The 12 Inspiring Personality Types Of All Great Brands

brandsnack - the 12 inspiring personality types of all great brands

The 12 Inspiring Personality Types Of All Great Brands

January 16, 2018

“Who are you to tell people about personality? You don’t have one!”

Thanks mum.

Rock-solid support there. I think that may be the last time I keep her up-to-date with how the business is going.

So it’s a good thing that when it comes to branding, there are a number of predefined personality types that each and every one falls into.

If I had to wing it, this article might not be the most helpful as she most insightfully points out, but as there are, you’re in luck! And I’m gonna tell you all about them.

A personality is one of the most vital components of your brand. Just like it is in a person. You wouldn’t want to hang around with someone that’s dull and completely un-stimulating. You wouldn’t trust someone that thought microwaving spoons was a good idea. You wouldn’t introduce an angry, neanderthal-esque bloke that liked to punch cats, to your friends and family. Or maybe you would. I don’t know your friends and family.

Ultimately we all form emotional connections with those that are similar to us. That entertain and inspire us.

And that’s exactly what your brand needs to do!

Do you REALLY know who you are?

Your personality is one of the pillar foundations of your brand’s entire look, feel and tone of voice. It’s the blueprint of how you present yourself to your audience.

And there are many businesses out there that don’t know WHO they are!

If you don’t know who you are, how can you expect others to? How can you expect anyone else to understand and connect with you?

If you don’t understand the personality of your brand (and how it relates to that of your target audience’s), then your brand will be a mish-mash of contradictions and inconsistencies. The way your brand looks won’t be the same as it sounds. The way it behaves will be different depending on the direction of the wind.

As soon as you lose consistency, you’ll either confuse your audience at best, or put them off entirely.

And that’s less than ideal for a profitable business.

We’re all human!

There’s a weird misconception that because the personality belongs to a business, it’s something completely different to that of a person’s. That it’s so much harder to create.

Let me tell you something…

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE.

You want people to emotionally connect with your brand like a best friend right? To see your brand as a kindred spirit to their own – a reflection of their wants, goals and motivations.

So why complicate things? Why make your business LESS human?

Brands are people too. They should have values, an outlook on life, a sense of humour, a way of talking, a way of presenting themselves to others.

The closer your brand matches the personality of your intended audience, the more appealing and trustworthy it will be.

The 12 brand personality archetypes

A lovely little Swiss man by the name of Carl Jung introduced the world to the idea of personality archetypes over a century ago.

He presented them as universal, underlying character traits of each and every person on this planet. Completely unbound by time, distance, culture, religion etc.

Traits so deeply ingrained in all of us, they evoke strong emotions and behaviours.

They have been used for pretty much everything – from literature and film in popular culture to rather more serious psychological applications.

Some smart cookie also slapped them all over brand building. And whaddya know? It works. Because like I’ve said, brands are people too!

So here are the 12 brand personality archetypes to get your mind thinking.

And remember, everyone has a dominant personality type, but we also can show minor traits traits of others. Usually no more than 2 though. Otherwise you’d be a bit of a mess.

1. The Innocent (promises simplicity)

Innocent brands know that their audience want to be spoken to as openly and honestly as possible – no gimmicks, guilt or heavy-handed tactics.

They offer simple solutions, have straightforward values and don’t overcharge.

They come across as simple, trust-worthy and pure. They associate themselves with nostalgia or childhood and high morality, using simple, natural imagery.

They differentiate themselves from other brands with poor reputations. They need to constantly strive to stick to their ideals however.

2. The Sage (promises wisdom)

Sage brands know that their audience are looking for new sources of information and want to be challenged to think in new ways.

They offer expertise or information based on scientific findings and hard facts.

They trust their audience to grasp difficult concepts and understand intellectual in-jokes. They use complicated words and symbolic imagery across their content.

They differentiate themselves from others of lesser quality or performance. They need to find a balance between becoming too dumbed down or patronising however.

3. The Explorer (promises freedom)

Explorer brands know that their audience crave journey and adventure, preferring to discover the world for themselves.

They help people pioneer, to feel free and to carve out their own individual paths.

They come across as sturdy and rugged, new and unknown. They embrace the spirit and excitement of exploration.

They differentiate themselves from other brands that are conformist or for the regular guy/girl. They need to prevent themselves from being seen as too rigid or corporate however.

4. The Rebel (promises revolution)

Rebel brands know that their audience crave the unconventional, they strive to be different and break the status quo.

They disrupt, destroy or shock to get their message across and appeal to those that are disillusioned with society. They are the alternative to the mainstream.

They either help to retain values that are being threatened by new, emerging ones or help pave the way for completely different ways of thinking – breaking with normal conventions.

They differentiate themselves from brands that keep within the lines. They have to be wary of ‘selling out’ or becoming too popular however.

5. The Magician (promises transformation)

Magician brands know that their audience want to be transformed into a better version of themselves. They need to feel they are growing wiser or more influential.

They focus on the individual, make things happen and promise to transform their audience through their content, products and services. To expand their consciousness and spirituality.

They are generally very user friendly, making the complex appear simple and charge medium to high prices for their services.

They differentiate themselves from structured brands without a ‘soul’. They need to live up to their transformative promises however.

6. The Hero (promises triumph)

Hero brands know that their audience want high quality and efficiency – they want a job done to the best it can be.

They create strong products and services that help people do tough jobs exceptionally well or be all they can be.

They want to make a major impact on the world and solve major social problems. They promote goodness and morality and usually have a clear opponent they want to ‘beat’.

They differentiate themselves from brands that struggle to live up to their promises. They must always make sure they are the best rated/valued however.

7. The Lover (promises passion)

Lover brands know that their audience appreciate aesthetic appearance and design. They want to be more attractive in the eyes of others.

