A Rubbish Brand Name Can Completely Screw Up Your Tech Business

Naming your tech company or product is a huge deal and the difference between a bad brand name and a good brand name can make or break a company. Don’t believe me? Let’s get to it!

Your brand name is one of the first things people see or hear before they know what it is you do or offer so you can imagine first-impressions here are vital. It’s crucial that you get a brand name right early on and that you take some time to do it well after all, your brand name is a tech company’s most valuable asset (Nielsen)

Having a poor brand name can also mean you’ll lose traction in the market as you’ll be forgetful and uninspiring. Developing a name for your product with a care and attention is the only way to prevent this. 

What You’ll Learn

  • First we’ll look into the things that make a bad name. These are things that plague the industry and the approach to developing a name. They are things to avoid which can lead to the tell-tale signs of poor planning and negligence to the importance of a decent brand name. 
  • Next, once we’ve looked at the foundations on which you shouldn’t base your name on we’ll look at things to avoid when deciding on a name.
  • Then we’ll look into what considerations you should have with renaming if that is or ever becomes an option. 
  • We also take a look at one big consideration that may completely change your tech product or service!..
  • You’ll also learn the secret to getting the perfect .com domain for your brand!
  • We’ll dive how you too can actually create your own tech brand name name using the methodology we follow here at Jupiter and the Giraffe.
  • Finally I’ll leave you with some final thoughts on your next steps to building a tech brand. 

Benefits to a Strong Brand Name

  • Brand recognition – Having a name that sticks is a great way to be top-of-mind in the consumer (and stay there). 
  • Customer loyalty – We’ll get into the values but when your name expresses your values this encourages the right kind of customer who will remain loyal increasing their average lifetime value. 
  • Competitive edge in the market – Another benefit to a sticky name is standing out in the market above all the hugely generic names. 
  • Enhanced credibility – Having a well-thought-out name enhances credibility and looks profession. Consumers sense when a name has taken a serious amount of time to develop.
  • Ease of purchase – All of the above culminates in an ease of purchase as it develops trust and familiarity. 
Do not enter sign

4 Things To Avoid When Developing a Brand Name

One Dimensional

To create a great name you must understand your brand. To understand your brand is to not only understand your customers but you must begin to understand yourself and what you stand for. A name simply rooted what you do can be helpful (more on that later) but it doesn’t contain any hidden treasure for a perceiver to unravel and understand about you. 

Think about your values as a business and what you stand for. Think about the emotions you give your customer of the benefit they got from your tech product or service. Not having depth behind a name results in a lack-lustre experience with the brand and not a memorable one.

Disengaged

Like we spoke about earlier, your company needs to understand its users. If you have a brand name that doesn’t take into account its users it wont resonate. There will be a missed opportunity to engage your audience by your name by simply understanding your customers and what they respond to. 

Think about how they speak or act. Think about how they engage with your product.

Unstimulating

Having a name that stimulates emotion and imagery is another way to excite and engage your customers. Think of Apple, the ideas that conjures up when you think about what Apple does. The tree of knowledge, Isaac Newton. It’s a visually stimulating brand name.

What’s the story behind your business? How did it come to be?

Non-conceptual

Having a name that doesn’t revolve around a theme or concept doesn’t give it the ability to extend any further than simply what you do. The name Jupiter and the Giraffe gives us a vast back-story and allows us to explore many different ideas of space, travel, science… the list goes on.

If you don’t avoid the above points your brand name won’t move people. It won’t inspire or invoke any kind of emotional response and that would be a shame, wouldn’t it? You’ll be missing out on huge brand awareness and you’ll fail to relate to your target market.

Even if you avoid these things and your brand name somehow has depth and meaning, there are still ways to fluff it up so let’s discuss that.

Broken window

Things That Can Break a Brand Name

Even with a great tech product and a terrible brand name you’ll be received well in the beginning but the success will only last so long. You could compare it to a one-hit-wonder. All the hype around something new and fresh but lacks any sort of depth and longevity and your future efforts will go completely unnoticed. Don’t be another “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell.

If you have a name, take a look at these next steps and see if you fall victim to them.

Looks Like a Typo

Yes, the letter X or Z rock but Xerox are about the only company to ever pull off a complicated name. “Svpply” get my vote on the most awful name (although they did get bought out by eBay so I guess they’re the ones laughing now).

