G'day everyone, welcome to episode 9 of the Grow Your Brand podcast where we talk about how to unlock your potential and change the world for the better. Thank you again to everyone who has been tuning into the show and providing me with encouraging and useful feedback about the show and what they're enjoying most.
By the way, a lot of this discussion is happening on LinkedIn - so if you want to join in the conversation, come on over to LinkedIn and follow the hashtag growyourbrand to keep up with all the latest posts and questions. You can of course also connect with me on LinkedIn - just let me know when you send your connection request that you're a listener of the show - because that makes you an absolute VIP in my books. If you do like what this show is about, please also consider leaving the show a positive rating and review, this really helps me to grow the audience which will help me keep this going in the long run.
Also quick shout out to fellow Aussies who tune into the show. Right now I can see that the majority of listeners of this podcast are Australian and I know that if you're listening to this close to it's release date that many of you are looking out your window and seeing the crazy change in weather we've just had. You might even be able to hear the wind roaring in the background of this podcast. If that's the case, I sincerely apologise, I won't know until after I listen to this recording, but I don't have double glazed windows, so some of that wind is probably coming through on the microphone.
I'm feeling pretty cozy with the sound of wind and rain outside, and so happy we're getting this rain where we need it most, so I hope you're happy to tolerate that, I will try to edit most of the noise in post, but if it's annoying you, maybe think of it this way: That is the sound of bushfires being put out around the country. I did want to make sure I kept my promise of releasing a new show every Monday so here I am, storm and all.
Today on the show we're going to start talking about your brand personality. I've split this into two shows because there is quite a lot to cover here, so in today's show I'm going to share more about why your brand personality is important and the gap it helps us to address when it comes to your business growth.
I also have two great questions that have landed in my lap to answer this week - please do keep those questions coming in. Fellow Aussie Liam Anderson from Australia asks "What does "staying on brand" refer to?" and Kyle Sarringar from South Dekota asks "What do I have to consider when figuring out what my brand is?"
Two great questions that are closely related to our topic today and I'll answer these in our Q&A segment in the second half of the show. Remember you can submit your question for the show via any of my social channels - or you can even send me an email if you'd prefer to remain anonymous - just check out the links in the show notes to find out more about how to get in touch.
As I mentioned, today we're going to talk about the importance of defining your brand personality and these next few episodes are going to be particularly powerful if you've already been doing the work we've been talking through so far in this series. It's actually at this point - the point between working through brand pillar 1 on your purpose and contribution and brand pillar 2 on your distinct and salient brand assets that I see most clients and people in my network getting stuck.
And that's not to say they don't have brand assets. So it's not that they don't have a logo, or colours or key messages, but what I see happening is that what they're saying in market doesn't really bring their vision to life or humanise the essence of their brand in a way that will resonate and be remembered by people in the market.
If you're wondering what it is that we are most likely to remember we're going to talk about this more as well in the coming months but for now just remember this great line from podcast host of Kwik Brain, Jim Kwik, who says, quote: "Information combined with emotion becomes a long-term memory." end quote.
So how do you actually communicate with your customers and the stories you tell about your business so they remember what you stand for? Remember the challenge isn't in telling the story - the challenge is in convincing the masses to believe in it and do something about it. The cause of this missing link between setting your intention and influencing perception is what I call the Why Gap. I've talked about this gap before on my youtube channel and on LinkedIn, but if you're new to the concept let me quickly explain.
The why gap is the gap between setting the intention for the business and having a strong influence on the perception of the business. Let me ask you a quick question: What did you do with your vision, mission, values and offer statement once you wrote them down?
What I find a lot of people do is that they have a strategy meeting with their business coach or with their business partner or executive team and they write all of this stuff down in a business plan or strategy document or in their employee manual or induction booklet and then they put it in a draw and forget about it.
And look, I'm the first to admit that I've done this myself. Because, we get busy right? I get it. We all have stuff to do, and we've done the plan - so we can tick that off the list, and now it's about making things happen, right? For me this gap really wasn't something that I became aware I wasn't truly addressing myself until about a year ago - and that is as someone who was helping other businesses address this gap.
It is so so easy to overlook this step and so so powerful when you take the time to address it. In fact, this is the gap I see most commonly when I'm doing a needs assessment with a new client and once we get this right, it is a game changer for their growth, we're seeing businesse grow at a much faster pace once we address this gap.
This is the step that's going to seperate you from your competitors, and what may surpise you is that this step isn't about differentiating yourself in market, but instead it's about understanding what will resonate, inspire and motivate your customers to take action.
By defining your brand personality we're going to link the inner intention for your business with the external perception of your business and take that first step towards humanising your brand by defining the traits and characteristics that your brand embodies. Getting started with this is very straight forward because we're going to take something out of the storytellers toolbox and use the 12 brand archetypes.
Brands that make emotional connections with their customers use these archetypes all the time - and to find which archetype you are, I've created a short quiz to help you find what archetype does the best job of resonating your brand.
As I mentioned in episode 7, this episode marks sort of this transition point between the first two brand pillars. The first brand pillar being of course, the purpose and contribution you make which has been the focus of this series so far and the second pillar which you may or may not remember is your distinct and salient brand assets.
