When you go to a party, who do you remember? The people on the other side of the room who avoided eye contact with you? The guy who babbled on incessantly about his online gaming hobby/habit? Or the woman with the short haircut and garishly colored skirt who told a vivid story about her adventure in the Amazon rain forest while gesticulating with her hands in an exaggerated fashion and imitating the noises of the animals she saw? Definitely the last, and for good reason … her personality came through and made her different from everyone else.
The same goes for brands, and even small business brands. Those with strong, well-articulated personalities are the ones people remember after they have left the party/store/Web/insert venue here. But the odd truth is that most brands bend over backwards not to reveal a personality. It’s as if they believe that showing any sign of character, any peculiarity or even quirk, will be seen as a flaw and not simply a differentiator. Here’s a little secret that the best brands don’t want you to know – people like peculiarities and quirks. It makes brands more human and gives people something to relate to. Plus, if you’re as boring and flat as the next brand, why should they bother paying any attention to another stiff?
But Jeff, you say, what if I have a boring product or service, like, say, housecleaning? Well, just because what you offer is boring doesn’t mean how you provide it or who you are should be just as insipid. You could be the singing housecleaners, the houscleaners who leave an inspiring note for customers to find after each cleaning, the charitable housecleaners who will also haul away appliances, furniture, etc., and donate it to charities. Any one of these things starts to reveal a personality beneath the feather-dusters and sponges.