Imagine working for this company and telling people your email address…

YOU: It’s SUPPLY spelt with a ‘V’

Customer: ‘P’?

YOU: V! VICTOR. S-V-P-P-L-Y (.com)

Customer: Well that’s a stupid name

Samuel Gregory: I KNOW!

Try not to be too clever with your name. It over-complicates things unnecessarily for the customer and pretty much everyone else.

Following the Trend

I want to strangle the person who first came up with “ify” on the end of a name. Is it supposed to be making the brand name into a verb? If it’s a strong enough brand it will become the verb (Selotape, Hoover, Post-it).

How many tech brands follow suite from Shopify or Spotify. It’s not fun and it’s not clever. Stop it.

Lowercase ‘i’ is another copycat name following a dead trend. Again, who is going to be fooled into thinking your rubbish clock radio is an Apple product because you’ve stuck the letter ‘i’ before your name? AND you’ve painted it white! Please…

Ignore what is popular because in time you will look dated. Focus on yourself and be practical. 

Limits Growth

Again, saying exactly what you do is not only boring but as a business, it limits the potential for you to brand to branch out into different areas. If you stick the name of your town in your brand name or the actual thing you produce this means you’ll only ever be known for that one thing. I guess an upside is SEO but it really depends where your priorities lie. Being a memorable brand that’s making a difference or number one in google and just a convenience to those searching for something you offer?

Too Descriptive

Carrying on from before, having a descriptive brand name is great for SEO and clear to the user but its lifeless. Another thing I see which in my personal taste is lazy is mushing two words together. This can be done very cleverly or it can be very lazily. 

My quick tip on this one is that if you do this, make sure the words you use are elegant and articulate. Make sure they have meaning and depth and try to avoid trying to hard. It should be easy to pronounce and read. These, to me, are when made up names or portmanteaus work best.

Curse of Knowledge

This one gets my sympathy. Curse of knowledge in itself is a hard one to spot and an even tougher one to balance. You’re trying to come up with a brand name that resonates but you don’t want to alienate new users by having a brand name that only select people can understand.

There’s only one way around this one and that’s testing. Ask coworkers, ask friends, ask strangers. Get a feel if your brand name is suffering from the curse of knowledge.

Impossible To Say

Maybe “Impossible” is too harsh word to say but I think I want to get across the point that it should say like it reads. Did you know there are people in this world that pronounce it “Ah-Dobe”? 

Once again, ask around. Find out if people are pronouncing it like you think it should be pronounced.

Renaming Your Tech

If you’re already an established brand or have an established product and you’ve now got a sinking feeling in your stomach that you’ve made a big mistake, fear not. It’s actually not that uncommon for tech brands to rename themselves (either they legally had to or did it through choice).

Did you know that Google started out as a search engine called “Backrub”? PayPal was called “Confinity” and Nintendo “Marufuku”?

Don’t be afraid to change your brand name. Legally you may still be registered as your previous name (if that’s a legal nightmare to overcome) but you can operate under any name you choose as long as it isn’t taken.

The Convenience Factor

In the same Nielsen study they uncovered an interesting fact.

“More than one-fifth of global respondents (22%) say they purchased a new product because it was convenient, and slightly fewer (19%) say they purchased it because it made their life easier.”

Nielsen

When we think about this in context of your brand name It’s important to make understanding your brand easier and enjoyable. Causing the customer extended cerebral stress just by simply presenting them with a name that’s difficult to pronounce or is highly irrelevant to what you do is not good. I call these micro-stresses that, individually, don’t do much but collectively they create mental strain. 

You can alleviate this by at least making the process and discovering of understanding your brand fun. Giving the name depth and meaning that is a joy to discover.

Hands, typing on a laptop keyboard

Coming Up With a Brand Name

Now that you’re common experts on what makes a good brand name, let’s take a look at how you can begin to develop your own name. This is the process we run a Jupiter and the Giraffe where we successfully brand and name tech companies.

Write Down Brand-Related Words

You can do this in a group or you can run this bad boy solo. It really depends on your preference (or practicalities).

