|When I speak on reputation management and personal branding, I enjoy telling audiences that as much as I wish the topic were highly sophisticated and complex, personal branding is relatively simple. There are no tricky formulas or graphs. In fact, I share one graphic (the formula to building credibility) and very few statistics.
While personal branding might be simple, it is not easy. The journey to uncover your values, create a strategy for positioning yourself, and sticking to those values at all costs is sometimes challenging.
Here are my simple ABCs for building a meaningful and impactful personal brand:
The foundation of personal branding rests on authenticity: The ability to tap into your genuine, humble, and individual human qualities from which your identity, personality, and character stem. Most of us walk around without much thought to being “authentic.” We expect that others will take us as they see us. Some of us even boast, “What you see is what you get!”
But is it? Are you living authentically — using your values, beliefs, and dreams guide you? Are you letting others know you — truly know you — or are you hiding behind a shield of appropriateness and conformity?
By understanding and exploring your passions, interests, motivators, and challenges, you can better articulate your value to the audiences who need to see you as relevant. The goal is to have control over the brand you live, how it’s expressed, and how others assign you value and relevance. Authenticity is the critical component to developing successful personal and business brands that have longevity.
Personal branding is the process of articulating your value proposition to a target audience and building a compelling reputation. In order to effectively develop and communicate a solid personal brand, we need to know who we are, how we want to be perceived, who we need to focus our efforts towards, and what results we expect to receive. These are all important ingredients in this personal branding formula. Leave one out and it just doesn’t work the same way. Holding yourself accountable can be a very daunting task! Living up to someone else’s expectations is often easier – there are consequences to not following through. But we can easily let ourselves off the hook when it’s convenient to do so. Put reward/consequence systems in place to keep yourself accountable and stay on track.
In personal branding we strive to make ourselves relevant and compelling to a specific target audience — and that’s not everyone! Not everyone you work with or network with will get your jokes, find you compelling, or feel good about you. Targeting those clients, customers, and stakeholders who will find you relevant is critical and cuts down on your marketing efforts!
If your goal is to win over a colleague who insists on holding on to their first impression of you, when you were naive and unaware of your personal brand goals (and maybe you made some mistakes in how you treated others), realize that some people will never come around. Instead, focus on building brand relevance with audiences who hold opportunities for you (i.e. your supervisor, clients, vendors, key staff) and not on people who are harder to win over and have little influence on your future.
While authenticity is at the heart of personal branding, in order to develop your own unique identity, you first must identify the genuine traits, skills, and values that make you compelling. It starts with understanding your values: What bold promises will you uphold? What do you stand for? What is so core to your moral and ethical fiber that if it were removed you would not be you? How do your values set the expectation others can have for you? Only after you understand your bold values can you begin to market yourself effectively to the audience who most needs you.
Focusing on what genuinely makes you unique allows you to grow your brand from a place of strength, while understanding and managing weaknesses. At the heart of effective brand development is clarity on your beliefs – practicing what you preach; being totally clear about who you are, what you stand for, and what you do best. Not everyone wants to be a leader, a resource for others, or a team player. That’s okay!
Only after a critical and honest assessment of your foundational beliefs can you begin to map the distance between how you want to be known (desired reputation) and how you are known today (current reputation). Only with this understanding can you begin building the legacy you desire. The discovery process is very internal and introspective, but when you start from the core, you develop a brand that sticks – because it’s genuine and compelling.
People form opinions about us based on many things – their own biases and prejudices, as well as our behavior. How we act influences how others see us. And how others see us affects the opportunities we get assigned. In personal branding, we take control of our reputation (perception) in order to craft and manage our legacy. How do you want to be seen by others who matter (your audience)? What will it take to make that perception reality? How are you behaving in person and online.
