This week I was walking around the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York and came across this pink brownstone.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been discussing DARE TO BE DIFFERENT, which is theme for our next branding event. Which prompted me to write this blog post. Yes, in order to create a game-changing brand you want to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Why? Because you’re able to break through the noise clutter and capture the attention of the people you’re talking to.
However, sometimes, it’s not appropriate to be different just for the sake of it.
COLOR IS NOT ALWAYS THE MOST EFFECTIVE MEANS TO DIFFERENTIATE.
Think of the pink house.
Apparently, the Park Slope community freaked out about the color of this house many years ago. In fact, it has been referred to the “bubblegum house” on Garfield Place between 7th and 8th Avenues. It has been pink for decades, pre-dating the formation of the Park Slope Historic District. It was originally a more gentle, pastel pink. But in 2006 it was repainted and is now a very bubblegum pink. The change to a more vibrant hue was a mistake.
According to several online blog posts and comments, the owner — a 90 year old man who first bought the house in 1968 — said that he bought $4,000 worth of paint that was the wrong color. So, apparently, it was an accident. We’ll forgive him.
But, this accident highlights the very topic at hand. Yes, there are ways to differentiate your brand. Whether being intentional or accidental, some entrepreneurs and small businesses are using color to differentiate but sometimes picking color just to stand out from the crowd is not always the best approach.
This week, I’ll share ONE approach that brands like Virgin and Google also use. Simply put, it’s not WHAT you’re saying but HOW you’re saying it.
This is called your Brand Voice.
Take a look at Google, for example. Have you noticed the playful tone displayed in the call-to-action button in the landing page near the search bar?
- I’m feeling lucky
- I’m feeling playful
- I’m feeling doodly
- I’m feeling hungry
Or, take a look at the headlines of the airline Virgin America:
- A breath of a fresh airline (tagline)
- Time flies when you’re flying fun (headlines)
- Elevate (name of frequent flier program)
Can you begin to see a personality threaded through their Brand Voice? So, think about the language you’re using. Also, think more carefully about the voice of your brand.
- Are you playful?
- Are you conservative?
- Are you stoic?
- Are you opinionated?
- Are you inspiring?
- Are you spiritual?
- Are you provocative?
- Are you nurturing?
- Are you quirky?
Ask yourself, what are three adjectives that describe your personality. That is, your voice?
Whatever attributes you choose, own it and thread it through all your headlines and body copy.