They promote physical and emotional attraction, helping people ‘belong’, find friends, partners and generally have a good time.

They are usually mysterious and glamorous with an emphasis on sensual pleasure and how the audience will feel – lust and aspiration.

They differentiate themselves from brands that are self-important or overconfident. They cannot look cheap or too business-like however.

8. The Jester (promises entertainment)

Jester brands know that their audience appreciate the unusual, surreal and the playful – especially making light of the seriousness of life.

They want to bring fun and joy to the world through play, interest and humour. They use outrageous imagery and often tease their audience affectionately.

They help people have a good time, give a sense of belonging and are usually targeted at younger people.

They differentiate themselves from brands that take themselves too seriously. They need to stay away from the bitterness of reality – customer complaints, legal action etc.

9. The Regular Guy (promises belonging)

Regular guy brands know that their audience wants quality and dependability. They prefer the familiar and emotionally invest in brands they trust.

They have solid, ordinary values, are easily approachable and take pride in their down to earth approach.

They help people with a sense of belonging and offer everyday functionality through an honest image.

They differentiate themselves from premium, elitist brands. They need to work hard at not letting greed overtake them however.

10. The Nurturer (promises support)

Nurturer brands know that their audience want to be recognised for their effort and don’t like to be patronised. They are emotionally driven and don’t like aggressive, in your face tactics.

They help their audience respect and care for themselves and others through support and connected communities.

They usually aren’t in it for profit and like to pass on any competitive advantage just to help. They offer compassion, generosity and protection above anything else.

They differentiate themselves from uncharitable brands and need to stay away from being harmful or exploitative.

11. The Ruler (promises power)

Ruler brands know that their audience are naturally dominant and want reaffirmation of their own power and stability.

They provide high-status products and services to enhance those feelings of power and organisation. They use high pricing to maintain a level of exclusivity.

They present themselves as the leader in their field and speak with confidence and authority. They have a strong, solid image – very polished and very masculine.

They differentiate themselves from ‘pretender’ brands – those that aren’t the real deal. They would be hit hard if they were perceived as weak or had to concede defeat to a rival.

12. The Creator (promises innovation)

Creator brands know that their audience have the time to be creative, enjoy pushing boundaries and moving into the experimental and novel. They are difficult to appeal to though – it takes something truly special.

They promote self expression by giving their audience choices to tailor their products/services.

They hold innovation and artistic design in high regard and position themselves as the key to unlocking creativity.

They differentiate themselves from ‘by-the-book’ brands that lack imagination. They need the capacity to maintain authenticity and innovation however.

Nice to meet you

Well there you have it. The world in 12 people.

We all show dominant traits of one of these, and therefore so should the brands we build to resonate with people.

Branding is all about psychology. It’s about creating an emotional connection with people to build respect, trust and loyalty.

And you need to be human to do that.

No-one falls in love with a brick wall. Actually that’s a lie. There’s this builder I know, but that’s going way off topic…

Once you know the personality of your brand (and your audience), everything else flows from it.

It’s only then that you can start being strategically creative in your visual design and content.

And it’s only then that your consistency will lead to success.

Which personality archetype does your brand most closely resemble? How does that fit with the audience you’re trying to attract? Slide on over to the Facebook group and let me know!

15 Fascinating Ways To Make Your Brand More Addictive

brandsnack - 15 fascinating ways to make your brand more addictive

15 Fascinating Ways To Make Your Brand More Addictive

January 11, 2018

Hi. My name’s James and I’m an addict.

I’m addicted to a lot of things in life. Drinking dark, rich coffee in the morning. The occasional cheeky chocolate biscuit with a cup of tea while watching TV in the evening. Relaxing in warm summer sunshine. Playing and listening to the piano. Exploring new places and seeing new things. Spending time with my children.

These are some of the things I live for. That make me happy. That keep me coming back for more and always have me thinking of them.

What if you could create a brand that had the same effect? That made people feel so good it became part of their lives, their consciousness?

Sounds a little bit unbelievable right? How can people be addicted to a brand?

But it’s not that far fetched. Think about those that are addicted to McDonalds, Coke, Disney, Apple etc. These are the big brands and the ones that everybody recognises, but there are a million and one other, smaller brand out there that have the same effect on people.

And yours could easily be one of them!

In this article, I’m gonna take you through the 15 things you need to offer your audience to make them addicts of your brand!  

Addictions aren’t always physical

When we think about addiction, images of cigarettes, alcohol, recreational drugs and the like come to mind. Things that can cause an actual physical dependence. Something our bodies physically can’t go without once hooked on them.

But that’s just one type of addiction.

The other type, and the type that branding falls under, is psychological. The perceived need to use or engage in something. A mental or emotional attachment to a behaviour.

Funnily enough however, both types set off the same regions in our brain. So we FEEL the same way whether we have a physical or psychological addiction to something. If we go without either, the same pain receptors in our brain spark up.

Very powerful stuff then!

Addictions aren’t always bad

We’re taught through life that being addicted to something is bad. That too much of something is never a good thing. That it will damage your health and relationships etc.

Drugs are usually the banner child of addiction as they are physically incredibly addictive substances and usually lead to self destruction.

But that’s right at the worst end of the scale.

When it comes to psychological addictions, we usually become attached to thing we love. That make us feel good.

Certain music, foods, TV shows, environments (think clubs or spas etc.) or people.

I’m addicted to my friends because they’re amazing people. They make me laugh, support me, inspire me and are always there.

As a brand, you want to be your audience’s best friend.

You want to get them addicted to your brand’s personality and everything you can offer them.

Motivate and reward

Addictions are based on a cycle of motivating people to behave a certain way and then rewarding them for doing so. This positive reinforcement leads to repeat behaviour. And repeat behaviour leads to habit.