The person who seeks to be known as approachable needs to be approachable — they leave their office door open, have good eye contact, and include others in the conversation. Similarly, the person who seeks to be known as credible backs up their bold value statements with action. Behavior is where we put action to our beliefs. Or not…
I mentioned the one formula in my program: The formula for credibility. It is really quite simple: Credibility = Values + Action. You need to make it very clear to your target audience what it is that makes you special; what it is that you value and believe in that are truly assets to your personal brand.
Then you need to walk the talk. You need to live those values in everything that you do in order to earn credibility. If you want to be known as honest and that’s something that you really value, then you’re going to demonstrate honesty. You’re going to be honest. You’re going to attract honesty and transparency. After doing this, you will earn credibility and a reputation for someone who is honest.
Your personal narrative is the way you communicate, internally and externally about your value. If you’re filled with fear and self-doubt, that undoubtedly is reflected in how you come across to others. Becoming aware of how you promote and communicate your passions and values directly impacts how others will appreciate you.
Do you use the wrong narrative when talking to others (or yourself) about your plans and your vision? Maybe the reason people see you as difficult to get along with is because you complain about your work day, instead of celebrating the fact that you have a job and are contributing to the organization? We can easily look outward to find reasons and excuses for missed opportunities and to explain our shortcomings, but it could also be we’re telling the wrong message in the first place.
In branding, we drive towards legacy – the reputation we create for ourselves today and the way we will be remembered by clients, patients, colleagues, and our community a long time from now. We pay attention to how our actions, marketing, relationships, and products reflect our values and our vision.
Across all mediums — from in-person networking to social media, from body language to image to your messaging and elevator pitch — are you consistently articulating your value and demonstrating action towards that value. That is how you build consistency for your personal brand.
Acknowledgement lida360.com ( I is Lida a world authority on Personal Branding )
What The Best Brands Will Do In 2014
The pace of change, disruption, and fragmentation in many industries can sometimes overwhelm even the savviest and experienced of us. There is a very solid level of know-how and experience required to successfully drive marketing and brand strategies and to execute in excellence. Even more so in the future.
Let´s have a look at what I think the main focus areas and aspirations of successful brands will be in 2014:
Being Best in Product and Services Development and Delivery
At the heart of successful marketing and branding is – and also in 2014 and beyond will be- a great product and/or service creation and delivery. Successful brands, products, and services will have a higher level of personalization in order to become more relevant and meaningful to consumers. Besides rational features like quality, price, customer services, etc. the brand decision process will become more emotionally-driven. Strong brands will identify and communicate appropriate emotional values to differentiate themselves and to establish close bonds with consumers and customers. More than ever, and to actively engage today´s high-expectation consumers, brand will need to be more focused to develop products and offers which grow the whole category they´re operating in and not only their own products.
Being Best in Collaboration
In 2014 organizations and marketing managers need to quickly position themselves in this new open, and more collaborative economy. An economy characterized by speedy change and permanent disruption. On the one hand, brands from different industries will work more closely together. From R&D to joint marketing initiatives. On the other hand, the phenomenon of consumers co-creating content and products, and sharing ideas will continue to grow. For instance, Airbnb topped 10 million guest stays since its launch and now has 500k properties listed worldwide.
Being Best in Retail
Brands, being confronted with showrooming, e-commerce and cost-conscious, always connected consumers, need to make retail more relevant to consumers and customers by combining off- and online elements into one single multi-channel distribution strategy. They need to deliver direct brand-to-customer interaction with the help of innovative technology (e.g. touch screens, sensors, interactive cameras, Wi-Fi- and 4G-connectivity, LCD screens), by providing opportunities to experience products (see, feel, touch, smell, hear, taste) before and during the purchasing process, by providing easy-to-understand and stimulating product presentations and merchandising solutions, by offering expert staff, consultation facilities, samples, etc. Good examples are Nike, Wal-Mart, and Ikea.
Being Best in Communication
Content is king. That´s nothing new anymore. Still, many brands seem to confuse quantity and quality, since there exist so many exciting communication channels and platforms. Just writing up keyword rich blog posts and some articles don’t cut it anymore. Brands have to say something meaningful and insightful to customers while entertaining them at the same time.
