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Brand Voice: Most Companies are Boring. Don’t Be One of Them.

Eric Groves

By Eric Groves

Brand Voice: If they’re bored, you’ll be ignored

Most companies have boring brands and boring brands are bad for business. Here is a look at how you can give your company the personality it needs by giving your brand voice some flair.

Boy Meets Girl. Girl Runs Away.

Imagine for a moment that your brand is a young man and your prospect is a beautiful young woman he is interested in dating. He picks her up in an old beat-up pickup truck that’s dirty and unkempt. He’s wearing sweatpants and a greasy t-shirt and takes her to a cheap diner. Once there, he drones on and on in a monotone voice about how great he is and why they should be together. He’s got the personality of a rock and is oblivious to what she really wants. When the painful dinner is over, he abruptly asks her if she’d like to take it to another level.

What are the chances he’ll ever see this woman again?

Unfortunately, that my friend, is how a majority of businesses present themselves in the marketplace. Their brand is unkempt, they’re self-absorbed and they’re boring as a slug! And they wonder why they aren’t attracting or retaining customers like they want!

Your Brand Is A Living Entity

To properly understand the power of your brand and brand voice, you have to imagine it as a living entity with personality, values, and actions. As humans, we are drawn to people who can engage us with their personality and have an attractive appearance. We are also drawn to those who stand for something of meaning and whose actions we admire.

All of these attractive personality traits are the same ones that people unconsciously connect within the brands they love. Great brands understand this and intentionally create a brand persona that connects on a human, emotional level with those they are trying to attract.

Creating A Spotted Zebra™ Brand

Our agency has come up with a term for brands that understand and embrace the power that personality-driven brands provide. We call these brands the Spotted Zebra™ brands. In simple terms, the Spotted Zebra branding philosophy believes that every competitive landscape is filled with boring brands that play it safe. As prospects scan the horizon deciding who it is they want to work with or purchase from, there are usually only a few that stand out from their monotonously striped pack. These brands have intentionally broken free from the safety of their pack with dots of differentiation that attract prospects like bugs to a light on a hot summer day.

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People make choices every time they buy something, and when the difference between you and your competitor seems marginal, how you are perceived can be the tipping point. You will have the advantage the minute you determine your business needs a rebrand that injects some real excitement and personality into your category.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at a brand case study that proves my point.

How Starbucks Turned a Boring Commodity Into Billions in Cash

One of the most famous and phenomenal success stories in branding is Starbucks. Remember when coffee was just a boring commodity that came in a styrofoam cup and tasted like Folgers? In the early ‘90s, Starbucks changed all of that with a vision to make the $1 cup of coffee a premium luxury experience that everyone could afford.

Early on, the company was determined to help people experience the emotion connected to coffee by placing an educational emphasis on coffee blends. Then Starbucks began to celebrate the individuality of those who drank it. The process of ordering hand-crafted espresso beverages took on a whole new status. Starbucks stores were promoted as a community-centric “third place,” which dictated every decision about the Starbucks brand: the furniture, artwork, and music, and more. They even invented their own language.

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All of a sudden, buying a cup of coffee went from boring to exciting! Starbucks went from 11 Seattle stores in 1987 to a worldwide phenomenon with more than 20,000 locations in 62 countries, simply by breathing life and personality into a boring commodity.

How does all of this translate from a business perspective? Customers line up in droves and gladly fork out $5 (or more) for their cup-of-Joe and their brand loyalty is off the charts. To top it off, their 2019 revenues topped $26 Billion. Not too shabby!

It’s Your Turn To Turn Up Your Brand Voice

Now it’s time to take an honest look at your brand voice. Are you presenting the most exciting, dynamic version of your company that you can? Are prospects drawn to you like bugs to the light? (link to Armageddon blog) If not, it’s time for a brand makeover. It’s time to start turning heads, and more importantly, turning profits.

Eric Groves is the Founder and Creative Director of Flying Hippo Brand + Digital. Should you decide it’s time to take your brand to another level, please reach out for a free consultation.

 

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