Categories : Be Impossible , Branding , Online Marketing

Put A Little Sass Into It! Creating A Voice For Your Brand

Put A Little Sass Into It! Creating A Voice For Your Brand

Are you looking for a way to help your brand stand out from the crowd? Sometimes, the best thing you can do is relax and get real with your customers. 

A lot of brands use their social media accounts to offer discounts or sales. Others tell stories that tug on their follower’s heartstrings. Some send out an occasional inspiring message to the world — but the posts that grab people’s attention are the ones that entertain.

Don’t believe it? Consider this:

There’s a tremendous amount of value in humor as a tool for entertainment — not just because it inspires a chuckle or two. Humor, done with just the right amount of sass, can actually crack the cynical armor most consumers are wearing these days when they’re interacting with various brands.

Humor disarms. There’s been a crisis of trust developing for a while now between brands and consumers, but it’s hard to feel distrustful when you’re laughing along with someone.

Why Does Humor Help Build Consumer Trust?

Only about 34% of consumers say that they trust the brands they use — and 53% say they can spot it when a brand is somewhat less-than-truthful (a term called “trust-washing.) Yet, 81% of consumers say that trust is a huge part of their choice to purchase from a brand. That statistic alone gives brands powerful insight into an opportunity that can easily go to waste.

If you can get a laugh from a consumer, you accomplish two things. You relax the consumer and you create a memorable instance that — quite frequently — people want to share. Physiologically and psychologically, the mere act of laughing, chuckling, or grinning allows a moment of self-awareness, an unspoken vulnerability, an instance of intimacy, and (ultimately) a little bit of trust to creep in.

There’s a reason that tweets and memes from brands like Wendy’s and Netflix have managed to go viral from time to time. They’re funny but not cruel, snarky without being overly sharp. Wendy’s and Netflix has learned to poke just the right amount of fun at competitors and pop culture outrages. Bud Light recently figured out how to do the same when it picked up on the viral joke knowns as the “Area 51 Raid” by offering free beer to any aliens who made it off the compound.

How Do You Unlock Your Brand’s Humor?

Before your brand can effectively use humor in its posts, you have to get to know your brand’s voice. Ask yourself this: “If this brand were a person, who would he or she be?” Once you know the answer, you’ll have the key to unlocking your brand’s particular sense of humor.

You also have to be willing to take risks. A good quip comes back fast — it doesn’t go through five layers of approval and vetting before it gets posted. That means trusting your social media team to make decisions about what to post without a huge amount of oversight. 

Remember what we were talking about earlier about humor and vulnerability? Embrace it. You have to let go a little and let that sassy, cheeky, funny sideshow the real you behind your brand.

Categories : Be Impossible

First, Break All Your Best Practices

First, Break All Your Best Practices

I’m a rule breaker.  I like to get involved, dig in and break stuff.  It’s the only way to learn, and in my opinion, it is the best way to constantly be discovering what’s best for you or your business.  Getting comfortable with processes will translate to only one thing in the end – plateaued growth. As a business owner, you should always be learning and therefore… growing.  

In order to be more involved with your business and make the best decisions, you need to toss that rulebook out the window once in a while! That’s right — connecting with your consumers may just take some unorthodox steps that violate all of marketing’s best practices.

In case you haven’t noticed, the world of marketing is full of rules — and it seems like they get more complicated every year.

Being a rule-breaker doesn’t mean you get to throw on a tricornered hat and run willy-nilly into a “rules revolution.” (Although, on second thought that would be a lot of fun!) Even when it comes to breaking the rules, there are rules you’ve got to follow.

Learn All The Rules Before You Try To Break Them

This isn’t optional. You have to actually know what the rules are before you try to break them or rewrite them. If you don’t know the rules, you aren’t being avant-garde or brave when you take your company off-script. You’re just stumbling around in the dark, hoping that you’ll hit “pay dirt”.

Breaking the rules is a calculated act. Learning the rules gives you credibility. Your credibility and experience with the rules are what makes breaking them a calculated risk, not a foolish mistake. It’s the difference between blazing a new trail and just tripping over tree roots in the marketing forest.

What would you consider the most unbreakable rule for your brand?  I’m curious! Add it in the comments below.

