Thursday, April 17, 2008

Punch it Up with Personality

by Karen D. Swim

purple cow Our pot is really beginning to boil now.  We've added passion, purpose and promotion to our business recipe.  Today we're going to include a pinch of personality.

What is personality? The dictionary defines it as "the visible aspect of one's character as it impresses others." Your business personality is an intricate part of your company brand. Small businesses are often infused with the personality of the founders.  It can be difficult to maintain "small company personality" as a company grows. As you add employees and layers of bureaucracy, the personality can get diluted, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Google is a great example. Google has maintained a distinctive personality as they have grown from a company of two to a multi-national conglomerate.

In the crowded beverage field, Jones Soda Company has a personality that stands out from their competitors. They're not just selling soda but doing it with a style that's all their own.

Personality gives your business a "face" that enables customers to separate you from all the other faces in the crowd.  Many business owners are afraid to give their business a touch of humanity for fear that it will detract from their professionalism. No matter what business you are in, people like to buy from people. Infusing your business with humanity enables you to create deeper connections with your customers.

Adding personality is as simple as being true to the character of your business.  Be bold and different by being unique. Everyone may be selling widgets but no one will sell them exactly like you.

What are your thoughts? Is your business personality visible to your customers? Have you used personality as a marketing advantage? Are you afraid that personality will hinder your business growth?

Photo Credit: juliaf, Flickr


Ellen Wilson said...

Don't stay stagnant - learn to evolve. I suppose this goes along with the soup you're cooking.

That's funny you wrote about personality, I was going to write something about it also (from another widget!). I swear all web writers start to take on "group mind," after awhile.

I like the way you infuse humanity into the business spectrum, Karen. Business does not have to be all polished chrome, it can also be a little funky woody widget. Down to earth.

Words For Hire said...

It's funny but my realization came this year. You look around and you think "oh forget it!" There are people that are smarter, faster and well known, so why not just be yourself? I have to tell you I am having way more fun now. You're right about group mind, but I love that we all have our own perspective and can inspire and support one another. Funky wooody widget - love it! LOL!

Tei said...

Hey, true. I'm trying to hit the right personality for my new business and it's surprisingly difficult. That fine line between "awesomely cool" and "unprofessional" is hard to hit.

Nice post.

Words For Hire said...

Hi Tei! Fancy meeting you here. :-) I know what you mean but you can do things professionally without losing your awesome coolness. I think in being yourself you also attract clients that you really enjoy. Keep us posted and if you ever need a listening ear to bounce things off of, I'm at your disposal. Thanks Tei!


Brad Shorr said...

I've used my cartooning work to inject some of my personality into business, and it works pretty well. Writing cartoons doesn't generate a great deal of income, but talking about projects breaks the ice and gets clients really thinking about their serious marketing objectives.

Words For Hire said...

@Brad, You are one of the people that I admire for injecting personality, with and without cartoons. You offer great business insight but you are able to do it with personality and connect with readers. I love your idea of using the cartoons as an ice breaker. Thanks Brad for sharing and for inspiring me. :-)


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