Pick out up to 12 keywords that reflect your company, what you do or what you make and most importantly, your values. This is a common practice when you’re establishing a brand as they can bring to light what you stand for as a company but that’s for another post.

Become Detective (Wombat) Holmes

A great tool we use is MindNode for this exercise. Create nodes of all of your words and then using anything you can get your hands on (thesaurus, dictionary, Google, Pinterest), simply start digging. Digging like a little wombat, burrowing for clues to a crime. One at a time, type in your word and look for associated words and add that node connecting to its parent word. Keep doing this until you’ve exhausted your self. Write down words you don’t understand and also write down words you feel could go somewhere. Do not write down words that you do not like. They are useless.

Use imagery too. Google image search your words and see what comes up. This may be the best way to start your mind wondering on a tangent, loosely tied to the original word. Let it wonder, this is good. Create nodes on words you find and just keep digging.

Try not to put too much thought into this process. Just write down anything and everything you find.

Pick Your Faves

Unfortunately, if you’re not creative, this is where it starts to get a bit tough but stick with it. You’ll need to think a little abstractly and a little less laterally. Lateral-thinking is fine but try to let go a bit. I personally hang on to my lateral thinking as I like names that are both clever but also simple. I want a name to scream “OMG why wasn’t it this obvious from the beginning”.

Now that you have what is hopefully a huge list of words, some should start to jump out. Start to pick out some of your favourites and try to think creatively about how they could be used while still staying true to the above “rules”.

Add modifiers

Most of your words are probably taken both legally and in a domain name capacity. Adding modifiers can help bring a bit of relevance to your tech company. It could be “Traversal Starships” (assuming Traversal has been taken). It gives you the ability to use that word you really like as well as be unique and be slightly more descriptive about what your company does.

You could also combine words, although you probably thought about doing that already. Now, at least, you have a list of well-thought-out words to take your pick from instead of joining the two most obvious ones together. Truncate a word but, of course, make sure it’s not annoying and it’s pronounceable!

A lot of our clients get caught up on getting the .com for their chosen name. I think with the rise of domain name extensions, you can have some fun. Also “Get” is a popular prefix to your brand name as a domain name. This especially works well if it’s a product but take a look at some other verbs that might work but don’t get too hung up on this, It’s really not as big of a deal as you think.

Finishing Up

There’s not really much to it beyond this point. A little creativity here and some exploration there. The bulk of the work is done via your keyword researching. This serves as the foundation to your brand name and using these it’s a case of exploration and trying to join the dots.

Once you have some finalists, I would strongly suggest putting them against your competitors. How do they stand out? Do they compete with the giants? This tiny exercise really puts context to your efforts and should get your juices flowing seeing your name in amongst some of the biggest names in tech! If your name looks a bit flaccid here, it probably is, so maybe go with another.

However you choose to create your name, I think the point of this article is to in a way force you to just sit down and give your brand name some serious thought. It really is a valuable asset and key to start to build a brand.

Let’s not get too excited. In this article, we’ve explored the do’s and dont’s of naming your company or product. We’ve even looked at how you too can create an incredibly insightful, in-depth and, most importantly, relevant brand name but this is just the beginning. You have your brand and you have your values. You have a name that resembles this and you understand your customers. Building a brand starts with a good name but there’s much more to a brand than just a name.

Building a reputable brand is a journey that is beyond the scope of this article but there’s a fantastic article that covers the misconceptions of how to build a build a brand

With all that said why not download our FREE ebook “How To Launch An Awesome Tech Brand” and carry on the journey!

I want to give credit to the awesome book “Hello, My Name is Awesome” as well in this post. This article takes many of the ideas from that book and distills it into a short read. If you’re looking for more info to create a great brand name, read that.

How To Design a Crazy-Good Tech Startup Pitch That Wows VC’s

We get it.

You’re a brand new tech startup, ready to take the world by storm; you’re convinced that your new and innovative product or service is going to change the world and inspire humanity. There’s just one little problem: funding.

