As a small business owner you may understand the importance of injecting personality into your brand, but actually doing it, well that’s a whole other story. Today, I want to share three examples of brands who are crushing it with personality. I’m hoping you get inspired and see how easy it is to add a little personality to your brand.
There’s no magic involved
Brands with well-defined personalities tend to stand out from the rest. They seem to have something magical about them, some otherworldly status that we mere mortals could never achieve. But that’s almost never the case.
The brands who are crushing it with personality are simply the ones who have done the intentional work of defining and communicating who they are.
Magic is rarely involved.
So what is it about these brands that’s so attractive? Why we love brands with personality so much?
Why do we love brands with personality?
It’s good to get intentional about defining your brand’s personality, but you also have to communicate it in a way that works. When you do these two things well, your customers take notice.
Here are some reasons why we love it when a brand is crushing it with personality:
You’re more authentic. When you communicate a well-defined brand personality, you feel more human and more real.
You’re more relatable. A brand with personality feels more approachable and more accessible. Your customers will feel like they’re interacting with a friend.
You’re easier to understand. A consistent personality means your messages are easier to understand. Your clients will “get” you and where you’re coming from.
You stand out. Businesses who do the work of defining their personality will stand apart from their competition. Customers will be naturally attracted to you and your fun, quirky, elegant, or charming personality.
Find your personality first
Fingure out your brand’s personality first, then come back here learn how three brands are absolutely crushing it with personality.
3 simple ways brands are crushing it with personality
If you’re not familiar with Thug Kitchen, it started as a vegan recipe website and has grown into a cultural icon. They use their brand voice in a very distinct and very powerful way. In fact their brand voice may be the most identifiable and certainly the most memorable part of their personality.
Here’s how visitors are greeted on their website:
“The only website dedicated to verbally abusing you into a healthier diet. That’s where the Internet bus driver just dropped your ass off. Welcome to Thug Kitchen, motherfu*ker.”
Their tagline: “Eat like you give a fu*k.”
And if you want further proof of their ability to grab their reader’s attention, here’s a snippet from a typical recipe:
“There are two kinds of people in this world: people who like enchiladas and people who have no fu*king taste. Which are you?”
How Thug Kitchen is crushing it with personality
Here’s why I think Thug Kitchen is crushing it with personality: They own their voice.
They’ve adopted a brand voice that is completely different from anything else out there. It’s truly one-of-a-kind. It’s also extreme, irreverent, and for adults only. I don’t of any other brand who would willingly choose a voice like Thug Kitchen’s.
But it works beautifully for them!
Their unique brand voice is consistent across all of their blog posts, cookbooks, and website copy. Their “thug” personality is clear, it’s easy to understand, and it’s actually very relatable. I mean, we all talk like that sometimes, right? 🙂
How you can use your brand voice to crush it
Think of the brand voice you use whenever you communicate and then ask yourself a few questions:
Is your brand voice distinct enough? Would people know they were on your website if you removed all of the identifying brand elements like your logo, your company name, colors and photos. Would the words on the page speak to your audience in an identifiable way? Would your customers know you were the one speaking to them?
If not, you might want to work on clarifying your brand voice. Here are a few tips:
- Talk directly to your customer. Use words like you and your which encourage your readers to lean in. Think about your ideal client and imagine you’re speaking directly to her. This is how you get your readers emotionally engaged with you.
- Read your words out loud. One of the most powerful ways to communicate your own unique voice is to read your words out loud. I do this all the time. In fact, I’m doing it right now and feels kind of weird, but in a good way. Reading out loud as you type makes your copywriting feel less robotic and more authentic, more human.
- Be consistent. A consistent voice helps to build reliability and trust in your brand. Use the same tone of voice every time you communicate – in emails, on your website, on social media, even in person.
Social Media Examiner
Social Media Examiner claims to be the world’s largest social media marketing resource, and with over 450,000 email subscribers, I’d say they were at least the most popular.
Social Media Examiner is crushing it because they have an extremely well-defined brand archetype, or persona. Their mission statement gives us a clue as to which archetype they’ve chosen: Our mission is to help you navigate the constantly changing social media jungle.
Their clearly-defined brand archetype is: The Explorer.
Also known as the adventurer, the seeker, or the discoverer. Explorer brands find fulfillment through new experiences and discovery. They veer off the beaten path and blaze their own trail while encouraging others to follow.
Social Media Examiner has taken the idea of persona a step further. They’ve actually created a cartoon character explorer who’s always there to guide you through the social media jungle. Think of a male, adult version of Dora The Explorer, but for marketing professionals.
