It is hard to pin down, but you know it when you see it: that crucial something that rings a loud bell in your head and just forces you to pay attention. Find that X-Factor for your brand and your target audience will be hooked. So how do we go about the search?
Well, just like the TV programme, your X-Factor is often to be found in your voice. And like Simon Cowell and his team, we can tune our brand voice to sound even better. No electrical wizardry here though, just good old-fashioned research and hard work.
Your brand voice is crucial to the image your business will convey. As I have written elsewhere, First impressions count, and count even more online. So ideally your X-Factor will ooze from every pore of your business presence, from your website to your social media to your marketing materials and beyond.
Building a Brand Voice
If you’re just starting out, or feel your business doesn’t have a coherent message, then you can build character and voice strategically. Work out who your ideal customer is, then build a brand that will appeal directly to that individual. If you’re further down the line then you can tweak and adapt until you feel you have a reliable and credible personality.
It’s relatively easy to build a brand persona. Just looking at the words and tone of voice your ideal customer would use can help build suitable digital copy, which is the starting point for most customer interactions whether on your website or social media. Listen to what they want and how they say it so that you can hone your information and communications to this brand voice.
More than this, though, you need to stand out. If your business idea is new and original, or you have identified a niche market, your X-Factor will be your very idea. For the rest of us, it is important that we avoid falling into the copycat trap with a brand personality as bland and broad as our competitors.
How to Stand Out
Your brand character should be strong and clear. It should resonate in everything you do, in the same way you expect to see the character of individuals reflected in their lifestyle, political beliefs, clothes, and yes even in their music.
This means that as well as working out what words your brand persona would use and where he/she would hang out, you should know what they believe in. Where it is relevant to your ideal customer, you should know what is your brand’s point of view on ecological issues, what is it against, what would they think of the latest film in their genre?
It’s this kind of detail that will give your brand the X-Factor that will make people pay attention.
Remember how successful Innocent were in launching their chatty, eco-friendly smoothies? They were one of the first brands to use relaxed language on their cartons, and create a buzz around their sustainability credentials. A strong character and opinions gave Innocent a distinctive voice that differentiated them from other drinks.
Remember that consistency is key
It’s no good being opinionated for the sake of it. If you don’t truly believe your brand’s core values then you’ll lose those judges’ votes. In life, as online, we trust those who are authentic and reliable. We can even excuse their foibles (after all, who’s perfect?) provided we believe in their integrity.
The key to building a great online brand is to ensure your business personality, including your X-Factor, shine strong and clear in everything you do. If you need any help in working out your brand persona, or writing in that tone of voice, let me know and I can help.
We’ll earn your brand a standing ovation.