  1. More Than Just a Presentation
  2. Define Venture Capital
  3. A Tech Startup Funding Deck
  4. How to Create a VC Pitch Deck
  5. What Should Your Pitch Deck Include
  6. Getting Your Tech Startup Funded
  7. The Basic Design Do’s and Don’ts
  8. Present a Brand as Well as an Idea
    1. Tell a Story
  9. Battle of the Brands
  10. What Does a “Good Design” Actually Mean?
  11. Summary

Whilst it seems counter-intuitive, there’s one thing that’s true to any business or startup. That is you need money in order to make money. Without the necessary funding it will be extremely difficult to market yourself, create mock-ups or test products, or even get your first sale through the door. This is why it’s endlessly important to obtain some kind of financial assistance to help your brand.

If there’s one way to really pitch your tech startup successfully to larger businesses or investors, it’s via a well-designed VC funding deck.

More Than Just a Presentation

Stars, space and nebula

A clever design is absolutely crucial when it comes to marketing and selling your product or service; this applies to both your funding pitch as well as whatever it is that you sell. In fact, a smartly-designed funding deck might even be more important than the product itself!

Potential investors will not only be considering your business. There will be countless other brands asking for financial support and fighting to be seen, and investors will only ever see you as a product – something to make them more money.

So, how do you make sure that your startup gets seen amongst an ocean of similar tech services? Easy – a killer design.

We’ve all been there: choosing one product over another simply because it has a better design. or a more interesting “story to tell”. Half of our brain is devoted to processing visual information, and this simple implication can be something that YOU can utilize for your own personal advantage. Especially  if you have a clear goal that you’d like to achieve.

Let’s have a look at some sure-fire ways that you can design a great VC funding deck for your tech startup:

Venture Capital

Venture Capitalist Funding for Tech Startups

Before we can consider how to design a standout VC funding deck, it’s important to properly understand the terminology used. For example – what even is a funding deck? And what does VC even mean?

Let’s start with the latter question: VC stands for ‘venture capital’. A term that I’m sure you’re all at least somewhat familiar with. If not, you certainly will be by the end of this article!

Venture capital simply refers to financing provided to startup companies from investors that believe them to have long-term growth potential. You might have even heard certain investors referred to as ‘venture capitalists’.

It’s important to remember that VC is NOT just free money, and investors will need to believe that your company is likely to succeed as, at the end of the day, your brand or product is only an investment for them to earn more money in the long run. This is why it’s important to make sure that your pitch is well designed, as it can instil an additional layer of security or trust with a potential investor!

The term ‘capital’ implies that these investments must be in monetary form, but this is not always the case; VC can also be provided in the form of professional expertise.

Investopedia has a very eye-opening and in-depth article on the concept of venture capitalism.

Tech Startup Funding Deck

Now that we’ve got VC out of the way, we can move on to the more interesting stuff: funding decks.

A funding deck, often referred to as a pitch deck, is essentially just a presentation shown to potential investors that shows off what your business does, and why someone should provide the VC that you need to get your startup off the ground.

It’s important for your funding deck to not only showcase an outline of your product or service, but to convince investors that they NEED to buy into whatever you’re offering. You need to make sure that your funding deck definitively shows off how and why your startup is going to make the investor more money, and why it will become a sustainable long term growth project.

The smarter you are with the design of your pitch deck, the more successful you are likely to be, and it could be the deciding factor in the success of your startup!

How to Create a VC Pitch Deck

Creating a tech startup pitch deck

On to the most important part: how to actually create a VC pitch deck. Whilst the design is integral to your success, you need to learn to walk before you can run!

At its core, a pitch deck is just a presentation that outlines what your product is, and how it will help your target demographic. You should put it together with the intention of selling your idea, with a major focus on how you intend to grow.

There are plenty of services that will help you put your pitch presentation together; from PowerPoint to Prezi. There is no industry standard software, though you do need to make sure that your presentation is compatible with the systems used by your potential venture capitalist.

The most effective pitch presentations are clear, concise and simple. It is essential that they are easy to read, follow and understand whilst gripping the audience’s attention and encouraging their interest. As covered by Forbes, the three keys to powerful pitch decks are:

  • It must be clear and Simple
  • Easy to Act on
  • Compelling

Research has shown that most funding decks are 19 slides or less, so you should always aim to work within this limit.

What Should Your Pitch Deck Include?

Tech startup writing funding deck checklist

In order to win over the support from your investor, your pitch deck must outline a specific problem, and how your startup is going to solve it.

