As we all know the rules for branding have changed over the last 3 years. Social media, savvy consumers and our 24/7 news streams are all factors. Customer expectations of companies, profit and non-profit, are high. Recently an article by David Kerpen, “The 11 Principles of Likeable Business”, detailed many factors companies may want to consider striving for to deliver on your brand promise. One of them struck me as maybe the golden rule, Authenticity.
Great leaders are who they say they are, and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, attractive energy. Customers, employees, and media all want to help a person who is authentic to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self, but the social Internet has blurred that line. Likeable leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging the personal and professional life together.
While this uses the word “leader” if you add the word “brand” before it, why it stands to be as strong. Many companies I work with get very tangled in the execution of voice and “being real” especially when translating to new media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. One of the more common questions is “how do I know it’s ok?”
One of the litmus tests is to conduct the “Mom Test”–ask yourself, “Would I be comfortable to tell my mom about this? If you hesitate, figure out what you wouldn’t want to explain or what feels embarrassing and eliminate it. Maybe it’s the language you are using–drive it up or down a notch. You wouldn’t want to disappoint your mom, and you can’t afford to disappoint your customers. There are no gray areas here — if you’re unsure, drop it.
Your best brand marketing strategy is to be yourself. It’s a lot easier and more sustainable. If you need assistance in identifying personas for your brand contact me at zestyinfo (at) gmail.com
Learn more about David Kerpen’s books here.