Break The Rules In A Way That Aligns With Your Company Values

If you want your company to stand out from the pack, you have to be willing to do things no other company in your genre is willing to do.

Think Wendy’s or Merriam-Webster on Twitter — using sarcasm and humor — which isn’t part of the “rules” for a company’s social media feed or the Squatty Potty and Quilted Northern commercials tackling taboo topics.  While these are great examples, simply trying to create what has already been created and jumping on a viral bandwagon doesn’t always work.  We can’t all be Ralph Breaks The Internet – working our way to internet fame by mimicking the most viral video topics on the internet. What you do can be “inspired by,” while still being absolutely original.  The www-world runs on authenticity. And virtual-fans can smell an over-produced, monkey-see-monkey-do attempt from a million internet connections away!

To ensure you aren’t “overdoing it” on the internet, stay true to your brand’s values and ideals! Make sure that you’re thinking about your brand’s persona when you break the rules. Only break them where it makes sense for you.  Break your norms.  Break what you thought was ideal.  Break your processes. Play with your brand.  But don’t ever compromise what it is you believe in or what makes sense for your brand just because everyone else is doing it.  The simple fact that everyone else is doing it likely means it is already old news in the engagement world.

You’ll have an easier time understanding when and where to break the rules if you establish a company culture that encourages out-of-the-box thinking and experimentation.

How would you describe your company culture?  Tell me! Add it in the comments below.

Be Prepared For The Consequences When You Break The Rules

You can’t be fickle when you decide to break the rules. You have to “go for it,” and commit yourself. Otherwise, you’ll just come off wishy-washy and unreliable.  Not having the right attitude or reasoning behind rule-breaking will result in the world walking all over you. Again, you have to be really authentic when being gregarious enough to try something bold and new.

Realize that there are always going to be some people who don’t like what you’re doing. That’s part of marketing!  This is where all news is good news in the PR world. Think of the Quilted Northern with “Little Miss Puffytail” and “Sir Froggy” in their “forget the bathroom experience” commercials and the Squatty Potty commercials with the pooping unicorn. They tackled taboo topics in a way that was far too direct for some people — and hilariously relatable for others.

Focus on connecting with customersyour customers. Focus on results. If your rule breaking is getting the results you want, then you’re on the right track.  But don’t get too comfortable. Often, the engagement you receive is simply by doing something different!

Over-delivering your great new idea can backfire.  Think, Geico commercials.  We all love them.  But you know when you’re watching commercials and one is far too loud or repeats two times in a row, every single time?  That is a fine example of having your authenticity backfire! Do not overdeliver your new, quirky ideas!

The Wrap-Up

There’s nothing inherently wrong with having rules — or following marketing’s best practices. It’s just that rules can end up being a straight-jacket that inhibits your brand’s growth if you aren’t careful. When businesses get too focused on “the rules,” that’s when they become something average — and you don’t want to be average, do you?  I didn’t think so!

If you could break just one rule today for your business, what would it be?  Add it to the comments!


Categories : Be Impossible , Online Marketing , Social Media

How To Avoid A Social Media Nightmare And Carve Out The Perfect Posts

How To Avoid A Social Media Nightmare And Carve Out The Perfect Posts

In the spirit of Halloween, we decided it was time to discuss something truly terrifying for brands everywhere: major social media mistakes and their consequences for your brand.

It’s terribly easy to make a social media nightmare come true. People use social to stay informed and be entertained, and nothing does both like a social media post gone awry. A post that is unintentionally humorous or outrageously insensitive can pick up steam and go viral in a matter of hours — and that’s not the kind of social attention your brand wants to see!


Categories : Be Impossible , Success

Nothing Fails Like Success

Nothing Fails Like Success

Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California 3 times before he dropped out to become a director. Colonel Sanders was rejected 1009 times when he tried selling his fried chicken recipe before deciding to just start KFC. Thomas Edison created 10,000 failed prototypes of his electric bulb before succeeding. And my personal favorite, perhaps one of today’s most newsworthy “failure stories” comes from SpaceX. SpaceX had over one dozen failed or uncontrolled launches and/or landings of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches. Yet in the end, we are going beyond the moon! SpaceX is successfully delivering to the space station, returning, and landing rockets in a way that makes colonizing Mars seem completely within reach.