And that’s where you want your brand to be. A habit to your audience.

When they want to find out something around the niche that you serve, they automatically come to you. When they want something done, you’re the only option that comes to mind.

You want to get to a point where your audience don’t have to think. They just do. And that ‘doing’ always involves you and your brand.

To get to that point then, you REALLY need to know your audience. What they want and like. Their pains, frustrations, goals, needs etc. Everything about them, what they want to achieve and why.

Your motivation needs to be a promise to them. An offer of extreme value that’ll help them overcome their barriers and reach their goals.

Your reward must then be instant after they’ve taken action (clicked through to a blog article, signed up to your email list, bought your book/course etc.). Any delay and you risk breaking the cycle.

Your reward to them isn’t just delivering on your promise, it’s how you do it that’ll create that emotional connection.

And that’s what these 15 points are all about! The way you reward your audience.

So let’s start!

1. Surprise them with the unexpected or unusual

Go where your competitors don’t and always aim to over-deliver. Teach them more for free, blog more, give them something no-one else will or can.

2. Energise, excite and motivate them

Use enticing colour schemes, imagery and descriptive text to inspire and build anticipation. Show them the ideal. Where they could get to. And that it’s achievable. Describe in detail exactly how they can make their desires a reality.

3. Give them a sense of self-worth, achievement and pride

Feature them in testimonials. Put them on a pedestal within your emails, community and newsletters. Always strive hard to progress them. To make them better people.

4. Give them confidence in themselves and in their ability to do or be something

Make things as clear and easy as possible. Create step-by-step processes and explanations that anyone can do and understand. Make them smarter, more beautiful, more healthy etc.

5. Identify and empathise with their pains

Show them that you understand their troubles. A great way of doing this is answering the questions they have before they even ask them. This is a major trust builder. If you know your audience, you’ll know their reservations. Address them from the get go and don’t leave them with any lingering doubts.

6. Relieve them of their stresses and discomforts

Give them solutions to their actual problems, not what you think their problems are. This is a very fine, but very important distinction. Let your audience tell you exactly what’s bothering them. Ask them, go to forums, Facebook groups etc. Don’t decide for yourself.

7. Make their lives better through kindness without asking in return

The more you give away to people for free upfront, the more loyal those people will become. And more likely to move onto your paid services. If your audience know you will always be there to give them what they need, they’ll never need to go elsewhere.

8. Respect, appreciate and value them

Treat people right! Don’t rip them off, con them, abuse them. Always be fair – with your time, content, views, communication and prices. Have a conversation with people, no-one likes to be on the receiving end of a one-way lecture.

9. Make them happy, entertain with novelty and humour

We’re all human – use your tone of voice, copy and imagery in all of your content and communication to make them smile. A simple smile brings with it a nice endorphin kick. Keep doing that and people will become addicted to it.

10. Satisfy them by delivering on your promises and their expectations

Know what your audience expect of you. Do it. And do it more. This is another reason why a comprehensive understanding of your audience is vital!

11. Inspire them with new ideas and fresh outlooks

Be a source of knowledge around your subject and niche. Know and understand the trends and golden examples. And share them with those that follow you.

12. Captivate them, trigger their senses

Through your storytelling and your brand look and feel. Create an entire sensory experience that they will relate to and fall in love with.

13. Urge them to explore, learn, understand and better themselves

Teach them. Through your emails, blog, videos, courses etc. Your ultimate goal is to make them the expert.

14. Give them the hope and belief that things can change for the better

Give true examples of success and be specific. Use case studies, social proof, quantifiable results etc. We all want to know that something is achievable and not just another pipe dream.

15. Build their anticipation

Be timely, be regular, and be consistent in your promises and delivery. People can only look forward to something that has a concrete date attached to it, otherwise it’s just a vague concept.

From brand addict to brand habit

By using the above techniques throughout everything you do in your brand, and every touchpoint you have with your audience, you can easily build an emotional attachment with them.

You can make people feel good! And we always want more of the things we love.

We become addicted.

And from addiction comes habit. The unconscious act of doing something, no matter what.

Some people will only ever drink Coke. They say it tastes different. It’s the real thing. No other cola compares. But there’s nothing different in the taste. It’s all sugar and water. But they’re addicted to the brand. To the image it represents and the way it makes them feel.

Others are addicted to reading tabloid newspapers. The ‘news’ is pure nonsense. But for some reason it makes them feel good. It appeals to their emotions.

If you can make people fall in love with your brand, you’ll become one of their life’s addictions.

Do you use any of the techniques above in your brand? Have you seen an increase in more loyal customers? Jump into the Facebook group and let me know! I’d love to hear how they have helped your business.

10 Life-Changing Ways To Build Confidence

brandsnack - 10 life-changing ways to build confidence

10 Life-Changing Ways To Build Confidence

January 10, 2018

You know you see those people in life. They just seem to effortlessly ooze confidence.

Not in an overbearing way, but in a cool, calm, collected (and wholly envious) way.

They make it look so easy!

How can they be so confident? What’s their secret?

Confidence is a key part of being successful with your brand and your business.

People are drawn to confidence. They respect it. They see it as a sign of quality and stability.

And that’s because the majority of people aren’t confident in themselves, their business and their abilities. They may show a rather irritating false bravado. But that’s just a cover up. To compensate for a lack of true confidence.

None of us are born confident. We all have our insecurities. But there are ways to build confidence and turn it into a habit. So I’m gonna take you through the 10 best ways I’ve found to really boost your belief in yourself and what you do.

To make sure your business and brand are the best they can be.

Overcoming fear is tough

That little voice inside your head that whispers little negative thoughts at everything you do.

