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The importance of brand personality in 2020

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As we enter a new year, HFB’s resident web expert, James Purves, suggest new ways of approaching your digital presence to build your brand.

Most well-known companies and their products have a personality of their own, usually dictated by how they are marketed and using an understanding of their target audience. Harley Davidson’s are raw and rebellious, Apple products are innovative and well designed, Innocent are natural, fresh and healthy.

These brands have established a personality in order to build long-term relationships with their loyal customers and have learnt how to successfully convey their brand message in order to win new customers. With such presence, they build an impenetrable wall around them that their competitors can’t replicate or climb over. Although a brand is represented by a carefully considered logo, it goes much deeper than that and the logo simply embodies the values and beliefs that become associated to the brand, the company and its products and services.

We all know that first impressions count; apparently, we form our first impression of someone within the first seven seconds of meeting them. However, on top of this, lasting impressions are what will secure long-term repeat business, provided you are being yourself, remain consistent with your messaging and understand your customers. In return, your customers will trust you and understand what your brand represents. Once a customer knows this it becomes much more likely they will talk about and recommend you.

There is a lot of marketing noise about ‘brand’ becoming the one thing that your competitors can’t copy and if it is used correctly, it can give you a unique edge over them. Not only does your brand distinguish you from your competitors and highlights your unique selling point, but in a world of so many competing brands, it can inject character, wit and charm into what you create and do what adds real substance to the business. This trend has been building over the past few years. For example, there has been an increase in the popularity for nostalgic hand-drawn typefaces, which are full of character and personality. Many companies have used this style to complement a trend in simplified logo design. There are now marketing mailings being sent to give a hand drawn look – see letterbot.co.uk, which uses robots to physically write letters with real pens.

So, how do you inject personality into a brand logo and visuals? Of course, there are the usual channels, use of colour, typefaces, imagery and language. But also, an increasing number of websites are making sure they feature a video/motion graphics, quirky illustrations or rollovers that help to create a memorable online experience. One hundred million people worldwide watch at least one video per day and website visitors are 64 per cent more likely to make a purchase after watching a video so it is no wonder that sites are harnessing video to build personality. Social media can also play a huge role in developing your brand’s personality by including video snippets, backstage stories, team member happenings and interesting or funny photos. Instagram has become the go to channel for users to get a true feel and behind the scenes experience of a brand.

In print, you can demonstrate personality more easily because the physical nature of print lends itself to stimulating an emotional response in the reader, whether it be down to the stock, finish or specialist print treatments like foiling, embossing or special inks. Even typefaces create emotions based on nostalgia and past experiences.

Being friendly goes a long way too, and that doesn’t just mean giving compliments or remembering their birthday! It can be as simple as making sure your website is mobile friendly and easy to navigate so that the increasing number of tablet and mobile users don’t get frustrated looking at a miniaturised version of your site.

It could be time to invest in revealing a little more about what makes you, you. Think of some simple creative ways to bring out your brand’s personality and find new and exciting ways to stand out in 2020. 

James is a web consultant who specialises in online marketing strategy, user experience and search engine optimisation. He owns Unstuck Design, a creative design studio dedicated to creating websites and brand identities within the health food industry. 

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