There is a great need and opportunity to develop unique brand experiences that engage consumers deeply and comprehensively, that stimulates word of mouth, and that generates a lot of user-generated content. Further business impact will come from very targeted niche communities from co-operations with credible and influential brand advocates.
Utilizing storytelling techniques – while getting away from the transactional relationship – is a very powerful technique and will help to create a strong emotional bond with your customer. Storytelling, although one of the main business buzzwords in 2013, is nothing new and is very much at the core of every great brand´s DNA. Videos, pictures, and songs will become more dominant in the future. Working best they will be blended into one consistent story (e.g. P&G´s Proud Sponsor of Moms). Some weeks ago Instagram announced that it would join the visual playing field, alongside other messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp to enable consumers to share personable moments. On top of being compelling, your content needs to do two things. One, create an emotional connection with your brand, and two, drive customers to action.
Speed and Spontaneousness will be crucial, too. Real-time communication and feedbacking means to interact and to respond quickly to any relevant occurrence, question, etc. Brands can use e.g. Twitter feeds during certain TV shows, sports events, etc to communicate live and instantly with existing and potential new customers. It will take planning, flexibility, humor, creativity, and courage.
Being Best in Using Customer-Focused Technology
Mobile technology and communication will become even more important. Already now half of all social interaction happens on mobile platforms. In consequence all brand communication must be designed based on a mobile-first perspective. Responsive design has almost become a basic requirement, and it’s important to tailor each piece of content to the device or channel where it will most likely be viewed by the consumer. Mobile technology will soon replace all other communication devices as the predominant means. No doubt, in 2014 we are going to see a huge increase in location-based marketing.
Other key technologies are Streaming and On-Demand media. They are rewiring the way consumers think and process information. People are getting used to having everything customized and delivered instantly, when and where they want it.
Also Cognitive Computing will further evolve, i.e. systems learning and interacting naturally with people. Rather than being programmed to anticipate every possible answer or action, cognitive systems are trained using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to understand and to predict. Applying this to marketing will help managers to better understand and communicate with customers.
Being Best in Data-Driven Customer Experience and Customer Services
Big Data was one of another major buzzword in 2013 in many organizations around the globe. It´s a fact that with today´s technology we can collect, analyze, and process tons of (consumer) data to better understand consumption patterns, to evaluate commonalities and differences, to anticipate trends, and to identify new business and product opportunities. The real task, however, is to use all of these information – and by respecting possible and legitimate privacy concerns – in a way as to match them with real consumer wants and needs in order to improve the experience of your customers: e.g. new wearable devices likeSamsung´s Galaxy Smart Watch to improve personal health.
The key is not merely measuring what happened, but trying to predict future outcomes, i.e. to understand why and how it will play out in the future. Analytics have to go from passive to active.
Moreover, collected and stored data need to be used to establish personal, trustworthy, and – most importantly – respectful relationships with existing and new customers. Big data needs to to be seen as a vehicle to dramatically boost an organization´s customer obsession and not its capability to spy on consumers and customers. Companies must implement whichever needed security measures to avoid discussions like currently happening at Target.
Being Best in Corporate Social Responsibility
Companies clearly should make some 2014 resolutions to ensure their CSR and sustainability efforts start off on the right foot in the new year. While it’s more or less standard practice for companies to address the environmental and carbon impacts (e.g. resulting from their operations and products) time has come to take a closer look at how climate change (e.g. storms, floods, resources scarcity) could impact the company from the outside in and across their entire supply chain.
With the gradual depletion of many resources some organizations are e.g. intensively searching for novel alternatives to the materials currently used in their products. An evolution and necessity which will need to be more widely applied. One example is Nike which already some time ago has started to research for more sustainable textiles by partnering with the U.S. State Department, NASA, etc. Other good examples are Coca-Cola and Nestlé.
