What are your first thoughts when you hear of companies like Apple, Amazon and Chipotle or people like Oprah, Daymond John, Martha Stewart, and Donald Trump? Each of these brands and people evoke a certain emotion or are tied to specific personality traits and reputation. In business and careers, every entrepreneur and successful professional understands and can recognize the importance of personal branding for success and revenue. Why? Simple, because the audience and opportunities feeds off of credibility and social proof. A personal brand helps to communicate what you deliver and what people can expect from you. It helps you build a relationship with them so that they trust you enough to spend their money with you or on you as a service provider or employee. Regardless of your goals, industry or interests, personal relationships make the world go round. The question is, what makes people and brands more loveable than others? What attracts and connects people, allowing them to build instant rapport? The answers are below.
The strongest brands have a story
Brand stories are narratives about you, what you believe in and represent. They are compelling and truthful, answering the questions “Why I am here? Why am I doing this?” Everyone loves a “started from the bottom and now we here” story (thanks Drake), outlining experiences that they can relate to, but unfortunately, everyone isn't as skilled at communicating that. Time and time again, bonds are built through shared experiences, conversations and interactions that allows others to learn more about one another. What is your story? Have you thought about how you have gotten to this point in your life and the experience that have shaped you along the way? As long as your story is unique and piques the interest of your audience you’ve won half the battle. Your brand story should share things that people care about and want to be a part of.
Bridging the Gap
It’s not only vital your audience has a story to read and listen to, but that they genuinely connect with and like you. Emmelie De La Cruz, Founder of The Branding Muse, constantly says "People do business with people they like." This statement couldn't be more accurate. In order to connect to a brand, you have to feel that what they are saying and portraying relates to you and your life. The best brands make you feel like you are part of their mission and movement and speak to something intrinsically meaningful to you. Create a story your target audience can relate to emotionally, while you and your brand grows and develops over time. Just like with any friendship, loyalty comes from knowing the genuineness (Yes, that's a word. We were surprised too.) of a person and relating to them on a deeper level. The same goes for your brand.
Building a brand isn't easy and success doesn't come overnight. Your journey is your brand story, you just have to be able to map it out in a way that others understand. Your audience wants to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly because it humanizes you and makes you relatable, which in turn is the key component to a lovable brand. All brands are not the same and all brands are not created equal. As Ian Rowden, Chief Marketing Officer at Virgin Group said, "The best brands are built on great stories."
About the Author Jennifer Haastrup is the Content Coordinator at The Branding Muse. Graduate of Stony Brook University she has a passion for public relations, social media, and entertainment. When she's not creating social media strategies, writing event recaps or keeping up with industry updates, you can find her reading a good book or planning her future BFF relationship with Beyonce. Say hello on Twitter: @_foreigngoods or connect on Linkedin.