How personal does personalizing your brand need to be?
Answer: not that personal!
If you read our blog last week, you’ll know what this is flowing on from. By the way, yes, Claire the Client is still speaking to me …. I can put my Diplomatic Dragon hat on when I need to.
Credit to Claire, she hasn’t been scared off her Facebook page because of one blunder.
It’s not untypical to blur the lines between personal and personalization.
What’s the difference?
If it’s such a potentially blundersome burden, why bother?
Sure, it’s far simpler to just keep to safe, boring, banal business marketing messages, and if that worked, that’s all any of us would be doing.
The down-side of being an SME, solopreneur or boutique business is that you don’t have vast marketing collateral, budgets, and resources.
What you do have is access to the same digital and social media mediums that every business (and every consumer) around the globe has. Businesses as big as Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin brand.
Did you know … ?
The brand name “Virgin” arose when Richard Branson and Nik Powell formed a record shop. They considered themselves virgins in business. Branson has described the “V” in the logo as an expressive tick, representing the Virgin seal of approval. Source – Wikipedia
Virgin has come a long way since those early days. But it’s always been synonymous with Richard Branson, who from the beginning personalized the brand as his own. And he still does. Anyone who follows him on social media will see a great deal of personalization still goes on. He mentions his family fairly frequently, alludes to his early years, shares his experiences, life and business lessons, his causes and his philosophies.
Small Operators & Personalization
The up-side to being a small operator is that it is far easier to personalize your brand than it is for a huge conglomerate unless they have a personality like Richard Branson heading it up with an inspiring story behind the brand and the man.
You might think, yeah, great, but who’s going to be interested in me – I’m a solopreneur, not a corporate giant. I sell pool pumps not rock star record labels. Which is exactly what is in your favour.
You are small, independent, agile!
It’s far more attainable to create brand personalization for you than it is for ABC Inc. – Absolutely Boring Corporation Incorporated has a marketing department and advertising agencies trying to create a point of difference between them and their close competitor Marginally Less Boring Inc.
One of the biggest challenges marketers face is how to create customer engagement with their ABC or MLB brand. Thousands and millions are spent on trying to humanize and personalize their brand to create some sort of connection with their prospects and customers.
That connection you have available at your finger-tips. Literally, with meaningful, personalized, creative content, you are a click away from growing your brand and your business. The faint-hearted can be heard heckling, you’re also literally one click away from crashing and burning with one wrong post or one adverse comment.
Faint-hearted never won fair mother lode. The mother lode is an engaged target market that likes your brand enough to buy into it. They like You!
Here’s a comment from one of our blogs last year, which demonstrates the point perfectly:
Kyleigh McCollam says:
September 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm
It’s so true! People don’t buy the products, they buy into the people or brand selling them!!
Thanks Kyleigh of C’est le Style for your feed-back
So back to personalization – people like to know who they are dealing with digitally – the same way they would in a person to person interaction.
Personalization is about giving people enough information about yourself and your brand to help them to feel comfortable that you and your brand are authentically aligned to their expectations, interests and values.
Being Personal is what you do on your personal Facebook page, and even there, there can be an element of getting too personal. Who hasn’t read posts popping up on their newsfeed and cringed? Thinking, too much information (gak!), or somebody hasn’t taken their med’s today before hurriedly scrolling on.
Facebook is a publicly, globally accessible platform. Besides, there’s a big data revolution going on and a lot of changes; who knows what might ultimately end up where. Microsoft just bought out LinkedIn. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
How to stay safe
It’s really pretty easy to stay safe, though. Just post or publish authentic representations of Brand You with one question front of mind:
Am I happy to own this no matter who sees it?
Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.