Branding Versus Personality

personal branding needpix

Branding – personal branding – should be closer to a personality than a brand.

Do you get an impression of someone’s personality (consciously or subconsciously) at the first meeting? With people, that means things like body language, attitude, and tone of voice, even physical elements that we know are not really part of their personality.

We make fairly quick judgments about things like trust and based on these early impressions we decide if we want to continue a conversation or consider a stronger relationship.

Does that happen with a brand? I suspect that companies not only have brands but a kind of personality – if their branding is well done.

An online personality – like online dating – can be tricky. I’m more interested in my online personality even if I know from a business sense it is my brand. If people come to this website and explore a bit, they get some sense of my personality. Hopefully, it resonates with them and they engage or at least leave with a good feeling. It has been shown that when people have an emotional connection to a brand – as is the case with a PERSONality – it is of much higher value in the longterm.

An article on cultivating your online personality is about companies and brands but it can apply to personal brands too. That personal brand comes from what is communicated in any personal contact you have with a client, your website, social media presence, and any other digital platforms.

It may seem strange to think of yourself as someone who has attached to your personality things like “copy”, a color palette, a font, imagery, etc..

That article recommends 3 things:

1. Choose and maintain a consistent tone
2. Help your audience associate a face (or series of faces) with your brand.
3. Make your aesthetic cohesive across all channels from logo and fonts to colors and style across all digital platforms.

Even a Personal Site Can Sell

I feel bad for Tim Berners Lee (best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web) who has said that one thing he did not anticipate was how quickly the World Wide Web would become a marketplace.

Tim (who is currently a professor of computer science at the University of Oxford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) reminds us that in those early days personal websites dominated.

But not everything on the web is commercial. Most blogs are personal, or at least not commercial. But some personal websites have become “commercial.”

I’m not thinking of ones that may have some Google or Amazon ads. I’m thinking of ones that contain personal thoughts and images but are also “selling” the owner as a brand.

This website is my personal website, but it does work to sell me. I have another sample blog that is really part of my web design business because it acts as an example of using a free site like Blogger to build an inexpensive website.

Blogs work well as websites because when you are consistently publishing on a blog you are likely to attract attention on social media and search engines and gain followers.

How often is consistent? I have read that commercial blogs that publish more than 16 posts per month get more than three times the traffic of blogs that published less than 4 posts per month. So, that’s a recommendation of about every other day or 4 times per week.

This is Melanie Daveid‘s portfolio features a selection of imagery from her best campaigns and apps. Is it personal? Yes. But it’s also commercial as it sells her, though not any actual product.

blog.hubspot.com has some best personal website samples and some best practices for personal, as in portfolio, websites. For example, using lots of visuals (even if your brand includes written work) including logos and other branding.

A personal site should be personal – i.e. it should show viewers your personality, style, maybe even your sense of humor, if that is part of what you are selling.

Simplicity should reign when it comes to organization. A main menu with just a few categories that perhaps subdivide into more granular pages after visitors land on the main page is a good navigation plan.