boring, bland brand into one that catches customers’ attention and builds their loyalty.

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