Ask yourself (and answer!):

  • Who is this startup for?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • How does it solve the problem?
  • Why is it better than the other startups?
  • Why is it going to be successful?

It is extremely important to make sure the ’problem’ is relatable enough to generate a large need in an unsaturated market, and that it isn’t too niche that you’re unlikely to sell many units. To put it simply: find a gap in your chosen market and fill it!

An investor is much more likely to show an interest in what you have to offer if they can relate to the problem it solves, or if it shows a promising potential for growth. As for the solution, you need to demonstrate why funding is going to benefit you and how it will impact your growth. For example, you know that your product is going to work anyway – why does your tech startup need funding? How will funding increase your output? This is called scalability, and a successful pitch will perfectly represent the scalability of your startup. More money = more output = more money.

Let’s have a look at some essential do’s and don’ts of creating a massively successful funding deck:

Do:

  • Be clear and concise
  • Directly define the problem and how you will solve it
  • Know your audience and target market
  • Have a clear business plan and direction
  • Demonstrate scalability
  • Show metrics to show the success of your product
  • Share testimonials
  • Show the current growth rate of your startup
  • Be original in both execution and direction
  • Recognise your competition and determine why you’re a better solution
  • Use visuals, such as diagrams
  • Showcase your financial and personal business goals

Don’t:

  • Be cocky
  • Assume your success
  • Count your chickens before they’ve hatched
  • Make blanket statements
  • Assume that you’re the ‘first’
  • Ask for a specific amount (instead, provide a range – it will give you more opportunity!)

Finally, let’s have a look at some slide ideas to get this ball rolling:

  • The Problem
  • The Solution
  • Your Product
  • The Market
  • Growth So Far
  • Growth Plans
  • Your Team – (who’s who and why have you chosen them?)
  • The Competition
  • What Resources Do You Need?

Obviously, these are only suggestions and it’s important to make sure that you are as original as possible!

Getting Your Tech Startup Funded

Rocket ship launching

Now that we’ve touched on how your brain can use visual cues to impact purchases, we want to point out the importance of this “visual aid” on a bigger scale: in particular, when talking about tech startups.

Succeeding in the tech world is anything but an easy task. Instead, it is more like a road paved with challenges and the most important one is winning a startup pitch deck and getting that all-important funding.

Pitching your idea in a visually appealing and organized manner to potential venture capitalists opens more opportunities for you to earn the essential funds needed in order to accelerate your tech startup’s growth. If you think pitch deck is a simple PowerPoint/Keynote/Prezi presentation with twenty slides and a plain theme you are wrong in so many ways.

A well-designed pitch deck will allow you to get the attention of investors and tempt them to take action. The problem is understanding what makes a good design, and what will catch the attention of those all-important investors that you’re so eager to impress?

Well – we’ve provided the tools you need to understand how to not only build the perfect pitch deck, but how to make sure the design is impeccable too.

The Basic Design Do’s and Don’ts

As we’ve mentioned above, the content placed throughout your tech startups funding deck should be easy to understand, create trust, and show growth traction, or the potential to be profitable in the long run.

In terms of design, the pitch deck should get your message across in a creative, conceptual, and most importantly, memorable way. In translation, this means that one glance at a single slide should be enough to grasp the idea behind it.

Another important feature of any successful pitch is to showcase no more than one idea per slide. One headline, one additional sentence to complement your headline, and one image or diagram per slide – otherwise, you could run the risk of your pitch becoming muddled and difficult to follow.

As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t rely on words to get your point across and should aim for an average of around 20 words per slide. You don’t want your audience reading: instead, you want them to listen to you, distractionfree. The design of each slide should be just a visual aid to what you say, providing helpful diagrams or product research.

Focus on a simple yet striking layout and sentences written with a large, easy to read font, a limited number of bullet-points, and picture-rich presentation delivered in approximately 10 to 19 slides.

Present a Brand as Well as an Idea

Hand holding a lightbulb

Above, you’ll find the ‘essentials’ of a quality pitch deck – now let’s have a look at some of the more profound design elements that reflect your tech startup’s brand, ideals and vision.

If you haven’t yet developed your brand then we suggest downloading our FREE ebook “How To Launch An Awesome Tech Brand”. Here we give you the tools to create your own future-thinking tech brand that stands out.