I think of brand personality as something that sits between the two because whilst what we're doing is working on ways to humanise the essence of your brand which comes from the vision, mission, values and offer we've been working on outlining so far, and what creating this personality will help you get clearer on is the type of words, phrases, images, colour, style and tone of voice that will resonate with your market and also provide creative inspiration for the brand assets you create to be distinct and salient in market.
Next episode we're going to take a close look at each of the 12 archetypes and talk through examples of how brands use this in the real world to connect with their market. In the meantime, have a look at the brand archetype quiz I've created for for to help you figure out your own brand personality.
Head over to growyourbrand.com.au to access these notes from episode 9 and after you take the quiz, let me know whether or not it aligns with how you want to portray your business. You can send a tweet on @laurenkress89 or tag me in your post on LinkedIn. All social links are in the show notes. Now onto our second and final segment for today - the Q&A segment with our questions from Liam and Kyle.
So quick reminder, Liam Anderson asked: "What does "staying on brand" refer to?" fantastic question. This phrase gets thrown around a lot but what does it actually mean? For those of you who've been following the show, you may remember in episode 3 we talked about brand integrity - this idea that what you say is aligned with what you do. And since then we've also been talking about this in the context of your offer and being able to deliver on the value you promise to create.
When we talk about being on brand - it's shorthand for saying be consistent with our branding and our brand message. So if you promise to provide a software solution at an affordable price for small business owners and then you start talking about the importance of a healthy diet for a happier life - you're said to be going off brand message because what you're saying doesn't have relevance to what you're doing.
HOWEVER - I know there are some very smart people listening to this show - and you're probably thinking, but you could talk about the importance of a healthy diet for a happier life in a way that is relevant to small business owners who are in need of software solutions and YES you can. But it comes back to how you want to present yourself in market and the reason behind this message.
If you're just saying it for the sake of saying it and you're putting a lot of time and money into getting that message out there, sure it's a positive message, but it's not really in your wheelhouse as a problem to solve. If however, let's say you teamed up with a lifestyle coach who helped small business owners restore balance and happiness in their life through a healthy diet and you were doing this as part of a co-branding campaign that was about providing a whole heap of useful productivity tips to small business owners - and those tips also linked back to your software solution then this might be very on brand for this campaign and may in fact bring in a whole heap of business.
There are a lot of nuances here but the main thing to ask yourself is: Am I talking about something that is a) relevant to my audience and b) builds an assocation between the problem we solve and our brand assets in the minds of our customers. And just one more thing before I wrap up on my answer here - we're going to talk about this more but - it's really important that you don't confuse your customers with having lots of different messages and campaigns out there at the same time in the same market or market segment.
So using that same example if your running a campaign on being productive at work to promote your software solution and at the same time you're putting out a whole heap of messages about healthy eating for productivity - people are going to get confused - are you a software provider or are you a health coach? So it's really important to keep your message clear and consistent and that you don't change your brand assets in a dramatic way.
I hope that helps to answer your question Liam, as with any of these questions - if anyone listening to this wants further clarity you can always reach out to me via email, so please do, links are in the show notes.
Now onto question 2 from Kyle Sarringar who asks "What do I have to consider when figuring out what my brand is?" Another great question and, a fairly big question! As some of you know, I'm not a fan of the checklist approach to this because it is a very long list - I did once write out the list as part of some internal structuring for my business and there was over 100 items on the list and a lot of them needed further information to really help clarify all the bits and pieces, so Kyle I'd say have a listen to episode 5 on the 5 key brand pillars and you can also have a look at the article I've created for this which will give you the foundations for what you need to think about when it comes to those considerations.
Really quick as a reminder the 5 key brand pillars are: Your purpose and contribution - make sure you know where you're trying to get to, have an idea of how you're going to get there and the guidelines for how to behave - these are your vision, mission and values. Also make sure you're crystal clear on the problem you solve, who you solve it for and what that audience cares about.
Then you want to look at, as we've started discussing here - what you share in market to communicate this- this is about the stories you tell and your distinct and salient brand assets - the 2nd brand pillar to consider. Brand pillar 3 is about your media and market penetration - how you share your stories in market - the plan for actually getting all of these stories in the right places and at the right time for your audience to see it - Brand pillar 4 is about the availability of what you're selling in market at the point of sale and Brand pillar 5 is your resource and funding - so the cash you can invest to grow your brand and the cash you make that you will then re-invest to continue your brand growth.
Check out the show notes for all the links to access this information and get clearer on what each of these pillars involves. But in the time I have here Kyle I hope that goes someway towards answering your question. Thanks again Liam and Kyle for your question and keep those questions coming in guys.
Really appreciate everyone getting involved in making this show what it is and as another quick reminder, if you do like the show, make sure you subscribe so you can stay up to date with all the latest episodes, and lots of extra love to listeners who can leave a review and rating for the show. Next week we'll continue our topic on Brand personality and explore each of the 12 archetypes. Until then, remember that sharing your talents with the world will make it a better place.