People don’t buy brands…
Well, that’s not totally true. In a market where it’s one big faceless brand fighting against the next, you might develop a brand preference.
For example, the cars market.
Most major automakers — with one exception — are faceless brands.
A couple years ago, we bought a new minivan. At the time, there wasn’t any face representing Toyota, Honda, GM, or any of the other brands on the market. And so we shopped primarily on brand reputation. (We got a Toyota.)
The only real exception in the car market today?
Oh c’mon — you know it. You’re not going to wait for me to tell you it’s Elon Musk’s Tesla, are ya?
There are other markets where the brand is faceless. Especially in packaged goods.
In those markets, the brand can still reign. Especially as long as competition remains relatively constant, with the biggest challenges coming from new faceless logos, primarily competing on price.
But more and more, consumers don’t care about your brand. They won’t buy something just because your logo is on it.
People want to buy PEOPLE…
Direct marketers have known this for ages. A letter signed by a real person, that sounds like it’s written by a real person, will out-sell a generic brochure with largely the same sales message.
Even most magalogs and other direct mail pieces today that are designed to look like more generic editorial content end up doing best when they’re written in one person’s voice, and the message is delivered person to person.
This has only accelerated online.
When it’s fast, easy, and practically free to publish, that’s what consumers prefer.
They want to follow your “brand” on social media. But it’s not really your brand they’re following. They’re following the personality who is posting to social media.
Both have built brands in spaces where it’s not 100% assumed you’re going to have a personality behind the brand. Andy, selling supplements. Randall, selling clothes.
Both agreed: the more active they are in standing up in public to promote their “brand,” the more people buy.
That has ZERO impact on how a supplement will impact your health. That has ZERO impact on what that new jacket is going to look like on you.
And yet, their customer bases BOTH buy more when the personality behind the brand is put front-and-center.
Countless brands throughout history have shown the power of this…
YES, it works especially well in niche markets. Urban clothing and fitness supplements are great examples. Having public-facing CEOs whose images are consistent with the brand certainly helps both, and jives with the general niches they are in.
Dave Thomas drove Wendy’s success as the face of the brand as well as the founder. Ray Kroc did the same as he turned McDonald’s into an international fast-food sensation.
Famous Amos cookies were famous because the advertising-guy-turned founder Wally Amos made himself “Famous.”
Ben and Jerry’s have created a counterculture around ICE CREAM — based largely on who they are.
You’ve got Tom Watson Sr. AND Tom Watson Jr. driving IBM’s success through different eras.
Lee Iacocca got on TV to promote Chrysler, and rescued it from certain ruin.
Before him, Ford wouldn’t have been Ford without Henry Ford himself, standing behind every car rolled off the assembly line.
It goes on and on.
In fact, many top brands today only got to be top brands because at some point in their history, someone was willing to step up as the leader and public face of the company, and link their face with your experience of the brand.
It was only after the brand was established and that leader exited stage left that they coasted on a general “image” or “brand reputation” more than the personality themselves.
If YOU want to create a powerful “brand” today, you MUST embrace the power of putting a face and not just a logo up front…
Here are three ways to add a “face” to a brand.
- You can be the face of the brand. For most entrepreneurial companies, this should be the first choice. But even big companies can benefit when the CEO is willing to go public, and become the spokesperson.
- Pick another insider to be the face. This is potentially as powerful, but comes with a downside. If they leave, your brand loses its face, and you’ll have to build your reputation all over again.
- Hire a face. Think of how many brands are run by suits, but have one or more celebrities pitching product. Depending on strategy, this can be very powerful — be sure though to align yourself with someone who will be good to have on board for the long haul, and expect to compensate accordingly.
NOTE: I talk about the power of celebrity and expert endorsements in my latest training from BTMSinsiders, called Proof, Credibility, and Believability. Most novice marketers and salespeople undervalue the power of packing their sales messages with proof. This training will change the way you think about this forever.
Now here’s how to add yet another layer of personalty and persuasion power to your brand…
It’s one thing to hop on social media and promote your brand…
Or to get in a commercial and simply say “I’m Joe Blow and I approve this message…”
Or even to simply sign your name to an otherwise generic pitch for your products and services…
It’s another thing entirely to have a brand and offer that are 100% aligned with your personal story and mission in life.
For example, maybe you got started in fitness because one of your most-loved relatives died of a preventable health condition, and you swore the same thing wouldn’t happen to you…
Or you got involved with money management because you grew up poor and you decided that if you learned money management, neither you nor your loved ones would never feel the hunger pangs of going to bed without dinner simply because you can’t afford it…
Or, who knows?
Actually, you know.
And when you understand the power of story in selling, and how that connect with your character and personality, you can create an ultra-powerful brand with fans and followers that are 100% loyal to YOU.
If you haven’t read The Ultimate Selling Story (my newest book, available through Amazon), it scratches the surface of how to do this.
If you’ve read that and are ready to go deep, your next step is The Story Selling Master Class.
No matter what you do, ask this question: How can I put a PERSON at the forefront of my marketing message, and not just a brand or even the message itself?
That’s sure to spark a breakthrough.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,