Unlike the Bass Ale days, when all you had to do was stand outside of an office on New Year’s Eve to receive a trademark, the elements of the modern brand are as abundant as they are confusing. Some examples of the modern day brand, include the name, logo, tagline, motto, personality, voice and mission. With a little help, it’s not that hard creating a complete branding strategy around a few of the lesser-known aspects.
Brand personality. It’s may be weird to think of your brand having a “personality,” but we’re here to tell you that it’s an important aspect of business success. Your brand personality is represented through any form of relatable communication you offer the consumer. Your brand equity depends upon a consistent set of personality traits that consumers can see in themselves or another.
For example, you see a car for sale at the local lot that you really want. You’re a safe person, you have a wife, two small children and take a few family trips throughout the year. Your biggest concern is reassurance that your family will be safe whenever you are transporting them.
What car is it? Volvo.
Here’s another one. You’re at the mall searching for the Dillard’s, when you happen to pass Talbot’s. You notice an advertisement hanging in the window – a glowingly-happy, middle-aged woman playing in the snow with her two small kids, a scarf adorning the collar of her jacket. The woman in the ad oddly reminds you of your wife.
So you head into Talbot’s and purchase the scarf for your wife, hoping to recreate the happiness that you saw on the face of the woman in the ad, for your wife. That is a brand marketer’s dream come true.
Empirical Evidence for a Relatable Brand Personality
Brand personality is important, but I know in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “there’s no way you can prove that some silly brand personality is going to boost my business.” Well, my friend there’s actually empirical proof that a customer is more likely to purchase from a brand if it’s personality is similar to their own.
According to a study done by the Chinese university students, “corporate-brand credibility and product-brand personality have direct positive effects on purchase intention.” Another study provides numerical evidence supporting the idea that when consumers perceive a brand with sincere, competent, exciting, and sophisticated personality characteristics, then they are more likely to be satisfied. In addition, the dimension of sincerity is found to have the largest impact on consumer satisfaction than any other three dimensions.
The way you speak represents your brand voice, which is another huge aspect in creating a cohesive brand message.
Brand Voice + Tone
When you’re providing any form of collateral that communicates with the consumer, you’re speaking (or at least should be) in your “brand voice”. A meaningful and consistent brand voice is important for crafting brand recognition, interaction and loyalty. Your brand voice is an overall statement of how and why you speak to your customers, whereas tone is a subset of brand voice.
Tone is used to describe how and in what capacity your company relates to consumers.
If you’re writing an email, do you go with an happy-go-lucky tone or a somber tone? Example below:
or, do you write… “Dear, Mr. West,”
If you’re writing a page for your website, do you go with a quirky tone or a professional tone? Example below:
“We’re a fully-loaded creative agency that will make your cellphone apps more powerful than the Hammer of Thor.”
Or, do you write… “We’re a full-service marketing agency that boosts mobile ROI for each company that we work with.”
How to Find Brand Voice
So, how do you find your brand voice? Well, it’s fairly easy, let’s start with the major components:
Who are you talking to?
– Existing clients
– Prospective clients
– Company partners
– Internal employees
– General public
How are you talking to them?
– Through your website
– On your blog
– In an advertisement
– On social media
Answer these questions and draw up scenarios for any foreseeable form of communication you may have with your audiences in the future. Deciding on some adjectives defining your brand voice will give you a firm foundation to start spreading your message. But remember, the most important thing about brand voice is that you remain consistent.
Everything from the specific way you stylize your company name (is it always capitalized?), to which adjectives you decide to use (or not use) within content, and even grammar usage (do you use serial commas or not?). Make sure you’re deciding on an all-encompassing brand voice strategy to communicate with consumers.
Company Mission Statement
The mission statement. I’ve never been a big fan of it. From an agency standpoint, I don’t find a non-branded company with a mission statement any more compelling than a branded company without one.
But, I understand the importance of a company having a mission – it’s paramount to success. It’s just that mission statements are so vague and just plain boring. In fact, while a mission is important to the millennial demographic, it isn’t necessary as the actual carrying out of that mission. If there’s dissonance between your mission statement and your success on that mission, consumers will bolt away from you.
So why not have some fun and de-corporatize it? There’s no reason to be so buttoned up when declaring your mission to the world. Instead of calling it a mission statement, take a page from Snap’s book and call it your “Storyline”. Because what is a mission statement if it isn’t about where we come from and where we’re going? We want to tell our mission like the great story that it is:
Snap exists to build strategic digital marketing plans that let clients achieve long term business goals. Born from a grassroots ecommerce success story, Snap has been on a mission to create the most effective websites on the Internet for more than a decade.
Now that you know the elements of the modern day brand, let’s dive into the branding process and get your company’s branding strategy off the ground.