5 Ways To Turn A Dull Brand Into A Cool Brand
Let’s face it; some businesses are just cooler than others. Such businesses have a great time marketing themselves. A Ferrari sports car, for instance, markets itself to its discerning consumers comprising rich people and autophiles. So does an iPhone to all Apple loyalists. A great beach destination will always draw more than its fair share of tourists.
But what about other industries, the machine parts, toilet papers, ball bearings, and double-sided tapes of the world? As necessary as they are to our existence (even more necessary than sportscars, aerodynamic shoes, and cronuts), it’s hard to associate them with fun, coolness, and entertainment.
Is there a way to turn this around? Can a “dull” brand, in fact, become a “cool” brand? We believe so, with the help of these 5 easy ideas. Dig deeper, go beyond the business aspect of the brand, find what truly makes your company special, and share it with your audience.
1. Tell a good story
The most exciting stories will never be about the features and specs of your product. Nor will they be about how much revenue you earned or how many awards you won in a particular year. People can learn about those things from your website.
When you’re trying to build connections, think of your brand as a person who is trying to fit in with a new crowd. Talk about things that make you unique and what others can relate to. It could be the people, the culture, the resident pet.
Reflect on the backstory of the company or its founders. Was there a Eureka moment behind the idea? Or was it something personal and emotional? Anyone can go on your website and read about what your company can do. But a heartfelt story is what will strike the right chord with your audience.
Remember the paper company ad from The Office? Which version do you like more? We love Michael Scott’s “Limitless paper in a paperless world” version for all its eccentricity.
2. Build a brand personality
There’s no harm in separating your brand from your product. In fact, the more uninspiring your product or service, the more reason to create an alternative brand personality. Think of how you want your brand to be perceived—helpful and caring, yes; reliable, definitely. But, how about fun, sassy, witty, maybe even bold and outrageous? Social media, in fact, is a great place to unleash your true self. You can be whatever you want to be, regardless of who you really are.
When Groupon decided to sell the Banana Bunker plastic cases online, they knew what they were setting themselves up for. As expected, the comments section was soon flooded with innuendo-ridden questions. Groupon, however, saw this as a “ripe” opportunity to show some sass by replying to almost every comment in a very matter-of-fact way.
How do you know what’s a good personality fit for your brand?
- Start by making a list of all the words you want your brand to be associated with.
- Analyze your audience to see which traits they respond to the most by observing their social media behavior.
- Find any overlaps? Strive to instill those traits in your content, voice, and design.
3. Get a good domain name
A super cool website with well-crafted, engaging content, sleek design, and stunning visuals is vital for capturing the attention of potential customers. The better their website user journey, the more likely they are to want to do business with you. But there is another thing that people will see even before they land on your website, one that plays a pivotal role in creating a great first impression.
A unique, communicative and memorable domain name has several branding benefits:
- It shows that you are a forward-thinking, tech-savvy brand, a must-have trait for any business in this digital-first world.
- A domain name that matches or is similar to your brand name helps build brand recognition and establishes branding consistency, something every new business must strive for. For instance, when a company has the same words in its name, domain name, and social media handles, it helps build a unified brand identity.
- A keyword-rich domain name helps businesses establish their niche and industry, giving people a fair idea of what they can expect from the company. Several companies have been using new domain extensions to highlight their focus, such as www.aurora.tech, www.freedom.press, www.placesfor.fun, and www.dudeperfect.store.
- A short, sweet and simple domain name is easier to remember and type, making it more memorable. The ideal length for a domain name is no more than 18 characters. For instance, www.magazine.store, www.directpay.online, www.allwork.space
4. Post entertaining content
Some industries are made for great content, such as automobile manufacturers, fashion, food, and media. But great ideas aren’t the domain of sexy brands alone. Every once in a while, an underdog brand or business surprises us with their thoroughly entertaining, out-of-the-box content, making us their loyal followers simply because of that.
For instance, check out these tweets from Mumbai Police’s Twitter account. The police department of one of the world’s most populous cities will have few reasons to be cheerful about, but their witty, punny and often savage social media content paints quite a different picture, one that the city’s residents have come to adore.
When your content can amaze people or make them laugh while also highlighting the best of your business and its products, you’ve hit the content marketing sweet spot. Just like Blendtec did with its website and YouTube channel called Will It Blend. A blender by itself is just a boring blender. But Tom Dickinson, founder of the company, gave the product its own fascinating personality by showcasing how it blended everything from the latest iPhone to Doritos to the vuvuzela. Not only did it make for great content, but people also learned how effective Blendtec blenders can be.
5. Take the audience behind the scenes
Have a work culture and a team that you’re proud to be part of? Then it’s definitely worth sharing with the world and earning some brownie points. Showing your audience the people behind the company humanizes your brand, making it more relatable and inspiring greater emotions.
For instance, on your website, you could have bios of team members that not only talk about their professional credentials but also showcase aspects of their personal lives, such as their family, pets, passions, and interesting anecdotes (like a great travel story). Media houses often do this by following up articles with writer bios. When you read something you like and you find the writer intriguing, you might get interested in reading more of their work.
You can even create social media posts about fun activities that go on at the workplace, such as game nights, casual Fridays, off-sites, even a new foosball table or a state-of-the-art coffee machine that you just got, or how you replaced all the regular chairs with exercise ball chairs. It shows the audience how rewarding it is to be part of an organization and just builds more brand love.
Your products are the core of your business, but it is your brand’s personality that makes you lovable. Focus on what you love about your work, think of how you can leave a lasting impact on your audience’s mind and heart, and how you can package your messaging in a more creative way. Most importantly, don’t feel scared to experiment and always be yourself!
Alisha is a Senior Content Marketing & Communication Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .ONLINE and .TECH. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.