“Hmmmm. I don’t think they’ll pay that much for this.”

“That’s just boring, nobody will read that.”

“That looks awful, they won’t take you seriously.”

The fear of disapproval, rejection, failure can weigh heavy on our minds. Even if we’re top professionals. We know deep down that we’re amazing at what we do. People actually tell us that we do excellent work!

We still get impostor syndrome. We still think it’s luck that’s got us where we are. That we’re just on the verge of being found out as a fraud.

Fear is completely irrational, but somehow seems to trump the good thoughts!

But think about this…

If you aren’t able to talk about yourself and what you do in a positive light, no-one will.

YOU need to start it. Others will then follow. You’ve done all of the hard work getting to where you are now. You just need to shout about it!

You don’t have to be an ass!

Confident self-promotion is not about being an arrogant twat! It’s not about hammering people with barrage of thoroughly annoying sales pitches.

It’s about informing people and letting them know that you have something of value that can help them.

You need to constantly tell people about your business. If it’s valuable to them, they won’t mind how many times they hear it.

If you got a dollar every time you received an email from me, you wouldn’t mind a million of them right? (small caveat – this is not part of my business plan, however much I would like to do that. It would break me!)

You will eventually become sick of the sound of your own voice. Sick of writing the same emails, the same content over and over again. But you need to keep to it. Remember that you may have seen everything over 1000 times, but your audience may have only heard it a few times.   

Repetitively put one message out there. You won’t see results from saying something just once. And if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, then do you really believe in what you’re saying?

The more someone hears you talk about something, the more you’ll be perceived as an expert in that topic.

Don’t worry what your message is. As long as it’s tailored to your audience and they like it, it’s all good!

Having confidence in you, your brand, your business and what you offer is vital.

If you truly believe you’ll help people, that’s a great foundation for epic levels of confidence.

1. Know who you are

How can you expect others to love what you can’t explain yourself?

You need to know why you exist. What your values are. What you believe in. What you’re willing to do (and not do). What your vision is.

You need to be clear on your story and your personality. What sort of character you are.

Keep in mind that you and your brand are two separate entities. Elements of you may cross over into your brand, but you need to make sure they have a place being there. That they resonate with your audience.

You may be a photographer that loves travel and baking. Your audience, love travel also, but could care less about baking. Leave that bit out of your brand.

Know what you’re willing to let people know about you.

When you’re clear on everything that makes up you and your brand, it’s time to…

2. Have a plan

You need to know where you’re going. You need to have direction and purpose.

Having goals and a route to achieve them are huge boosts to overall confidence levels.

Don’t be afraid to commit to things, it’s the only way you’ll ever see progress. Once you have a plan, and you have valid reasons backing it up, stick to it!

Consistency is the key to success.

Doing the same work over and over, constantly repeating the same message will be boring, but seeing results come step by step off the back of it will build your confidence and your brand.

Make sure you’re always building momentum. Always building habit. Regularly do until it’s ingrained in you.

Don’t leave anything to chance. Don’t chase silver bullets. Misplaced hope and loss of control are two major barriers to building confidence.

3. Keep your goals small but steady

Do you know what you’re gonna be doing in 12 months time?

No?

Good!

No-one should. That’s a stupidly long time and very difficult to plan for.

Break your plans down into smaller, more achievable chunks.

We work best in 90 day segments. Much easier to picture, plan for, keep track of and evaluate.

Think of the big goal you’d like to achieve at the end of 90 days and write down all the tasks you need to do to get there. Then choose the most important task and break that down into sub-tasks. 

Once you’ve done that, list the sub-tasks that you want to complete by the end of the first month. And finally, break it down one step further to the most important sub-task and the actions you need to complete by the end of the first week.

At the beginning of each new week and each new month, you can look over it, see where you are with your tasks and prioritize new ones. If everything goes to plan, you’ll reach your 90 day goal and then start a new 90 day goal. Simple!

Keep you goals small but steady. Make sure they’re achievable. And always build on them every day.

Running up a slippery mountain slope will may keep you going for a while, but you’ll soon get tired and slide down. Carving out a small step each day might seem slower, but you WILL get to the top. And that’s where you ultimately want to be.

4. Create an image you’re happy with

We’re all fickle creatures by nature. We pretend we’re not, but we are. It’s the way our brains have evolved over the last 6 million years.

We take in what we see and make a split second judgement call on it. Is it safe? Is it dangerous? Is it interesting or not? Is it something I should be using my efforts and brain power on or conserve for something else?

Since the dawn of time, this has helped us stay away from danger and expand our knowledge.

In the modern day however, it’s become even more refined. At first glance, we instantly make a subconscious decision on whether we can connect with something/someone. Whether we trust it. Believe in its quality and potential to add value to our lives. Whether we share the same values and outlook on life. Whether we can truly build a relationship with it.

It takes only 0.3 seconds for someone to like or be turned off by the way you and your brand looks.

That’s a hell of a lot of psychology going on in a short amount of time!

So you need to make the most of it.

By understanding the psychological traits behind the use of colour, fonts, imagery and design, you’ll be more confident in WHY you look a certain way and HOW it’s designed to attract your audience. Making sure the way you look truly reflects the essence of you and your brand is so important.

With understanding comes trust. With trust comes faith. And with faith comes pride.

Having pride in how you and your business looks will shine through to others. It’s a highly respected trait in people – and incredibly infectious.

5. Never stop learning

The more experience and knowledge you have in something, the more confidence you’ll have around it.

Whatever it is you want to be known for, want to be seen as an expert in, keep learning about it.

Learn how to do something more. Learn how to do something better.

That’s why you need to be in a niche you love, because you need to learn for the love of it.

The more you know, the more you can help your audience. And the more they know that, the more they’ll keep coming to you for help.

It’s a rather delicious cycle. A cycle that goes a long way to building confidence, not only in yourself, but confidence from others in your brand.

6. Never stop giving

This goes hand in hand with the previous point.

The more you learn, the more you give.

Be kind. Be generous. The more you give without asking in return, the more respect you’ll get from people. And the more respect you get, the more confident you’ll become.

Giving is the first step to reciprocity. And it’s a funny thing. The more you help your audience for free in the first place, the more they’ll feel obliged to return the kindness – through direct sales, word of mouth etc.

By helping people, by teaching them, you’ll in turn learn more. You’ll become more of an expert.

If you want to learn more about something, teach it!

7. Relive your wins

These should be your rocket fuel.

Your wins are so important. You need to hold on to them.

Get a notebook and write down your wins for each day, week, month and year. No matter how small they are.

What this does is build up a habit of positivity. A change to your mentality.

The world can be filled with a lot of negativity. Especially negative people that don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve, or share your vision. Going out on your own as a freelance entrepreneur can be a very lonely place sometimes.

So don’t be ruled by negativity. Turn every win into trophy.

Read back over them when you’re feeling down and remind yourself of the great work you’re doing. Of how far you’ve come.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you confidence levels will change from this. 

8. Request feedback

Ask for feedback from those you trust and who understand what you’re trying to achieve.

The opinions of anyone else don’t matter.

I’ve had all manner of people throw their 2 cents in about launching my own branding business. Mainly from people that have never even thought about being their own boss or that even know what branding really is.

Choose the advice you act upon wisely.

But always ask for it.

Take the positives and run with them. Take the negatives and act on them.

Make sure you’re being the best you possibly can be to your audience. Helping them better than anyone else can or will.

At the end of the day, nothing is a better builder of confidence than seeing others love what you do.

9. Don’t be afraid to fail

I’ve failed. A lot.

Wasted money on things in my business. Gone down routes that weren’t progressing me to my goals etc.

There’s no shame in failing. There’s only shame in not trying.

Failing isn’t an ultimate result. Failing is the first step to improving.

We learn from our mistakes – never be afraid to learn.

And always build to be brilliant.

When you fail, find out what you’re not doing so well at and improve. Learn from it and make it better. Stay consistent and don’t give up.

No-one’s right 100% of the time. Just make sure that the next time is better than the last.

10. Smile

And finally, one that we all can forget sometimes – smile!

We all know the saying ‘smile and the world smiles with you’. And how true that is.

Smiling is infectious – we connect with a smile more than anything else. It’s a sign of safety, trust and friendliness. We’re instinctively programmed to react positively to a smiling face.

So the more happiness you show, the more happiness you’ll bring out in people. And that releases dopamine in the brain – the highly addictive feel-good chemical.

When we feel good, we feel confident.

So smiling is a highly overlooked, but extremely effective way of building confidence in others and ultimately in ourselves.

Make confidence a habit

Confidence is not an inherent trait. It’s a skill we learn by putting in place habits and processes.

It’s a skill that underlies the most successful people and brands.

You can develop more of it and in turn make others have more of it toward you.

It just takes a few mindset changes, but the actionable tips in this article will go a long way to helping you get there.

And once you’re confident in who you are and what you do, anything’s possible. You just gotta make it happen!

How confident are you now?

In yourself, in your brand? What do you struggle with? How do you manage your fears? Hop over to our Facebook group and let me know! I’d also love to hear if any of these suggestions have helped you!

The Top 5 USPs You Already Have In Your Business

brandsnack - the top 5 USPs you already have in your business

The Top 5 USPs You Already Have In Your Business

January 9, 2018

I’m gonna start off this article by sounding a little hard-nosed…

In business, if you don’t bring something different to the table, you have no place being there.

Harsh, but true.

You need a way to stand out from your competition. Something that will attract people to you over anyone else. If you don’t know what that something is, then you’re in trouble!

Some businesses are incredibly lucky little buggers by having a patented product or feature. Or sole access to a market.

That’s extremely rare however. For the rest of us, what you’re offering will be available from multiple businesses, multiple freelancers. You’ll be offering a commoditised product or service that will essentially be the same across the board.

So you need to find a way of differentiating yourself by other means. And your brand is a great place to start!

I’m gonna take you through what a USP actually is and how you can find your own for your business.

Massively important stuff. Let’s do it!

Not everything’s a USP

Think about it this way. If your competition won’t say the opposite of you, then it’s not a USP. For example:

“I make great websites” vs “I make shit websites”

“I do everything with a smile” vs “I do everything looking like I want to slap you”

“I give great customer service” vs “I give awful customer service”

Beginning to see the pattern?

Granted, if every other web designer out there in your niche makes shit websites, and yours are great, then you have a differentiator, but not one you can bet your house on.

It’s not something that’s hard to do. It’s just a question of when someone else will come in and do it too. Then what do you have?

You need to think long and hard about what it is you can offer that no-one else can or no-one else will.

Being unique is only half of it!

Being unique in itself doesn’t guarantee success. Ask the guy selling glass dartboards.

Having something that no-one else does isn’t any good if your audience don’t find it of value.

You therefore need to have something that your competitors can’t or aren’t willing to have and that your audience actually wants.

Having one without the other will either leave you standing generic or pointless.

So let’s have a look into the places where your difference can really come from. The parts of you and your brand that can set you apart.

1. Your story

Start with your story. The single, most basic unique thing you have that no-one else can copy!

Tell people why you got started and how. Tell them the journey you’ve been on to get where you are today.

Tell them why your story matters to them. If you can make your story relatable to them, so that they can see their own lives, pains, goals, journeys in you, then they are much more likely to trust and follow you.

2. Your values

What do you stand for and take pride in? What are your core beliefs and business morals?

We relate to and empathise with people that share similar values to our own. Think about your friend circles. I bet you all have common outlooks on life.

Your values are very powerful. They say a lot about you, your dependability and your trustworthiness.

Combine these with your story and you’re really starting to form something that’s solely yours.

3. Your personality

A hugely important part of what makes you unique.

The WAY you do business. The way you look, feel, act and talk to people.

We fall in love with addictive personalities. Make sure that your brand’s personality is true to who you are, but also relatable to your audience.

You’ll have your own take on how you put things, your opinions, the amount of energy and passion you have. The amount and style of humour you might inject in your content.

People form relationships and bonds with people, not companies. So you need to make sure that your business has its own personality, its own style, its own tone of voice.

As freelancers and startup entrepreneurs, we are usually the face of our own brands. So you’ll need to get comfortable being in the spotlight and being the ambassador of your business.

If you’re not willing to be the face of your brand, then you’ll need to find someone else that can. Faceless and nameless just don’t cut it anymore.

Your personality should be divisive!

You’re never gonna be everyone’s cup of tea. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can focus all of your attention on those that matter. Those that love what you’re about.

Don’t worry about those that don’t get on with you. As long as you’re being true to yourself and your intended audience, that’s all that matters.

4. Your vision

Where are you going? What’s your ideal look like?

You’ve gone into business for a reason, how are you ultimately trying to make the world a better place?

And I don’t mean a focus on global warming or saving the Amazon Rainforest (although if you are for this, then amazing!)

It doesn’t need to be that grand. But how are you trying to make a change in your audience’s lives?

When people know where you’re heading, they’re more likely to join you on the journey.

Your destination is another way to differentiate yourself from those around you.

5. Your promises

You can instantly set yourself apart massively by what you promise your audience. HOW you deliver your products and services.

Money-back policies.

Loyalty bonuses.

New, helpful content every day of the week.

Inspiration from across your niche delivered to their inboxes weekly.

The options are endless. You just need to pick something that your audience can’t get anywhere else.

A singular promise on its own is OK, but can easily be copied by someone if they really wanted to. But once you combine multiple promises that are unique to your business, your competitors will have a much harder time following.

Carve your own path

Don’t follow those of your competitors.

Look at what they do and do it better. Look at what they don’t do and do it.

The fastest way to differentiate yourself and become no.1 at something is to create the category. Really think about an area of the market that isn’t being served.

Narrow down! That’s an incredibly quick way to creating your own category. Get real specific over who you offer your services to and tailor everything to them.

And remember, sometimes just doing something will set you apart. Going the extra mile and starting something, putting in the effort will already put you above those sitting on the sidelines still thinking about it.

Maybe not glass sporting goods…

What’s your USP?

Like I said before, charging more isn’t a privilege of the mega corporations. Anyone can do it following these 5 principles.

How do you set yourself apart in your niche? Have any of the above tips sparked off the beginnings of great ideas? Join us in our Facebook group and let’s have a good ol’ chat about it!

5 Brilliant Ways Big Brands Charge Big Prices

5 Brilliant Ways Big Brands Charge Big Prices

January 4, 2018

Money, money, money, money…mooooneeey!

Gotta love The O’Jays!

On a comical level, the funk-twang baseline always rolls into my head whenever I think about money. A lot of people say that money’s an unnecessary evil, the root of all evil, something else most likely to do with evil.

And that’s a bad way to look at it.

Money’s a catalyst. And we all need it to progress.

Granted, if you’re doing something only for the money, then you’re in business for the wrong reasons. But in order to grow and deliver a service our audience and clients deserve, to live a lifestyle that means we can dedicate time to our professional relationships and personal relationships fully, then money helps.

And your pricing is the quickest way to that goal.

The big brands do this well. Apple, Disney, Coca Cola – name any of them. But you don’t need to be a big brand to do it! You just need to make sure your brand follows a few simple things that the big guys get right.

So in this article, I’m gonna show you how your brand and your pricing relate to each other. And some great tips you can start acting on right away that will allow you to increase your prices (without your potential clients having a moan!)

Setting the bar too low

A lot of startup business owners, freelancers and fledgling entrepreneurs start off with a price for their products and services. Usually way below what they should be charging for them.

There are a couple of reasons for this – first, they don’t have the confidence just yet in what they do to charge more. Second, they don’t get their base costs right. And third, they don’t project forward to an income goal.

And what happens when we set our prices too low?

We end up having to take on more work or sell more products just to get by.

We run the risk of cash flow issues.

We scrape along breaking even (or worse)

And we also devalue what we offer, and people won’t trust your ability to help them.

You can’t just increase your prices

At some point, you’ll realise that you’re not charging enough. That you should be earning more per product/service sold.

So you raise your prices.

And one of two things will probably happen. You’ll see a drop off in sales. You’ll start being subjected to the lamentable moans and groans of people that aren’t happy about it.

If you’re going to raise your prices, you also need to make sure the perceived value of your products and services matches the price you’ve set.

You need to convince your potential clients that the price is fair. That they should be more than happy to pay it.

And you know what? It doesn’t matter if you’re going from $1 to $2 or $10,000 to $20,000, the principal’s the same.

You need to justify your price.

So here’s a few tips on how you can do just that!

1. Make it profitable for you first!

I know you want to help you customers at the best price possible. To give them the best deal and make them happy.

But your pricing needs to make sense for your business and your goals. If you can’t make your business profitable for your first and foremost, then you won’t be helping your customers for much longer at all. Your business won’t be sustainable.

To begin with, you need to have an idea of your running costs. What do you need to make to break even per month, quarter, year?

Now you know what you can’t go below.

From here, most people will start the fine balancing act of certain price levels with potential customer numbers – “if I charge $200 for each product and get 10 customers each month…” and so on and so forth.

Don’t bother with that. It’ll drive you insane, and you’ll spend most of your time worrying about if’s and maybe’s.

Ironically, focusing on price is looking at it backwards!

Instead, I want you to set a goal of how much you’d like to make per customer. Then turn your efforts into building a product/service that delivers at that price point.

The price you set is actually irrelevant. There will be people out there that are willing to pay anything. You just need to be able to provide enough value to match what you charge.

Price doesn’t matter. Value does.

If you want to make $2000 per customer, then create something that delivers $2000 (or more!) of value to them.

As long as your pricing is sustainable for your business, then whatever you charge on top of that is entirely down to you and your ability to provide that level of value.

2. Know your audience’s wants

Everything in branding (and business) comes down to this.

Knowing what your clients want, why they want it and how they want it is the true key to success.

You can only sell something that people want. Notice I didn’t say ‘need’ here. Wants and needs are two totally different things. We all need things in our lives, but if we don’t want them, then we won’t try and get them.

The amount someone is willing to pay for something is based on their level of desire for it. So you need to make sure giving them what they want, in the way that they want it and when they want it.

Not an easy feat!

Know exactly what your audience wants. Not what you think they want. What result are they really after? Remember that people don’t buy products or services – they buy a result. An image. A lifestyle.

Use all of that knowledge to build your products, services and messaging. Create and deliver value.

3. Influence their perception

So, it’s one thing delivering actual value in your products and services to justify the price you charge, but it’s a wholly different kettle of fish delivering perceived value.

It’s that whole chicken and egg scenario. How do people know that your offerings deliver great value if they haven’t used them yet?

This is where your brand identity, design and messaging comes into play!

All of this must also justify the price you charge. I would argue even more so! Without it, you won’t make the sale in the first place!

So therefore pricing is all about perception. And it’s your job to influence that perception.

You need to convince people that your product or service is the right choice for them, that it’s going to deliver, that it’s going to be fully worth the entry fee.

We usually think that if we price something low, then we’ll sell more. But that’s not the case. In fact a low price point can set off alarm bells in your the minds of your potential clients. It can signal that what you offer is of low quality and it won’t be able to help them achieve their goals.

The lower the price, the less value is placed on it.

So aim to charge high and use your brand design first of all to alter their perception.

People will make a split second decision on your quality, value, trustworthiness and fit with their goals and lives. The way you present something visually has a huge impact in getting people past the first hurdle.

Your design needs to match the personality of your business and that of your audience. It needs to resonate with their wants, passions, beliefs and values. Use your colour scheme, typography, logo, imagery, graphics, music etc. to relate to them.

The more they relate to it, trust it and desire it, the more time they’ll have to understand more.

You need to be able to clearly demonstrate that you know what they want. Show them that you understand.

Visuals will entice them in. Your messaging will affect behaviour.

Use the language they use. Make it personal to them. Take them on a journey from where they are now to where they want to get to. Past their problems, past their barriers and onto their ideal goals.

It’s all in the little touches. If you can tailor something specifically to someone’s situation, they’ll place a much higher value on it.

4. Build relationships, build trust

Sales are made on relationships, not product features.

And we form relationships with those who have similar values and beliefs as our own. If someone doesn’t share your vision, they won’t buy from you.

Everything therefore stems from your story, beliefs, values and ideas. These are what build trust.

When someone trusts you, they’ll be more willing to pay what you ask.

You need to invest time and money into helping your audience trust you first. To justify your prices. Whoever spends the most time and energy acquiring a customer, wins.

Have actual conversations with people, on the phone, over email, in Facebook groups and forums etc. Understand everything about them, from them.

If you haven’t made a sale yet, it doesn’t mean your pricing’s wrong. It just means that people don’t trust you enough yet.

Have you had enough conversations with them? Have you taken them on that journey from problem to result? Have you delivered valuable help up front?

The more you build that relationship and trust before the sale, the higher you can set your prices.

5. Make them feel!

Finally, think about how you’re making your audience feel. When they visit your website. When they go through your content. When they receive your emails. When they think about your business.

The happier you make someone, the more inclined they’ll be to spend.

Dopamine is a powerful force. Use it to full effect.

Find out what makes your audience happy and base your entire business model on it.

Do they want be seen as prestigious and exclusive? Do they want to travel the world and drink in everything it has to offer? Do they want help people, to keep giving? Do they just love becoming an expert in a certain topic?

People will always pay more to feel good!

Value before sale

Big brands do this stuff so well.

They make sure they’re profitable first so they can survive. They understand everything about their audience. They create powerful brand design and messaging that appeals to their audience and entices them in with promises of quality, experience and change. 

They speak to their audiences through stories, conversations. They build that trust through developing lasting, profitable relationships. And finally they make their customers feel good, so they keep coming back for more.

And in turn, they charge more because of it. Because they’ve spent time and effort building that perceived value. Because their audience won’t hesitate to pay what they ask, because they’ve been conditioned (for lack of a better term) to believe the cost is truly justified.

Ready to re-look at your pricing?

Like I said before, charging more isn’t a privilege of the mega corporations. Anyone can do it following these 5 principles.

Are you thinking about upping your prices? What’s been stopping you so far? How have these tips helped? Come drop by our Facebook group. I’d love to know your thoughts!

The 4 Simple Psychology Hooks Of All Great Brand Stories

brandsnack - the 4 simple psychology hooks of all great brands

The 4 Simple Psychology Hooks Of All Great Brand Stories

January 2, 2018

It felt like a punch to the stomach! I felt completely hollow inside…

It was 2000. A warm summer’s morning and I was sitting on the bus going to university.

I was almost at Waterloo station to catch my train. It left in about 15 minutes. Plenty of time.

I love the warmth, and the sun filtering in through the window was relaxing every muscle in my body.

I always read on my way in. It took me away from the monotony of the journey.

I was totally engrossed in A Storm Of Swords. The third book in George R. R Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series.

I was happily reading. I couldn’t put the books down since I had picked up A Game Of Thrones a few months earlier.

But then it happened…

The Red Wedding.

I won’t spoil anything for anyone (although you’ve probably seen it in the TV series), but it knocked me for six!

I sat there dazed and confused. I put the book down on my lap and vacantly stared out of the window.

It felt like my soul had just been ripped out. I couldn’t think straight.

I went straight past my bus stop without noticing and ended up missing my train.

How did a few words manage to do that to me? Something that wasn’t even real?

The psychological power of storytelling! I was hooked.

And I’m gonna show you exactly how it works. How something completely made up can make you feel worse than your very cute, real-life hamster dying a few years earlier.  

Confusing plot lines

We’re all told that in business we should be telling stories.

That it’s necessary to build a loyal tribe of raving fans.

But no-one tells us what to do. Why it works. And most importantly, how to do it.

This means that people end up not doing it. Not focusing on it. Dismissing it as something that’s unnecessary for their business or they just don’t have the skill to get right.

We are our stories

We end up thinking of stories as something vague, intangible and not having a direct impact on our conversions and sales.

But they do.

Stories are how we think, how we understand everything around us, how we persuade people, how we make decisions, how we pass on our beliefs and values and how we convey our identities.

Sales are made on empathy, trust and loyalty.

And your story is the foundation of them all.

It’s much easier to persuade people with stories than with cold, hard data as they’re easier to understand and relate to.

Our brains are hardwired to sort and file information in the context of stories. Every object, experience and relationship will be organised in sequence together with our senses and emotions at the time.

So here are 5 expert tricks to use when writing your brand story to make it much more impactful.

1. Completely immerse them

Our brains and bodies physically react to great storytelling.

If you use detailed, powerful imagery to describe everything, you’re reader will be transported.

Think about great travel writing – you know it’s good when you feel like you’re standing there on that tropical beach. You can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and smell the salt in the sea air.

Or great food writing, where you can taste every mouthful of that fresh, rich Thai green curry. The smell dancing under your nose.

Be descriptive. Use those adjectives! Think about all 5 senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, taste. How can you really elaborate on these?

It’s not just the sensory cortex that can be stimulated, but also the motor cortex.

If you’re reading an expert climber’s story of how they fought tooth and nail to reach the top of Mount Everest, your body will feel the weariness, the struggle.

The brain makes us experience stories as though they are real. As though they are actually happening to us.

As long as you put your story in a real context and setting, a time and place your audience can relate to. Then you can take them with you on your journey.

2. Give them pleasure AND pain

There are two hormones that play a hugely important role in storytelling.

Oxytocin and cortisol.

Oxytocin is more widely known as the ‘love’ drug. It makes us feel good. It makes us bond, connect and empathise with others. New mother’s get huge surges of it just after giving birth to build that initial bond with their baby.

Cortisol is the stress hormone. When we get scared, frustrated, angry etc., this hormone puts us on high alert and makes us pay attention.

You need both in equal measure to create a good story.

You need your audience to empathise and care with what you’re saying. But you also need to keep them gripped. To keep their curiosity peaked.

If you use vivid imagery and a relatable journey, then your audience will automatically empathise. But in order to get that cortisol going, you need to create conflict.

You need drama, obstacles, frustrations, despair etc. You need something in the way of reaching the ultimate goal of the story.

3. Create suspense

We will always want to know what happens next!

And with suspense, that want turns into a need – an addiction.

As we go through stories, as we empathise with the characters and journey within it, we build up emotions within us that need to be released.

We need a resolution.

That’s why every great story is based on a clear structure. A beginning. A middle. And an end.

The best stories introduce suspense early to capture interest. They start strong. Usually in their title, headline and first 100 words or so.

Need clear story structure of beginning, middle and end. Suspense must appear early enough to capture interest.

Then use pacing throughout each stage to build the atmosphere. To drive the action forward.

But remember, if you spend too long building the suspense, your audience will get bored and move on. Move at too fast a pace however and people won’t have time to be immersed in what you’re telling them. They’ll feel overwhelmed and detach themselves from the story.

Always build to a great climax, but leave a little bit back. Always keep them wanting more.

4. Make them the hero

When you’re fully immersed in a story. When your oxytocin and cortisol are firing off at all the right points. When the suspense just keeps driving you to get to the end, you become the main character.

You become the hero.

And this is a great method for persuasion.

An effect known as neural coupling emerges, where our emotions, thoughts, ideas and opinions start to mirror those of the main character in the story.

It’s a method for empathy, but you can use it to steer people to a desired thought, action or behaviour.

Whatever you want your audience to ultimately do, your main character should go through that exact transformation. Their goals, journey and needs must match those of your audience.

The only caveat is that the transformation needs to be believable. It needs to be attainable.

It needs to be something that inspires them to take action.

Time to captivate and influence!

Storytelling is the art of persuasion not only on an emotional level, but a biological level.

By telling a great story, you can actually change the way your audience thinks, feels and behaves when it comes to your brand, products and services.

If you can alter their perceptions, then you’ve built a very powerful connection indeed.

If your audience see themselves in the brand story you’re telling, they’ll be much more likely to believe in your vision, trust your authority and buy into your experience.

Share your story

I’d love to know about your brand stories. What are they and how do you tell them? What do you use to hook them from the get go?

Let me know in the comments section below.