Giving your brands personality – making them more like people – is nothing new. Companies do it all the time. Apple did it very literally with their Apple Guy vs PC Guy ads, Twitter with the little blue bird, and MTV made us their hip cool friend.
So why is giving brands a personality so important? The reason is simply that people can connect with other people. Logos are the faces of companies, they are what we come to recognize and form opinions about.
We started building Campayn.com 16 months ago, yet often new visitors to the site give us only a few seconds to decide whether they will invest a couple of minutes to learn more and perhaps register for a free account.
Templated sites can be a cost-effective way to launch a business or create a quick online presence, but it’s a huge turnoff for many people like designers and marketers. I should know – I made the mistake of using them in the past; I received some emails letting me know how cheesy using templates was, and they were right. Plus the over-use of icons makes everything look the same, and after awhile they lose their impact. You have to create something fresh just for someone to give it that extra few seconds of their attention.
There are a lot of email newsletter services out there, and we knew we needed to stand out. We wanted people to connect with us, and we decided to do it by bringing a series of illustrated characters to life, with ‘Ringo’ being our ringleader. It was a way of personifying our brand and trying to connect beyond the offered features and a freemium pricing model.
We got great results! One third of the comments and questions we get are about Ringo. Many people that I have shown the site to on my iPhone laugh and smile when talking about Ringo, as if he was a real person. He evokes real emotion, which is hard to do with fancy little feature icons.
Of course it takes much more than an illustrated character to give your brand personality and to connect with people. As with human relationships, it takes time for customers to get to know and trust the brand. It’s important to keep this in mind, and keep consistency with what you communicate, as your character works with your logo to give a face to it all. Your personalized brand is your ambassador, and as the face of your company, it does the initial work of “meeting” your customers before you do. It pays off to create a great one, and to use it wisely.