It seems to Tony Downing that everyone wants to stand out but no one wants to be different.

Driving through Murchison recently I noticed a pink sheep among his woollen buddies on a paddock. It brought a smile to my face and got me thinking… First, there is a very enthusiastic farmer nearby with a can of Dazzle; and second, if every sheep I saw was bright pink, would I have the same emotional response?

For many business leaders, being different is unbearable. There is safety in blending in and being normal. After 24 years of developing brand identities I’ve learnt one cardinal truth — different is good! The best thing you can do for your brand is to differentiate it. Unfortunately when the rubber-hits-the-road, many businesses lack the guts to do what it takes to stand out.

We often ask our clients ‘if your brand were a person what type of person would it be?’ We get answers like: energetic, smart, authentic, expert, the list goes on. These traits always sound like someone you would like to hang out with. Strong personalities are attractive. First, identify your strongest brand personality. Then review your brand expressions, such as: website, logo, brochures, store front, vehicles.

Ask yourself, do these express this personality? Does your environment express your personality? Do your products and services embody your personality? If not, change them to match your personality and make sure it’s your personality on steroids, your best self

I’m not talking about being a clown. People may notice a clown but they don’t buy from him. I am talking about creating
a clear picture in your mind of what your personality is. But since we are talking about clowns lets talk about Jester House Café in Tasman. I love Jester House. The personality of the owners permeates through the whole environment. It is an appealing, unforgettable experience. The art, the buildings, the menu, it is personality plus, and it works.

There are a few ways that you can boost your brand personality: Use stunning photos; write emotive copy; own a colour.
Use stunning photos. If you’re a dynamic risk-taker, do the images associated with your brand show that? Have you taken the time to get good photos that express your energy? Too many businesses have opted for unprofessional photos, taken on a cell-phone, simply to cut costs. Good, authentic photos are worth it. Hire a professional photographer. They can create something that is unique to you and will capture who you are.

Write emotive copy. Review your writing style and align it with a tone that reflects your defined brand. For some reason, exciting and dynamic businesses can become zombies when they write about themselves. Is it kiwi shyness and false humility? Nelson Tasman is one of the most magnificent places in the world, full of amazing people and clever businesses. Let’s express that amazingness in our brands.

Own a colour. Do you know what colour you are? If your dominant personality trait is positivity, then go for gold. If it is energy, go for flame red. Pick your colour and stick to it.

Creating a stand-out personality is easier than you think, because many businesses are not trying that hard. The rewards far outweigh the pain. Customers will be aware of who you are, they will remember you, they will be attracted to you, and they will keep coming back for more.

Here’s a tip:
Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine