Daily Archives: November 19, 2008

The Triple Threat: Personality, Branding and Blogging

Find a way to humanize your brand, use your personality, and take your brand
from good to great. -Guy Kawasaki

Do you envision your blog as a brand? If you do, try embracing the concept of brand personality. To understand what brand personality is, envision your brand as if it were a person. It would have values, beliefs and interests. These attributes are what would make it unique.

Groundbreaking package designer Walter Landor felt that everything you project into the world goes toward creating your brand. Each little piece is of equal importance, equal weight, and has to be appropriate to the audience it is reaching or the message that it is trying to promote.

The energy that you put out on your blog will be directly related to what you receive in return. Since your blog is a brand and you are the central driving force behind developing its personality, it is further defined by every action you take and every post that you create.

1. Determine what your goals are. These goals will pull you through the tough times, give you a focus and ultimately, a way to measure your success. I prefer defined goals that I can actually measure such as reaching a specific rank on Technorati every six months, gaining a certain level of traffic every year, posting a set number of articles to my blog each week, and so on. Without any gray area, it’s much easier to see if you’re hitting the mark.

2. Find out what your readers want and need. How does your brand fit into their life? The best way to determine your reader’s needs is to ask them. Develop a direct connection between your blog and its readers. Do some old fashioned research, whether it’s through polling, emails or a survey post. As an incentive, run a contest.

3. Clearly communicate your blog’s personality. This can be facilitated through being trustworthy, relaible, developing a unique slogan and having a memorable blogging voice.

Marketing has become a mass-produced commodity that lacks authenticity. Our saturation point has been reached and the old rules no longer work. Though used mostly for products and services, branding can also be applied to people. The key to developing an authentic brand is to be true to who you are and to follow your own, unique path. This individuality is the one thing that you can claim as yours. Though others may try to impersonate it along the way, it’s usually fairly easy to spot the original voice among them. Give some thought to the one thing that makes your brand unique, the one attribute that no one can take away from you. This is where you should focus your energy.

The characteristic that many of the most successful blogs share is that people are following the BLOGGER, not the BLOG. A blog’s theme can be replicated, but the personality behind it cannot. There may been hundreds, if not thousands of blogs in a saturated niche. So ask yourself, why do you repeatedly go back to the same blogs when you can probably get the same information from another site?


Gala Darling, a pink-haired force of positivity

Gala Darling’s consistent voice and unwavering positivity, Heather Armstrong’s sarcastic tone and over-the-top stories and Jane’s jaw-droppingly original styling are all examples of unique, immediately recognizable characteristics. Notice that I didn’t refer to their respective project names of iCiNG, dooce, or Sea of Shoes. What these bloggers do can stand on its own, period.

As Tom Dorresteijn notes, “The concept of brand personality combines inside-out and outside-in; identity and image. A personality has its roots in the identity but is strongly externally focused. It is not ‘be who your are’. Personality is: Become who you should be.”

If your blog was a living, breathing person, what adjectives would you use to describe it?

The world belongs to those who stand out, stand up and stand for or against a cause which they can strongly defend, those who can talk crowd and keep their virtues or walk with kings and not lose the common touch – their identity. An independent mind is a frontier of change in the world. -Tayo Korede

Make your brand come alive. Give it a personality that jumps off the page. Strive to make your readers’ experiences memorable. Once you establish a level of quality on your blog, never look back.

Readers:
What is your blog about?
What characteristics make it unique?
How do you plan on taking it to the next level?