You’ll have heard this hundreds of times before; your brand is the face of your business; it carries your business’ personality and champions its ethos. Usually it’ll make first contact with its audience during cold outreach, or inbound marketing, and will be carried forward by your sales team further down your new business funnel.
I sought a conversation with Round’s Senior Creative Designer, Sarah, to gain her perspective and to explore some of the key facets to creating a brand with which your customers can connect and derive value from, and then positioning your brand as an influencer. We’ll also provide some contextual examples of our actions in these areas!
Perhaps the most obvious, and definitely the most associated and considered assets in respect to brands are their visual assets. Their logo, their typeface, their colours, etc. Whether these appear on packaging or social profiles, they are, in a vast majority of cases, the first contact your brand will make with its customers. With this in mind it follows logic that we must engage at the first opportunity and make that all important first impression.
Brands can be designed to adhere to or to defy what their audience is expecting to see in relation to their preconceptions of that brand’s industry. Defying their expectations can be very powerful in evoking an emotional response and generating marketplace presence. However this can also be quite polarising and potentially jarring; it will depend upon your specific audiences tastes and requires a flawless knowledge of your industry and customer personas. Adhering to expectations can help audiences more quickly generate a concept called ‘cognitive ease’, which we’ll explore later on.
Colour is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to gain an emotional response. Choosing a colour palette which is considered suitable, predictable, bold, daring, delicate — or conversely, none of these — can turn the same collection of graphic shapes and words into something entirely different.
Identifying and perfecting your brand tone-of-voice and personality will help you to make meaningful and lasting connections with your audience. Once again this is entirely comparable to traditional, one-to-one social interaction. The content of what you discuss and how you present it is ultimately what leads those you interact with to feel engaged and to place value upon the encounter.
Here are a few techniques you can employ to generate rapport quickly and begin building a relationship between your business and your aspirational customers.
Think about the formality of your brand based on who it’s trying to engage. For example, a law firm needs to perpetuate a professional, discreet and expert tone, and is unlikely to use anything which doesn’t appear in the dictionary, or isn’t a strictly accepted sentence structure. This being said, conversationalism and colloquialism aren’t the same thing, and finding the correct balance of the two can be hugely powerful in retaining professionalism whilst still generating report and brand personality.
Side note: Ironically, the word ‘conversationalism’ is a colloquialism…
Similar to colloquialisms, only specific to an individual, idiosyncrasies are comparable to ‘mannerisms’ in the context of body language. These will be all the little nuances that become synonymous with your brand, such as signing of in a certain way, go-to phrases your brand uses. We at round love nothing more than signing off with a few specific emojis!
Similar to idiosyncrasies, idioms tend to be more geared towards localities or sub-cultures. These are especially useful if your audience is very niche and communicative. Whilst this may sound like a description of a meme, an idiom is more pragmatic and on a generally smaller scale; they are the personality traits of your brand which will be noticed and recognised by your followers. HubSpot‘s blog, ‘12 of the Sassiest Brands on Social Media‘ showcases the sheer potential of exercising a distinctive tone-of-voice in your social media campaign.
Inescapable, inexplicable and indispensable! Memes are a lot less new and a lot more prevalent throughout history than most people would think. Memes are brilliant for addressing niches and for producing topical humour; they can help your permeate the barriers audiences quickly and generate endearment and favour toward your brand. Check out this article from DemandZEN and take care whilst navigating the social-sphere with memes! Two solid sources of social media inspiration are SuperHi (Twitter: @superhi_ and Paddy Power (Twitter: @paddypower), who respectively run highly successful social media campaigns on different levels. Go Check them out!
Thanks for reading ‘Positioning your brand as an influencer: Part 1’! Keep your eyes peeled for part 2, in which we’ll discuss brand authority, touchpoints and cognitive ease.