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The Business of Brand: Why Brand Personality Is Critical For Your Company

Eric Groves

By Eric Groves

Be the Life of the Party With Brand Storytelling

When it comes to brand storytelling, think of the last time you were with a group of people at a party. As you all mingled, who in the group was everyone most attracted to? Sure, the handsome hunks and beautiful babes certainly got some attention, and the people who were loud and downright annoying got some brief head turns, too. But if you really think about it, it was the person with the most engaging personality that people flocked to.

This, at its core, represents how branding storytelling works. Personality wins.

Think of Your Brand As A Living Entity

To build on that metaphor, think of your brand as a living entity with personality, values, and actions. As humans, we are drawn to people who can engage us with their personality, have interesting things to say 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 with in the brands they love. Great brands understand this and intentionally create a persona through brand storytelling that connects on a human, emotional level.

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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 immediately stand out from their monotonously striped pack. Spotted Zebra brands have intentionally broken free from the safety of their pack with dots of differentiation, attracting prospects like bugs to a light on a hot summer day

Of all the advice you might find about branding, this is perhaps the best advice I can give you. Make sure that as you build your brand, it is infused with a highly engaging, attractive personality. Avoid the temptation to take on the same stripes as your peers and steer clear of anything that smacks of normal or boring!


Don’t Be Scared

Hopefully, we would all agree that having a sense of humor is one of the most highly desirable and attractive personality traits a person can possess. It’s no wonder that some of the most powerful and profitable brands in the world embrace humor in their branding and marketing efforts. Why? Because it’s literally money in the bank! A sense of humor is a must-havel trait to build into your brand personality.

I’ve been at this branding thing for over 30 years and have helped hundreds of companies with their branding and I am constantly amazed at the fear in people’s eyes when I start to talk to them about the power of brand personality – especially humor.

They will agree philosophically that it makes sense, they will even look at case studies I present and nod their heads in approval that personality-driven brands win big in the marketplace. However, when it comes down to brass tacks and actually doing it for their own brand, they hesitate—or even worse— they want to revert back to the safety of their peers with descriptive, literal, boring content.

So, Whatcha Gonna Do About Brand Storytelling?

Take an honest look at your current brand storytelling and persona. How would you describe its personality as it stands today? Is your brand the most interesting, engaging brand in your pack-of-peers? If not, you have a tremendous opportunity to take it to whole new level. And the good news is that almost all of your competitors are in the same bland brand boat.

So, watcha gonna do? You have an opportunity — if you’re brave enough — to create a Spotted Zebra of a brand. If this sort of approach sounds right to you, give us a call. We’d love to help your brand become the life of the party.

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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