Leading brands will further stimulate employee engagement around CSR by having already started turning to gamification or micro-volunteerism to make engagement easy, fun and personalized. German airline Lufthansa has been running for some years a company-wide initiative called HelpAlliance which supports nearly 40 projects in 19. Responsibility for a project of this kind is always assigned to an employee of Lufthansa. These employees donate their free time to helping people in developing economies. In return they receive some support from the company for THEIR project.
Finally: The Need of Having the Right Organization, Processes, and People in Place
Misaligned organizational structures and processes often hinder the flow of information and know-how across across brand, marketing, and business goals. There needs to be a close integration between traditional marketing programs and digital initiatives on the one hand and between marketing and other departments on the other hand. As brand managers for the most part are responsible for the overall performance of a brand, and most recently also for an increasing volume of content and messaging, moving forward they should also have the digital marketing managers within their teams and having them report into brand management.Brands need more active senior leadership support and focus than ever. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are in an ideal position to help facilitate and advance these efforts.
There is also a strong need for an improved alignment and reorganization around agency selection and management. It is known that more traditional agencies often still lack digital expertise (which normally they would not admit). As a consequence brand marketers are managing not rarely various agencies at the same time. In the future this would need to be simplified and streamlined to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the marketing teams.
Last, but not least, when hiring for marketing and branding expertise, it is advised to look for a top technical skill set (e.g. candidates having a very solid marketing basis, first comprehensive digital branding and media experience) and core characteristics such as the ability to cross-communicate, to connect to business goals, to show strong backbone, to be willing to convince senior management to implement new methods, and to be willing to permanently learn and to constantly educate the business.
Marketing and branding in 2014 will require more than ever the integration of marketing into all business efforts and departments, including customer experience, design, sales, and product development.
CEO, Green Cheese Media Group, Inc., Sr. Partner Brand.gineering and Best-Selling Author
Actually, the future of communication for brands will be creating your own immersive content networks that use stories with theatrical/dramatic structure (The word “story” is so overused. Most of what I see is bad storytelling, not all stories are created equal) and those brands will start dominating over TV or media networks. Nobody cares about advertising and almost everything I see from most major brands is still a sales pitch with a very thin story. Smart brands will be sponsoring entire customer immersive affinity story-based networks.
North67 Internet Marketing
Definitely brand collaboration but to the next level. 2014 will see the continued growth of social collaboration. Successful brands will embrace their social followers not only from a customer service standpoint, but as part of their culture and desire to respond to new ideas. In other words “Know Thy Audience” and respond to your customers needs.
Brand Ambassador, Donna Karan at Saks Fifth Avenue
Andreas, will you say more about brand storytelling in 2014? To what degree do you think it will intersect CSR?1 Reply
Business Designer & Architect
2013 was the year of stabilisation. I expect to see new categories in 2014 and possibly the birth of a new organisation, which will have us all talking.1 Reply
PRSSA National Diversity and Ethics Subcommittee member/ Arrow Online Managing Editor/ I.P.Director at Riverfront PR
Agreed! I’ve been trying to think what will be the next big thing in terms of apps/software and it’s hard! I think one of the big companies – Google, Apple, IBM,Microsoft – will come up with something that will blow us away once more in 2014.
11 hours ago
Demand Generation and Digital Marketing Manager
Great article! I may be biased, but this seems to be the piece that will allow brands to really move the needle in 2014: “Being Best in Data-Driven Customer Experience and Customer Services”.
Contracts Administrator / Key Account Executive at Gulf Engineering Services Ltd
You’ve captured all the main aspects and i believe that having the right organisation, processes and people in place would definitely be an area of consideration this year as we see more organisations transforming through mergers and buy-outs.
Proven Sales & Marketing Leader | Optimizing Performances & Driving Growth
Thank you for sharing such a great article and thoughts Andreas as we are rapidly approaching 2014. Given the growing focus on the customer experience, we shall see the rise of the CXO (Chief Experience Officer) to lead the experience and further drive revenue. Also, in a more customer-centric world, real-time marketing (particularly conversations) will play an even bigger role to reinforce the customer experience. Last but not least, would you agree that big data will get smaller to enhance the customer experience? I am referring to using big data and data mining to get more personal (targeted) with customers (as compared to consumers) in ways that make the experience even better.
