Your Brand Walks Into A Bar…
By David Richardson, Director of Strategic Marketing, Spire Agency
Around here we preach the importance of brand documentation. This doc gives our clients and our team a common platform to work from, ensuring everything is on brand.
However, sometimes a list of brand characteristics and attributes can fall flat on the page and fail to inspire. Why not give it a little flair?
One tactic is to personify your brand by picturing what it would be like to meet your brand in a bar setting. What’s their name? What would they look like? How would they act? What do they drink?
Here’s a few examples and the brands that inspired them:
Kirk is dressed in slacks and a turtleneck. He enjoys a strong Pinot Noir and prefers bars with low lights with simple jazz in the background. He only wants to have conversations with people that are “on the same level” as him when it comes to sophistication and educational background. Kirk likes it when people think of him as being in a higher class and prefers it that way.
Brian wears golf shorts no matter what the weather. He enjoys whatever the drink specials are and prefers an environment with a lot of chatter and energy. He’ll talk with anyone and everyone in the bar. And if the conversation goes on for long enough, he will likely buy the whole group a round of shots. Brian wants to make sure that everyone is having a good time and comes off as very accommodating.
Jessica is dressed in skinny jeans and a cute green tank. She enjoys a local craft beer as long as it’s on a patio somewhere in town. She enjoys meeting up with a group of friends, but is perfectly fine with meeting new people during her night out. Although she’s very approachable and willing to try other drinks, she knows when there isn’t a “fit” and doesn’t have a problem reverting back to what she likes.
Veronica is dressed in a short red dress and high heels. She only drinks cranberry and vodkas. She only goes to the most high-end bars in town and typically sits by herself. She puts off the vibe that she is better than everyone else and doesn’t care to interact with them. Naturally, every guy in the room is trying to start a conversation with her by sending her drinks or using a stupid pick up line. Half the room hates her and the other half just want her to acknowledge them.
Johnny (Dollar Shave Club)
Johnny looks trendy in his vintage jeans, short sleeve flannel and canvas high tops, but look closer and you’ll see none of his clothes have a recognizable label. Johnny is the king of stretching his dollar, always finding the bar with “complimentary” nuts so he can put his food money toward the beer specials. You’d never know it, but he’s having the same amount of fun as you, but at only a third of the cost.
Ashley is wearing a baggy t-shirt and comfy North Face sweats. That’s because she’s in her kitchen, not at the bar. She and her girlfriends figured it would be more cool to experiment making their own drinks at home. She invited them to come over, bought a few ingredients, had everyone bring a different type of booze and downloaded a bartending recipe app on her iPhone. Now they get all the fun without none of the bar scene hassle.
Laura only goes to bars on a Thursday night and it’s always with the same group of girls. The group comes off as exclusive, but not arrogant or snobby. Laura’s drink of choice is typically a pint of Guinness. It’s an acquired taste, but it definitely makes her stand out from the crowd. When she walks through the bar she delivers a small nod to anyone else drinking a Guinness, like they’re both part of a secret club. Laura knows who she is as a person and so does everyone else.
This is always a fun exercise to do with your team, especially any non-marketers. By keeping this character in mind, you’ll find it easier to create a brand that stands out in a crowded marketplace. Or for that matter, a crowded bar.