4 ways to define the social side of your brand
It’s more important than ever for your health nutrition brand to be engaging in all media. The starting place, of course, is to have one, integrated marketing message that you can evolve in a million directions. But, once you’ve accomplished that, you’ve got to have a strategy for carrying that message into the social realm in an authentic way. The key is having a strong brand personality.
Your brand personality is a set of human-like qualities your customers can relate to. Like a friend, people will become attached to your brand because of its purpose, its values and the way it interacts with its community. Is your brand quirky? Is it funky? Does it represent athletes or a certain lifestyle or belief system? If so, people who are attracted to those qualities will adopt your brand and become its ambassadors.
Here are some ways to find your brand personality and start being a brand people can’t stop talking about:
Know what you stand for
Being likeable isn’t always the answer. If you’re branding an extreme sports drink, being a little bit bad might attract more customers. If you’re selling nutritional supplements, your social purpose may be to help support the aging (an altruistic personality). Take the time to write down the goals of your brand and then make a list of the personality traits that accompany that type of behavior.
Take it to the streets
Now that you know what you stand for, get out in your community and share the message. Back to our examples, that naughty-not-nice sports drink can sponsor a mixer at a bar where the product itself is sold as a mixer. Our nutritional supplement can give product away to seniors at prime mall-walking time. By creating events that fit your brand personality, you’ve now made your brand itself share-worthy. The more social events you become involved in, the more content you will have for your brand’s social network.
Share your values
Recently, a large brand was blasted for sharing their (homophobic) values. The lesson here is that people are paying attention. They don’t care if you sell the tastiest chicken in the universe. If your values don’t align with theirs, they will shut you out. If you sell all-natural health foods but your company doesn’t recycle, you’re not living the values you profess. Write down your brand values and live by them, because your customers will punish you if you don’t. Also, don’t forget to “like” other people, brands and events that share those values, too.
Give in to peer pressure
Now that your brand has a social peer group (you hope), act like a good politician, and stick with your constituency. If you mimic your customers’ behavior and language, you will always be part of their scene—and that is a very good place for a brand to be.
While analyzing your brand personality, you may find my Brand Personality Checklist helpful. When you can answer, “yes” to most questions, you’ll have a well developed social presence.
Brand Personality Checklist:
- Have you defined your marketing plan to help identify your brand personality?
- Will your brand affect anyone’s lives?
- Can you deliver on your brand promise?
- Does your brand reflect a personality that your customers can identify with?
- Is your brand visual? Does it stand out and elicit a certain emotion?
- Is your brand differentiated from the competition?
- Does your brand offer your customers an experience?
- Does your brand have its own vocabulary or unique terms that you set apart? (i.e., Starbucks did this when they changed our vocabulary from small, medium and large to Tall, Grande, and Venti.)
- Does your brand take a stance on some social issues?
- Is your brand strong enough to make a lasting impression?
- Does your brand give customers a reason to stay connected with it?
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/didmyself/6530383391/”>Daniel*1977</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>
Jessica is a competitive athlete and the President of Energize HNM, a health and nutrition marketing agency. Jessica is committed to supporting health brands of every size by helping them define their missions and connect with their customers on a deeper, more meaningful level.
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Thanks Jessica. Great post and advice for building your online brand/voice. These tips were very helpful. I am often too busy working on content and re-design (for seacoastfitnessdaly.com) and maintaining my SM presences that I really needed these reminders. So important to step back, assess and write down my SFD brand goals and values, and then follow them and live them! Great post.