Your Brand Personality Doesn't Matter (And Other Myths Small Business Owners Should Ignore)
Imagine the last time you browsed a website that was awesome — like, really awesome. What was it that made it awesome? Among all of the websites you see on a daily basis, why did that particular website catch your eye?
You might think it was the website’s design, or maybe how easy it was to navigate. Perhaps it was really great web copy that got your attention.
Of course at the time, you probably didn’t consider what exactly made that website so awesome. You just… knew. Only in retrospect are you probably considering the individual elements that made it great.
Websites don’t magically become awesome because of one or two well-executed elements. After all, other websites you’ve browsed probably also had great design or great copy — but they didn’t stand out quite the same way.
Here’s the thing: great websites don’t just have great design, or great navigation, or great copy… they have all of those things. They stand out because every element that goes into them works together to enhance everything else.
This doesn’t happen on accident. The time and effort that goes into crafting an effective website starts way before writing a single line of code or designing a page. Really effective websites are guided by a single, cohesive purpose — it's this holistic hole-in-one that your brain subconsciously picks up on. Simply put, a great website is just a product of a great communication strategy — and that starts with brand personality.
Your brand’s personality — yeah, it matters (a lot).
Before anyone had a website, small businesses could rely on two things to earn the trust and loyalty of new clients: the look and feel of their brick-and-mortar locations (if they had them), and the personalities of the people who worked there. It took little more than a phone call or a visit to get a sense of what company was all about.
But here’s the kicker: both things had to be solid in order to win new business reliably. If you had a beautiful store but unfriendly or unhelpful employees, business would suffer. If your employees were great but your store looked like the inside of a college dorm room… well, you get the point.
Fast forward to today, when small businesses rely more and more on the internet to fuel their business (or, for many, rely entirely on it). Fewer prospective clients’ first impressions are informed by a phone call or a store visit, and more often influenced by a company’s website.
Yet for many SMEs, their website is little more than a repository of bland information and data. Customers struggle to get a sense of what a company is all about, simply because there’s not a whole lot to give an impression.
Plenty of marketing agencies are quick to tout the importance of SEO and social media — but forget the other critical elements that engage, influence and ultimately win over prospects that land on a company’s website. It’s a little bit like spending your time creating signs and flyers to attract customers to a store with peeling paint and a single flickering light bulb.
As impatient as modern consumers are, they still want to do business with people and companies that they like. Unlike the robots that run the internet (or, more specifically, Google search), humans are not able to seamlessly compare every element of a purchase. They rely on subconscious queues and preferences — like whether or not a company sounds friendly and interesting verses boring and run-of-the-mill.
We already know that consumers will pay much more for better customer service and experience — and for SMEs, the very best place to demonstrate a commitment to both is on your website. What better way to make a first impression?
Investing in your brand personality = investing in your customers.
When it comes to success on the web, elements like SEO and social media marketing do matter — but they’re not the end-all-be-all. One of the easiest ways SMEs can truly stand out among the competition is by crafting a brand story that sticks with customers even after they leave their website. It's that story that tells a customer whether or not they like you... which, no matter what sub-par marketing agencies will tell you, matters a lot.
But for business owners, that’s a tall order: not only is crafting your brand’s personality through web content time-consuming, but it’s hard to do well if you’re intimately involved in the day-to-day of running a business. A fresh, unbiased perspective (from someone who has a knack for storytelling) is often the difference between a “just okay” web presence and a great one.
So what are business owners to do? When it comes to finding the right person to help you craft your brand's story, don't rush it. A trustworthy brand strategist or content professional will understand the time and effort that goes into this type of project. Look out for freelancers or agencies that try to offer a quick band-aid solution.
Wait instead for the contractor that asks questions, considers things beyond the obvious and doesn't rush to prescriptions. Simply put, trust your gut. After all, your customers are already doing it, too!
If you need help crafting your small or medium business's brand story, you've come to the right place.
Find out how Candidly Consulting can develop a story that stands out with a free consultation by phone!