Show Don't Tell: How to Build Your Unique Brand Personality

By Linden KleinApr 19, 2016

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Sometimes the best way to appeal to customers is by doing something totally unrelated to what you do. It can be a critical step towards developing a distinct and likeable brand personality.  

Instead of bonking people over the head with lame archetypes, leave them curious. Do something positive to show them who you are instead of telling them. Kane is a business that does this very well.

In the Northeast, it is common to see Kane trucks, with their unique message on the back:

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It is so charming and weird. These three lines, “Be Kind/Be Careful/Be Yourself” have little to do with trucking. I can see how one would want truck drivers to be careful, but why does Kane care if I am “being myself?” On top of that mind-boggling and abstract command to “be yourself,” we get the strangely biblical and poetic tagline/url: Kane is Able.

I come to like Kane as a person, and it helps validate my trust in the company. If they care about complete strangers, then they probably also care about my merchandise.

I would call them to ship my commercial merchandise because they’ve demonstrated that they are more than just a hauling company. While their competitors are claiming the usual marketing clichés of being “reliable” or “dedicated,” Kane is carving a unique niche by being known as the truckers who care.

Here is another example: Balance Point Payroll approached us to help establish them as a “different kind of payroll company.” Rather than speaking exclusively to their certifications, dedicated customer service, etc., we highlighted their amazing people. They participate in events such as a grueling, 10-mile mudding event designed by the British military. Though this has practically nothing to do with payroll services, it verifies that this is a group of dedicated people. As a client, I can see how that dedication could apply to how they handle my account.  

Every company in every industry tells you that their product or service is the best. We know that virtually all of them are wrong. It’s more persuasive to show how they are more likeable than their competitors. The buying decision is ultimately an emotional one, so instead of focusing on weak rational appeals, focus on building personality. Think of your brand as a person, and then present her in the light of her most likeable and admirable real qualities.

Since branding is so important, you should make sure your current brand carries value to your ideal customer. Download our FREE e-book and see what goes into truly making a special brand. 

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