Marketing

Brand Building: Storytelling

BY Vera Lim 26 Aug, "15

Don’t leave brand building to the big guys. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) need to create a strong presence for their brand in the marketplace to avoid being drowned out by all the noise of the digital world. At TradeGecko, we know how crucial it is to build a brand that’s strong, personable, and unique enough to break through the clutter of the internet.

Every brand has a story

The following questions can help you to figure out your story:

  • What’s your user profile like?
  • What are your brand’s personality traits and values? (eg. sophisticated? exciting? wholesome?)

And most importantly,

  • Why should anyone care?

Storytelling

User Profile

Your user profile is essentially the type of person or organization who uses your brand. This helps to create a concrete image of the customer whose psychological and/or social needs your brand is trying to fulfill. This should be modeled on your ideal customers and the user profiles of existing customers.

If you’re B2C, some questions to answer would be:

  • How old is the customer?
  • Is the customer working?
  • How much is the customer willing to spend?
  • What values or beliefs does this customer hold dear?
  • What pain points is the customer experiencing that can be addressed with your product or solution?

If you do B2B, consider:

  • How big is the organization?
  • What vertical does it belong to?
  • Who is the decision maker within this organization and what are their motivations?
  • What pain points is the customer experiencing that can be addressed with your product or solution?

In our case, the customers we’d wish to welcome on board are established small/medium businesses looking to simplify inventory management. On a more detailed level, we look at our existing customers and draw on what they love about us to fill out the nuances of our user profile.

Traits and values

Just like people, brands can also take on personality traits and values. There are different traits and values a brand can evoke to appeal to their user profiles, encouraging customers to express themselves through a brand that they feel echoes their actual or ideal self.

The good news is, it’s actually a lot less daunting than it sounds.

A guideline to forming your brand personality can be found in Jennifer Aaker’s “Dimensions of Brand Personality”, in which she points out how every brand falls into one of five dimensions:

  • Sincerity (domestic, honest, genuine, cheerful)
  • Excitement (daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date)
  • Competence (reliable, responsible, dependable, efficient)
  • Sophistication (glamorous, charming)
  • Ruggedness (tough, strong, outdoorsy)

We set out to shake up an industry still dominated by excel spreadsheets and business ledgers. I quizzed my colleagues around the office on words to describe TradeGecko, and got: Fun, exuberant, friendly, witty… Just take one look at our mascot Moko! Clearly within the five dimensions we fit under ‘excitement’.

TradeGecko - Moko

Different brands are suitable for different brand personality dimensions, offering even direct competitors a chance to differentiate themselves and appeal to different markets. Think Coke and Pepsi. Coke is the all-American brand with a strong focus on families, often playing up the emotional angle. Meanwhile, Pepsi is young and exciting, famous for their ads featuring go-getting celebrities.

And that’s proof of the potential of brand personality in carving niches.

Why would anyone care?

Here’s some background of our product: a cloud-based inventory management system that covers products sold through multiple channels. So, why choose us?

Well firstly, we’re just like you. We’ve been in your shoes, searching for the right way to get our inventory in order. The story of TradeGecko begins with three frustrated entrepreneurs from New Zealand, who decided to create their own inventory management solution after the existing technology proved lacking. And as your business scales up, we’re ready to scale with you, ensuring inventory management remains easy even as your SKUs increase.

Our investors have put their faith behind our dream so we can help make yours come true.

So that’s our brand story… what’s yours? Share it with us!

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See also:

Wanderer Bracelets - managing inventory and promoting change from the jungles of Bali

Vie Active - on the cutting edge of style and technology

Javelin Bipod - how to bring a revolutionary new product to market

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