Monday, July 21, 2008

Social Media Creates Brand Personality

What first comes to mind when someone says Target or Best Buy? Probably that they are affordable, have a wide variety of goods and they have tons of stores all around. While these are good descriptions, there is something huge lacking. A personality.

SM Creates Your Personality

I cannot help my Psychology degree from impacting how I view certain things, but I think it is a missed opportunity for brands to lack a personality. A real and true personality. Some brands argue that they already have one, but a personality results from close interaction with others that takes place on a deeper level than having someone walk through your store doors. You do not need a Myers-Briggs test, but the use of social media. Social media creates these avenues (whether it is from blogs, pictures, videos...) that provides any brand the perfect chance to show consumers their personality. By creating an interaction with consumers, the brand becomes more than a store or a service. Through conversation or sharing pictures, your brand will develop a personality that your consumers will identify. How great would it be for a brand to be thought of as interesting, caring and hilarious. Social media is the answer.

How to Create a Brand Personality

This is important, it is very difficult to create your brand personality if it is different from what your company stands for. For instance WalMart would have a hard time showing they really care about small local businesses by taking pictures of them smiling and shaking hands. Your brand has to honest, like your parents said "just be yourself". It's true, but it takes time. The most important part of this process is being consistent. It does not take time for your consumers to figure out what you are trying to do, but it takes time for them to believe it. Being steady in your dialogue will make this happen. Soon you will create a bond with your consumers that will likely lead to lifetime loyalty to your brand, and that is what every brand wants. So get out there and turn you consumers into believers.


jay eano said...

The brands you reference are far too large to adopt a single personality to represent the company/organization holistically.

However, the people who use that brand to give themselves identity could be a conduit to the general populus and the personalities that will then identify with them.

Even then, a company like Walmart is beyond the tools of adopting a vast social media persona. It aims to be everything to everyone and therefore runs a very risky nothing to no one if it tries to represent that through social media.

Social media caters best to niche brands, with clearly identifiable communities with whom individuals can identify with and relate better. The Burton's, Nintendo's, Sobey's, NHL's, brands inherently attached to community.

Walmart has little to no need for social media practice, unless its taking a piece of itself and working with potential community relations intimately (environment for instance).

You may have something with Best Buy, but you would have to decide what Future Shop isn't and if Best Buy would like to be that to its potential community.

Andy Dunbar said...

Great comment. It is very difficult for larger brands to implement a social media campaign that shows their personality. Early signs point to just what you are saying. I still think that a larger company would need more than just one SM specialist to help them, perhaps a team.
I think it is still plausible to think these companies can do this with the help of the right people.

jayeano said...

i completely agree, and with these large brands the SM team may be better to look at ways to pedestal actual community participants rather than produce content and conversation inside-out.

I would rather see Joe Anyone who is 50 and loves his camper tell me why the Ipod works best for him, then have an SM team produce content that tries to sing Golden Oldies to create a personality.

Andy Dunbar said...

That's true. The content from consumers is the key content needed for the success of any social media strategy.

Rohit said...


Thanks for this great post. I talk about this exact idea in my new book Personality Not Included ... you'll probably enjoy it in case you haven't seen it already. Also, thanks for mentioning our Lenovo campaign in your recent post. I'm posting a comment there as well.


Hemant said...

Even then, a company like Walmart is beyond the tools of adopting a vast social media persona. It aims to be everything to everyone and therefore runs a very risky nothing to no one if it tries to represent that through social media.