Financial Consultant at Hewlett-Packard
Great article. Bring them solutions that help to position them in achieving the exemplary attributes mentioned in this article. If you have customers who do business with these brands (or want to); help them by connecting the dots!
Senior Project Manager, Gov Healthcare Solutions at Xerox
Good one. Being best in retail – “deliver direct brand-to-customer interaction with the help of innovative technology” I think organization should be more and more mobile capable and focus more on branding and positioning using mobile advertisement and positioning.
Marketing with results
It is good that almost every industry is starting to adopt the best in retailing practices. Nobody likes a hard sell. People like to be consulted and to get advice. Even car dealerships are starting to pay salaries and no commissions and this goes down to more comfortable buying experiences and less likely to scare a consumer away. Being best in communication is not just about storytelling anymore. It is about cross senses communicating. People want to hear and not just read about the product. If they can go somewhere and see the product along with a desciption and hear something as well it is even better. The more senses you can engage the better the sales will be. Social Media should be utilized in a big way and not just to get your name out there. Social Media polls, and comment sections that are actually read and responded to when appropriate all bring about better experiences. Company’s should monitor the media regularly. Too many allow vulgar comments to be put up on social media sites and just allowed to sit there. This is a big turn off and makes a site less friendly. Consumer comments can impact a facebook post or linkedin post just as much as the initlal post/article can. Personally, i think all public comments should be moderated before appearing to everyone is a must. If you do not have the time to edit your posts than you do not have the right organization/process in place.1 Reply
Marketing VP/CMO, Agency Strategist, Growth Catalyst
Good insight, but as a former CMO I see a different challenge ahead. Over the past 5 years, marketing leaders have been deluged in learning how to shift their focus from selling cycles to buying cycles. We’ve implemented content marketing, drip campaigns, WOM, lead nurturing, etc. — all geared toward “helping people buy” instead of traditional selling. The problem? The rest of the C-Suite hasn’t been attending the same shows, reading the same books, or watching the same Webinars. The result is a disconnect as the C-Suite still expects Marketing to execute e-blasts, sales promotions, and self-serving PR to support the Sales organization in “making the numbers.”
CEO at TransgressiveX
Interesting article – thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. In a simply summary, it looks to me like it’s all about how well brands and their owning companies (which increasingly are visible and inspected) exchange value with their various stakeholders: consumers of course, but also recognising that a brand’s role is personal and social and societal.
Sales and marketing at Barclays Capital.
When a product, service or organization is all about the functional benefit, this is not enough for them to thrive in 2014, they must add emotional and self expressive character to whatever they are doing in order to survive in the coming years.
SEO Consultant Kansas City, MO NetGeniusLive.com LLC
Hopefully the biggest brands revisit their online /off-line holiday season strategy…I recommend a budget that lowers overall investing in brick and mortar operations. This years’ brick and mortar holiday sales revenue dropped by 20%. I predict a large number of brick and mortar stores to start offering dropshipping programs to get their world wide web revenue up.
Marketing Executive at TEC
the future of branding is increasing day by day.. but we cannot neglect the importance of customer loyalty factor .. good communication after sales services all the things important to build brand .and emotional attachment too .but the monetary factor have a greater impact .. people are having dual trand they are risk taker but as far as risk aversion .. price sensitivity.replica marketing and non-traditional channel are the biggest threat for the company.. as IT improve the communication but still their is alot more improvement demanded to deal with it
Helping companies display their brands and products at Exhibitions, Events and in Retail environments across Australia.
Great comment and some fantastic thoughts to ponder as we approach the new year. I know in the Exhibition and Events industry many of us will take on some of the challenges raised.
