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Does Your Brand Have a Lame Personality?
By: Tommy Walker
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Admit it...you've wondered.

You wrack your brain to write awesome stuff, your colleagues say they like it, but in the real world it's just not getting you anywhere. You do all of the things the "experts" say you should. But regardless of your efforts, you get as much feedback as Steve Jobs at an Amish convention.

You can't help but wonder. Do you just need to be patient, and wait for the comments to begin snowballing? Or could it possibly be that really, your brand is lame? Are you so incredibly lame that the even the kid who gets stuffed in the locker laughs at you because, well, at least he gets attention?

Stop Trying To Be Perfect

Don't take lessons from Leo Burnett. In the age of "always on" marketing, a good brand can't survive relying on a single factor that separates them from all other brands.

Here's something to chew on: do all of your friends like you for the same reason? The Internet has given equal voice to Brand and Customer. Because human beings have many different qualities that make them stand out, a good brand also has to be a living, breathing creature with many aspects of a personality that can be activated at a moment's notice. In order to survive in a lateral market, a brand has to have its own personality. It has to be willing to laugh, cry, tell jokes, and set boundaries with its target market.

Using pictures that make an impact and a unique selling proposition are only the foundation. A good brand has to be the embodiment of what it's target market wants it to be. Sometimes that means imperfection (Domino's "We're Sorry!" campaign). Sometimes that means an obscure sense of humor (Taco Bell's Super Delicious Ingredient Force?). It always means you have to strive to be interesting.

How to Be Interesting

So how do you flesh out an abstract concept like a brand? Hint: it begins with your target market. But this isn't your "Mad Men" target market. This is the hyper-targeted target market that only the Internet can give us access to. If you've defined your target market as "Women 25-35," no wonder you have no idea how to be interesting. Are you talking about career women, new moms, eco-friendly women, or any combination of the above?

What kind of movies do they watch? What music do they listen to? What books do they read? What car do they (or they would ideally like to) drive? What are they doing when they don't need your brand? It's fascinating how much you can learn about a person by the content they consume. Also, by using that information, you can effectively reverse engineer it to make yourself (your brand) more interesting.

How? You incorporate elements here and there. It may be a color palette, a style of writing, or the format of a television show. This isn't by any means advocating you rip anyone off. Rather, allow yourself to be influenced by the things that influence them.

Do Something.

Stop allowing your content to get overlooked. Stop being lame. Start listening to your target market. Start using what you learn to make your brand more appealing. There are already so many other things that suck the life out of your customers. Learn what those things are, and make it your brand's mission to make life more exciting for your customers.

Trust me, they'll love you for it.

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About the Author
Tommy Walker is an Online Marketing Strategist and been doing various forms of internet marketing since 2005. His final calling came from being fired over a pair of pants. Find more at Tommy.ismy.name tommyisastrategist@gmail.com

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