How Social Media Examiner is crushing it with personality
Social Media Examiner is crushing it in the personality department because they’ve personified their brand.
They have this cartoon character safari explorer who accompanies you as you read their blog posts, navigate their website, or watch their videos. At first it seemed a little childish, but now I find it surprisingly reassuring.
They’ve incorporated the explorer archetype into all of their branding and marketing, scattering bits of jungle-themed elements in all of their communications. It’s who they are now, it’s baked into the brand.
And it works. Their personality is fun, approachable, unique and consistent.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to invent a cartoon character to help you convey your brand’s persona.
How you can use your brand archetype to crush it
Once you’ve determined which brand archetype(s) best capture your brand’s personality, you’ll want to start communicating as if your brand was that character.
A fun way to get started is to write a short story, imagining your brand was your archetype personified.
Let’s say you teach flower arranging. Your archetype is The Sage.
Sage brands are rational intellectuals. Their goal is to understand the world and share their knowledge. They are factual, researched, and authoritative.
Your story might be about a wise teacher, an expert in all things floral. She is sought out by the local villagers who desperately need her help and guidance with their flower arranging skills. They don’t want to be embarrassed at their daughter’s wedding when the whole town sees their poorly-constructed bouquets with droopy flowers and lack of symmetry.
Think about what your brand (The Sage) would say to the villagers. How would she come across to them? What kinds of resources could she provide? How would she help them get from where they are (bad flower arrangers) to where they want to be (awesome arrangers)?
Writing a story like this helps bring your brand to life and makes it easier to communicate a consistent, relatable personality.
Brown Bear Bakery
Another brand that is crushing it with personality is Brown Bear Bakery. They are a local artisan bakery here in Cincinnati’s Over The Rhine neighborhood.
Their tagline is: Thoughtfully made baked goods, pastry, and dessert.
They’ve built their brand entirely on Instagram and it works perfectly! Their 14.7k followers drool all over their phones every time they see one of Brown Bear Bakery’s stunning images.
How about a brioche doughnut filled with blueberry hibiscus jam and topped with hibiscus sugar? Yes!
What about Campfire Pie – a salty graham crust filled with chocolate truffle and topped with a torched bourbon marshmallow? Oh hell yes!
How Brown Bear Bakery is crushing it with personality
Brown Bear Bakery doesn’t have a website. (Technically they do, but it’s just a link to their Instagram.) They’ve kept things simple and just use one platform-Instagram, and one medium-images, to communicate every beautiful thing about their brand.
Brown Bear Bakery is crushing it because they’ve mastered the art of using images to communicate their personality.
They’ve been very consistent with their posts creating a ton of brand awareness. They’ve also generated loads of interest. But where they are really crushing it is in the desire department. They do an amazing job of quickly moving people from “Ooh, I like that” to “Oh my god, I have to have that!”
How you can use your brand images to crush it
Have a look at your current images on your website or social media posts, and consider the following questions:
Do your images help to tell the story of who you are as a brand? Do they communicate feelings or emotions? Do they grab your audience’s attention in some way? Do your images help draw people in toward you and what you’re offering?
If you can’t honestly answer ‘yes’ to at least some these questions, you may need to up your image game. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing images:
- Show the transformation. What does it look like after someone uses your product or service? How is their life better? Show pictures of what this looks like.
- Evoke emotions. How do you want people to feel? Try to use images that make people feel some emotion. Brown Bear Bakery evokes a strong desire, a hunger, a craving for something delicious. If don’t sell baked goods you can still evoke emotions with your brand images. Use images that make people feel joy, happiness, sadness, anger, inspiration, motivation, love, admiration, trust, surprise, or amazement.
- Grab their attention. Interesting images are ones that grab people’s attention and draw them in. Many of Brown Bear Bakery’s images look so good that we are compelled to click on them to learn more. “That looks amazing! What is that?”
- Use high-quality images. You probably have a high-end camera in your pocket or purse right now. Use it. There’s almost no excuse for bad photos these days. But if taking pictures just isn’t your thing, hire a professional. If you use stock photos, there are many high-quality stock photo sites to choose from. Just void overused or cliché images.
- Be consistent. Just like every other aspect of communicating your brand’s personality, be consistent with your images. Try to have the same look and feel to all of your pictures. Use the same Instagram filter, the same settings on your camera, or the same photographer for all of your photos.
When it comes to your brand’s personality, there’s practically no magic involved! Just work on communicating a consistent voice, archetype, or image style and you could be crushing it with personality too!
How are you communicating your brand’s personality? Do you use a unique voice, a brand persona, or interesting images? Or do you use something completely different? Share your thoughts in a comment! I would love to see what you got!