Looks may attract people, but Personality is what keeps them around.
Your brand has a personality. Hopefully, it was created by you. If not, then you obviously haven't been paying attention and, in turn, your brand persona is probably schizophrenic. Just so you know, rightly or wrongly, most people tend to avoid schizophrenics.
Having a distinct brand personality is possibly the biggest pillar of your brand. It's how you decide what and who fits within your company. More importantly to the bottom line, it's how consumers decide whether they want to associate with you or not. People choose who they surround themselves with based on emotional connections. Are you a funny friend that provides levity in any situation? Are you the “rock” whose advice is a guide for what's best? Are you “the one” who someone couldn't live without? You can directly tie these same persona's to products. For example, Nerf could be the “friend” who always makes fun available. Perhaps Charles Schwab is your trustworthy financial advisor. And, maybe Ben & Jerry's is “the one” you will never part with. Sure, that seems like polygamy, but you, Ben, and Jerry are just too good together.
Brands that become known and engrained in people's lives are the ones that embrace their personality and deliver it consistently throughout every touch point. Their culture is built around who they are and who they want to continue being. They speak with the same voice and tone every time they speak. Their visual language matches that voice and never wavers. It's the equivalent of being that one, elusive, Steady-Eddie that everyone wishes they could be. With your brand this is achievable because, unlike real life, your brand doesn't have to sit in traffic and try really hard not to yell at the kids when it gets home.
If you want to rise above your competition, be sure to consider who you want to be and who will befriend you for it. Your incredible product is only that – a product. That only gives consumers a guess at who you are and leaves them to choose products based on other factors. Factors that may not be in your control.
Case In Point
A client was being threatened of being pulled from the shelf because there “was no reason to carry two brands of ____”. They were losing the price war to the larger brand. This left only one way to win. Be more likeable. We rebranded and gave them a distinct personality so consumers would have a reason to choose them over the competitor. They did just that. Consumer sales grew by over 400% and the threats of being cut turned into a 60% increase in trade accounts and sales.
Brand personalities are why some companies outgrow their competitors. Products can be similar, prices can be similar, but a brand personality can be an ace-in-the-hole.