Instead of presenting a simple idea and a must-have revolutionizing tech product or service, you should also focus on presenting the personality of the business, the people involved, and your vision as a founder. This will demonstrate that you value not only design and creativity but integrity and pride too; this is a great way to prove to your audience that you care about your startup, business and user base and are fighting for a cause. Your cause is the clincher here and will be a sure-fire way to touch your audience (and subsequently your customers) on a deep and meaningful level.

Tell a Story

Enchanted brand story

Designing a pitch deck which will stand from the legions of other companies aiming to be just as successful includes creating an engaging story about how it all started, and where your passion comes from.

Tell an exciting origin story of your tech startup and play to both logic and emotion, because investors will take the two of them into equal consideration before making any decisions. Define why your product is the right answer as well as the only logical solution, and make sure that you provide concrete evidence to any statement you make whilst displaying well researched statistics that showcase exactly how your product will help.

Logic plays an important role in any funding deck, though you should aim to include emotional content that will play to the audience’s heart. For example, you can use your business’ story to ‘tug on the heartstrings’ of potential investors, and really make them want to see you succeed. You essentially want to replicate the positive effects of a good sob story on a certain talent show!

Demonstrate what the company means to you and why you feel that it’s important to succeed, alongside any hard evidence of potential growth and the impact your tech will have on the world to make the most from both a logical and emotional standpoint.

Battle of the Brands

Proper branding is not only having a name, logo and an advertising campaign; it’s all about having a personality, core values, and a style. Branding is also about creating a stable emotional connection and securing loyalty between your startup and your potential customers, and about narrowing down your audience to a specific target demographic.

It’s imperative that every business should know EXACTLY who their target audience is, as it allows them to refine both their product and servicep to maximise the potential growth of your startup. You should demonstrate research into this throughout your pitch: who is your demographic, how will you cater directly to them (including marketing) and why will they choose your brand over others.

In fact, that’s a question you can ask yourself right now! Why do you prefer one brand over another very similar one. Alternatively, what makes one more successful for the other?

Read our article on why branding is essential for your tech startup for more info.

What Does a “Good Design” Actually Mean?

Besides telling your story when talking about branding, you should also focus on maintaining a high quality and attractive design that highlights the appeal of your brand.

A good, high impact design is all about spreading your message and expressing the desired outcome through visual communication. Pin-point and articulate the problem you are dedicated to solving. Do it in a unique, creative way with related images and easy-to-understand metrics.

You should utilise a simple layout. Show only the most important information in a clear and easy to read manner. Don’t let your slides become messy or difficult to understand. Make sure the colour scheme you use complements both the content and theme of your presentation.

In order to truly reach out to and inspire potential investors to buy into your product, think about visualizing emotions. Photography and illustrations, when used correctly and appropriately, can be incredibly powerful.

Visual examples can provide an insight into your cause, or could trigger an emotional response that could lead to empathy.

So they say: a picture is worth a thousand words!

To Summarise

You might be feeling overwhelmed or anxious about designing your tech startup’s pitch deck. It can be a hugely imposing, stressful and challenging task.

The good news is that no matter how lost you feel, you’re not alone! Think about it: Netflix, Spotify, Dropbox, even Google used to be a new tech startup looking to secure funding. They all had an incredible idea that they were able to effectively pitch as a world-changing idea.Now some of the most renowned companies in the entire world.

Focus on your business goals. Show investors that you have a clear and concise idea which will turn into an exceptional reliable brand and keep on earning money. Keep it short, simple, and honest; really try to persuade your future investors that your idea will shape the new digital landscape.

Whatever happens, as long as you have a great idea and you really believe in yourself, you’ll find success. It won’t be easy, but it will be immensely rewarding!

What are you waiting for? Get out there and secure some funding!

The Death of Branding and the advent of the Personal Brand – by a Branding Agency

Yes, it’s true. Branding has been in ill-health for a while and now we have finally seen it’s demise. You probably thought that this was some sort of click-bait title but I truly think we are coming to an end to corporate branding. Here’s why.