Coca-Cola until lately has successfully equated its soft drinks in the consumers’ minds with happiness. The ongoing criticism concerning the link of soft drinks with obesity (especially in the UK and US) has casted its heavy shadow over the entire soft drink industry. Coca-Cola, being the leader of the industry, has been trying to head off those rising concerns with a considerable shift in marketing strategy.
The Honest” Approach
One of the first somehow clumsy steps of the soda giant was to launch two minute TV ads, actually trying to fend the criticism off its products (which are cunningly marching before the consumers’ eyes). Coca-Cola’s first awkward answer to the public criticism looked more like a nervous damage control exercise than a meaningful contribution toward addressing obesity.
Cynical consumers would translate the above ad roughly to: Hey, obesity is a problem. What do we do about it? We offer you a new range of options, now it’s up to you. Not our problem anymore. Not to mention the voiceover claiming, “If you eat and drink more calories than you burn off you’ll gain weight!” Well…no wonder, Coke…
After taking that dodgy step towards the obesity problem in a rather reactive way, Coca-Cola began designing its below- and above-the-line strategies in a more proactive and consistent way. This strategy was spread out globally, showing empathy and attempting to make an impact on the lives of wanna-be pound-droppers, while simultaneously building a more active lifestyle in the youth’s mindset.
The Magic Pills
Spain, July 2013. Newspaper readers come across a strange ad featuring a very effective weight-loss pill branded as the Magic Pills. Losing weight could never be more convenient and easy, right? Those interested discovered that getting their hands on this magic pill wouldn’t be that easy, since they had to overcome unexpected obstacles like endless staircases, barking dogs, taxis and buses breaking down, and grannies with heavy loads. In the end, it turns out that all that was a well-staged, thought-provoking and motivating prank from Coca-Cola, which is trying to support people that need to lose weight by showing them that just a little bit of effort and activity in their routine does much more for their weight and fitness than a promising “magic” pill. As the punch line states: “The ‘magic pill’ is inside you and you can take it every morning!”
Happiness is Movement, and Movement is Happiness
This is a campaign that draws together the present happiness brand tagline with the idea of leading a healthy life. The tv spot is actually a storytelling animation of a man’s life. Using his characteristic animatronic puppet technique, Johnny Kelly of Nexus – known for the direction ofChipotle‘s “Back to the Start” video – is narrating the happiest moments in the life of the main character, from meeting the love of his life to the birth of their child, while posing the joyful chicken-and-egg themed question. Is it happiness that motivates us to move or does movement make us happy?
With this campaign, Coca-Cola sends a different message, showing that obesity is due to the sedentary lifestyle that people are leading. Moreover, it showcases a lively depiction of how an energetic and active routine uplifts your emotional state and motivates you towards a healthier lifestyle.
Within this conceptual framework, Coca-Cola (with the help of SCPF agency in Barcelona) has invented a distinct and far healthier elevator. Hop in!
Coca-Cola Chile supported this campaign in a surprising and rather delightful way. Inhabitants of Viña del Mar were quite surprised to realize that the taxi they hailed was no regular taxi. The taxi was equipped with a pedaling system which customers could use to reduce their fare while sitting in the back seat.
This UK tv spot contrasts the lives of two men – the one on the left being from the 40′s (approximately) and the one on the right being from today. Both men are Coca-Cola consumers. The man from the past is by far living a healthier and moderate life concerning both his eating habits and routine exercise; the modern man, on the other hand, is not only eating more and less healthy food, but also living a sedentary lifestyle due to his stressful work and commuting habits. The advertisement is set to Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual” and uses the strapline, “Live like Grandpa did – Move more, Eat well, Take it Easy.” The ad gives straightforward advice to consumers, while simultaneously trying to prove that Coca-Cola can be incorporated in moderation into a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
Advertising alone cannot address the problem of obesity, neither can starchy educational films, but raising awareness of energy balance and helping people realize that small changes in their routine can make a big difference in the long run will be surprisingly effective. Obesity is a problem that can be fought proactively and Coca-Cola successfully has been putting more effort into inviting people to exercise more and have a balanced diet rather than bluntly defending its portfolio products. And yes, a balanced diet could include Coke consumption in moderation.
