My friend David Freeman gave me a tool about 20 years ago that I have used to great effect. David teaches screenwriters and novelists how to create fictional characters that draw you toward them like magnets.
It is not my objective to teach you David’s technique today, nor will I teach you my simplified version of it. What I hope to do is help you understand that your business has a personality. If it does not, then you do not have a brand; you have a logo and a visual style guide.
A powerful brand is an imaginary character that lives in the mind of the customer, no different than those imaginary characters that populate great novels and TV shows and movies. If you feel connected to a brand, it is because that brand represents something you believe in.
Each of us is a jigsaw puzzle, and when we see a strangely-shaped piece that will fit a correspondingly-shaped hole in the self-image we are trying to complete, we feel we must have that piece.
When we rise above a subsistence-level income, much of what we purchase is identity reinforcement. We buy what we buy to remind ourselves – and tell the world around us – who we are.
If you own a business, the personality of that business will be a reflection of your own personality. And the areas of your business that need improvement will usually reflect the areas in your life that need improvement.
Your personality drives your business. This is why your business will always reflect your personality. You really need to capitalize on that.
The most brilliant marketing consultants will:
- Identify the characteristics of your brand. It’s entirely possible that you never intended your brand to have these characteristics, but they will always be there. The best brand consultants want to answer the question, “What makes this brand think, speak, act, and see the world the way it does?”
- Amplify those characteristics so that the brand has a distinct personality. We do not bond with products or services that do not have a personality.
- Craft all messages so that they reflect the personality that has been there all along. When you do this, marketing efficiency is accelerated and customer acquisition rises to a new level.
A week ago I met with the owner of a furniture manufacturing company that designs all its own products. After scrolling through their website, I said, “Anyone who loves Apple and Tesla will love your furniture.”
His eyes got big and he said, “Those are the brands my team and I idolize! How did you know?”
I replied, “Your designs reflect the same values and beliefs as those brands.”
1. “You reject established styles and tradition.”
2. “You are going for that clean, simple, look and feel of elegant design.”
3. “You have created a walled garden; your stuff doesn’t mix well with other stuff. And your stuff is expensive.”
4. “At your core, you are a leader and not a follower.”
“These are the defining characteristics of the brand you have created. All you need to do now is begin communicating to the public in the voice of that brand.”
I was hesitant to share the defining characteristics of the brands created by Steve Jobs and Elon Musk with you because it could easily lead you to say, “Those are things I believe in, too! I’m just like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.”
Although it may be true that your worldview overlaps with Steve’s and Elon’s, it is highly unlikely that you share the same character diamond. Having used this tool for nearly 20 years, I had never before seen a company that mirrors Tesla and Apple in each of the 4 cardinal points.
The defining characteristics of your company – your brand – are probably different from the brands created by Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. It is difficult to craft your own character diamond because you don’t see yourself in the same way that other people do. It’s hard to read the label when you are inside the bottle.
This is the essential, first step that makes all the other elements of your marketing plan come together and sing in harmony.
Roy H. Williams
David C. Tate teaches psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and he has created a new type of leadership that gives every employee, regardless of rank, the opportunity to be heard, and to contribute to the success of the company. David says that in today’s business world, how you succeed is often as important as the success itself. David calls his leadership approach “conscious accountability,” a seven-step process centered on the benefits of social awareness, shared values, and genuine relationships. This could be game-changer for you and your company. Are you ready for change? If so, the place to go, is Monday Morning Radio… dot com, of course.