With the introduction of Instagram, we’ve seen an influx of “influencers”. The entrepreneurs of the 21st century otherwise known as “solopreneurs“. These individuals have remarkable power to engage, entertain and ultimately influence the behaviours of hundreds of thousands of people with a single post and zero budget. More specifically, they influence the buying behaviours of those hundreds of thousands of people. It’s marketing in its finest form, something we could have only dreamed of 15 years ago but how do they achieve this? Personal branding.

Personal branding is something we’ve only really recognised in the last five years or so although (if that) although, It’s existed for many more. Take for example your favourite band when you were young. Didn’t you find yourself wanting the same clothes as them? The same hairstyle? Didn’t you find yourself wanting the same PERSONALITY as them?! This may have largely had to do with the music they were producing but It was also the narrow view of their personalites that were presented to you on MTV. They are, of course, very complex individuals but the behaviours they were best known for were always captured and this, unbeknown to them, led to their own personal brand being developed and scripted by their observers and people struck a chord with that… Pun not intended.

Fast forward to now and the same idea that a person can convince you to buy the same things they buy, wear the same things they wear and do the same things they do has been stripped away from any sort of talent and laid bare on social media leaving essentially just a personality. The impact of this has naturally made its way to the mainstream who are trying to harness the secrets of the power that it possesses.

I’m not really sure this was intentional though. I think these people did what they loved. They reviewed technology, they travelled the world, they gave an insight into their lives. It was the platforms that glamorised this stuff and made it feel somewhat special or unique. I think this stuff as always happened. It was just never possible to broadcast it so freely and easily. Granted, the first of these sorts of channels were early adopters of the technology and probably didn’t see it coming but after the impact took wind, we couldn’t help but dissect the formula of why it was so powerful.

Branding is the ability to enter the hearts and minds of a consumer. This results in price-insensitivity and a faith that is only seen in religion and cults. It’s only fair to compare this when individuals behave in the same way when it comes to the Instagram accounts of individuals and because this brand-like behaviour is seen to revolve around just a person, personal branding is born.

Interestingly, the techniques are exactly the same to establish and present a personal brand as it is to establish a corporate brand. The first being positioning. You need to occupy a space in the market where no-one else can. There are many ways to do this but you need to your own twist on things. Let’s take tech reviews as an example. There are many many tech reviewers in existence but what do you bring that’s different. Is it the manner in which you present it? Is it the particular things you focus on? The good thing is that whatever you think is different is actually pretty common, it’s just that you need to make sure no-one in the marketplace is doing that same thing in the way you do it. You need to apply that same concept to your ‘personality’. It’s important to remember though, this isn’t your whole personality, it’s just a narrow sub-set that you promote.

Once you’ve positioned yourself, you then need a set of values that you can express. Again, you are a very complex individual but it’s the values that you keep consistent in your output that is going to further position you in a unique field but also and build that brand awareness, that loyalty through consistency. As long as what you produce aligns with these values, you dig deeper into the hearts and minds of those that stumble across your output.

These are the same excercises we run in our brand strategy workshops. You can read about many ways you can build a brand but when it’s when you combine this with your product or service is when this becomes financially rewarding.

I know what you will think, “but I don’t want to be a social influencer!”. Maybe you don’t, but it’s these concepts and ideas we can harness and apply to our selves that will make the difference. We’ve started to realise, people don’t buy what you do, they buy other people so if you can build a personality that is consistent and accessible, then those followers will inevitably buy whatever you are making money from (hopefully your product or service). They also build trust in you and what you do, so as with any brand, it’s the long-term effects that see ROI. When was the last time you made a sale over the telephone? It’s much more effective to make a sale face-to-face and if they already have access to your personality you’re already lowering buyer resistance and they already feel like they know you.

In summary, I think we need to focus on producing content for our business less and produce content on ourselves more. Give people a subset of your personality that’s relevant to your product or service using the platforms available and do it in a way where you are providing value to them. Present it on the platform that your customer is most likely to be on (another aspect of building a brand), but keep it consistent. It doesn’t need to lie. It just needs to be consistent. This will naturally grow a following and will, in time, convert as you will attract people that are into what you do. Their perceived value of your services will grow because social-proof is a thing and you can inevitably end up charging more as you have price-insensitivity on your side.

I honestly can see a future where more emphasis and marketing money is spent on the individuals and employees of a company to promote and do things based on their personal brand rather than traditional methods. As long as what they are doing are in some way linked to the business.