At the end of the day, a balanced diet, some exercise and personal quality time is the antidote to these modern hectic times.
- 3 Things to Consider Before Investing in Coca-Cola Hellenic (fool.com)
- The Coca Cola “Share a Coke” campaign (richblogedthis.wordpress.com)
- Coca-Cola receives NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award (motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com)
- Coca-Cola taxi commercial (matadornetwork.com)
- Coca Cola’s magical Christmas portal.. (adinteract.wordpress.com)
- The WHOLE Story! (tiffanyamitchell.wordpress.com)
- Out with the old and in with the ‘New Coke’ (daisyafford.wordpress.com)
- Happy Music (us.coca-cola.com)
- Ocean Robbins: The Dark Side of Coca-Cola’s Healthy Brands (huffingtonpost.com)
WHILE YOU WERE READING THIS, SAMSUNG MADE $20,000
- In reversal, Obama says he lived with uncle – Boston Globe (bostonglobe.com)
- ‘Ice Friday’ blast bears down on South, Midwest – Fox News (foxnews.com)
- French operations launch in Central African Rep. – Businessweek (businessweek.com)
- Nelson Mandela death: World mourns South Africa’s first black president – CNN International (edition.cnn.com)
- Al Qaida Claims Yemen Attack – Voice of America (voanews.com)
LOGO DESIGN: USING THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOUR
Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that colours have meanings and evoke certain emotions. It makes sense, right? Though it seems to be common sense, let’s take a moment to review what your colour choices are actually saying. When it comes to branding and logo design, colour psychology is essential. What do you want people to feel when they see your design? According to Media Novak, here are some basic color associations:
Red evokes aggressiveness, passion, strength and vitality
Pink evokes femininity, innocence, softness and health.
Orange evokes fun, cheeriness and warm exuberance.
Yellow evokes positivity, sunshine and cowardice.
Green evokes tranquility, health and freshness.
Blue evokes authority, dignity, security and faithfulness.
Purple evokes sophistication, spirituality, costliness, royalty and mystery.
Brown evokes utility, earthiness, woodsy-ness and subtle richness.
Gray evokes somberness, authority, practicality and a corporate mentality.
Black evokes seriousness, distinctiveness, boldness and being classic.
- The Psychology Of Colour (alleninteriors.wordpress.com)
- Hope House Re-Design (nicolleelizabethevans.wordpress.com)
- What Colour Is Your Brand (top2toestyliestadotme.wordpress.com)
- Brand Design: a Colour Commentary (stephendarorionbranding.wordpress.com)
- The Importance of Brand Values (hall91design.wordpress.com)
- Effect Of Colours In Business Branding (bizexcellencemagazine.wordpress.com)
- Living With Colour: Red (terrysblinds.co.uk)
- Breaking Bad: The Psychology – Infographic (terrysblinds.co.uk)
- Concept and colour psychology (nicolesimon13.wordpress.com)
- Refreshing Your Logo: Evolution and Revolution (business2community.com)
How to Build Your Brand with Humor
Posted on 11.27.2013
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:: By Moazzam Adnan, Atlantic.Net ::
A few years ago, a ridiculous theater of life marketing experiment took place in Santa Monica. Two car dealerships, one Audi and one BMW, started a tug-of-war match of one-upmanship, through billboards targeting each other.
Audi started the impromptu sign war with a picture of the A4 and the taunting tagline, “Your move, BMW.” BMW responded with a billboard across the street with a shot of its own M3 Coupe and the line, “Checkmate.” Audi came back with a second sign featuring another rib: “Your pawn is no match for our king.” Finally, BMW had the last word by raising a blimp above the second Audi board, emblazoned with its Formula One car and the words, “Game over.”
The essence of this lighthearted advertising contest is that showing personality and humor can draw attention to brands. The ridiculousness of the racecar as the ultimate victory is clear, because no commuter will be driving 200 mph to work. Both BMW and Audi received significant press attention for the interaction, attention diverted away from the other luxury automakers.
Luckily with content marketing through social media and the blog on your site, it’s not necessary to rent roadway signs to make an impact. Let’s look at how you can use humor to build your business’s brand.
WHY HUMOR WORKS FOR MARKETING
Former news anchor and social media speaker Cindy W. Morrison believes that showing your sense of humor on Facebook and Twitter generates a twist on ROI called ROR, which stands for “Return On Relationships.” She provides the example of a sign at a brick-and-mortar business stating, “Children Left Unattended Will Be Given An Espresso And A Free Puppy.” As she notes, the sign serves a function while also giving patrons a chuckle and the opportunity to relate to the business owner’s perspective.
The same angle can be used on the various social sharing platforms. Humor offers a great opportunity to present something amusing to you, perhaps an anecdote. As long as the joke isn’t mean-spirited, it provides potential customers an opportunity to connect with your humanity. Developing loyalty is all about forming relationships, and the “Return On Relationships” often starts with marketing.
Broadening the picture, marketing gives brands an opportunity to stand out. Humor is recommended because people like to laugh, so you’re giving away an emotional upswing for free, as long as your users can connect with the sensibility of the comedy.
Several of the other bold maneuvers mentioned further demonstrate why humor works. One of them is personalization of the company through its brand pages, which is certainly achieved with humor. Another is relationship building, again central to humor and in agreement with the ROR concept above. What better way to connect with people and to show them that “you” (the business’s identity) don’t take yourself too seriously?
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MARKETING HUMOR
According to Business 2 Community, buyer personas and demographics are primary concerns with humor. You don’t want to appear disrespectful or distasteful. Luckily, though, there are a variety of tactics you can use to deliver humorous content through your blog and social media pages:
Double entendres – Using puns or wordplay with multiple meanings works for everyone. It’s especially helpful for serious fields such as healthcare and law. Humor must be more conscientious in those arenas, but you can at least go for a smile (as with Kaiser Permanente’s shot of celery stalks with the line, “Beat obesity with a stick”). If you are in a more carefree industry, of course, double entendres are a great way to be adult and family-friendly at the same time.
Pop culture & current events – Nothing places you in the here and now like a reference to a TV show or movie, which subtly expresses the fact that your company is made up of real people who appreciate similar entertainment to your audience. These references can create an inside joke across a broad spectrum of people. A good example is a meme created by Impact Branding and Design, featuring Dwight from NBC’s The Office and the line, “Fact: I sold 70% more beets online this year because of inbound marketing.”
Memejacking – Numerous types of media hijacking are popular online, including newsjacking (“stealing” the thunder created by a news story) and memejacking (creating a twist on a popular meme). The fact is, online hijacking is simply following trends and relating to the current climate. Following the leader in this way can work very well on social media. For instance, a Willy Wonka meme starting with the line, “Oh you have 57 Facebook fans?” was repurposed with the new punchline, “You must be an inbound marketing expert.” It’s not hilarious, but it’s light and relatable to those who get the parody.
Let’s face it: everyone appreciates a laugh. You can create a real-world stir with a stunt like that pulled by the Santa Monica car dealerships. Even if you just focus on your website’s presence to express humor, marketing can create a Return On Relationships. Just be sure you consider your buyer personas before determining what type of approach your humor should take.
Moazzam Adnan – Director of Business Development, Atlantic.Net
Moazzam currently holds the position of Director of Business Development at Atlantic.Net, where he contributes to the growth of Atlantic.Net by branding and leveraging their product offerings with Web and social media marketing. With over 12 years of experience in marketing and business strategy, he has successfully launched and managed products from concept to marketing to profitable campaigns.
– See more at: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2013/11/27/how-to-build-your-brand-with-humor.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter#sthash.6Oa4x9K2.dpuf
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