Last robbery I committed?
Didn’t exactly go to plan.
Meticulous preparation, it’d all started so well.
Vehicle surrounded, nobody hurt. With trademark charm, I’d just been explaining to the hapless victims why they should gladly see me lighten their load.
And what a good deed it was for less fortunate souls.
Trusty steel at the ready, I was primed to deftly pluck a pouch of gold coins from the belt of a wealthy worthy.
When my mum shouted tea was ready.
You see, even a 6-year-old Robin Hood needs to eat.
(“Finish all your greens, Simon, and you can fight the Sheriff of Nottingham once more before bedtime.”)
Kids and big kids, we’ve all got our heroes. People we aspire to be.
In our Instagram feeds. On our tee-shirts. On our angsty teenage bedroom walls.
I mean, which budding copywriter in our Academy doesn’t want to write like Joe Vitale?
Whatever your work. Whatever your expertise. It’s good to have role models.
And that’s no different for brands or savvy marketeers like you.
And because we’re a helpful kinda bunch, we’ve assembled a list of some of the most inspiring creative brands.
Which if you’re not already aspiring to be like – you should.
BUT FIRST, HOW DO YOU PREPARE A SUPER SCRUMMY BRAND?
With seven must-have ingredients, that’s how.
Like a top-notch chef, you’ve got to be constantly tasting your dish.
Making sure that at every point, you’ve seasoned your brand identity with ALL of these:
Your brand’s core values need to underpin every darn business decision you make.
- What makes you tick as a company?
- What would you shout from the rooftops?
- What gets your brand out of bed in the morning? With a spring in its step.
We notice what’s different about something. Not what’s the same.
That’s always at the core of a powerful brand.
So stand out. Be memorable.
When a consumer experiences your brand, what emotions do they feel?
That’s what your brand’s essence has to capture.
Focus on what matters to your customers, not what you say should matter to them.
And don’t go plucking your brand identity out of thin air. Or whatever altitude you’re at.
This. Is. Key.
Your brand values and personality must consistently ooze out across all marketing mediums.
Every design detail. Every touch-point. Every word.
Because if James Bond started necking pints of lager, it would be more than his trademark martini that was shaken (not stirred).
Your brand personality must be believable. And honest.
Don’t promise the moon, unless you can darn well deliver.
You need a brand personality which lasts. Forever and a day.
Your logo and packaging might change but your brand essence should remain. Solid. And powerful.
CREATIVE BRANDS THAT JUST OOZE PERSONALITY
People trust people. People who are themselves.
That’s why your brand will have – should have – its own unique personality.
Doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from brands who’ve got the whole personality thing down to a T.
Creative brands like these.
What’s the most undervalued and underused page on a website? The About Page.
So many brands talk on… and on about themselves. But don’t take the chance to show what they stand for. To show off some more of their personality.
So many brands are missing a trick.
Librio uses its About Page to be creative, appeal to the customer and stand out from the competition.
And who wouldn’t want to meet Librio’s team with bio Q&As like these?
- Mark Yasuda – Career in 10 words: Programming x 10
- Patricia Brüniger – Grew up: On a lot of spinach
- Leticia Perrenoud – What I do worst: I tried snowboarding. Once.
Speaking of Q&As, you need to have a gander at Poo~Pourri’s FAQs page.
Q: And who might Poo~Pourri be? I hear you ask.
A: “A poop-positive brand dumping shame around the things we *all* do.”
With their signature toilet humour, Poo~Pourri turn a page that’s often neglected into the equivalent of their website’s downstairs loo.
And remind us you’re constantly selling throughout your buyer’s journey. On every page of your site.
Women’s clothing and accessories company ModCloth is all about fun, playful prints and colours.
And it brings its playful personality to the fore on its Product Pages.
You’ve gotta love the brilliant play on words it fashions for its product names. With dresses such as ‘All You Bead is Love’, ‘Save the Dot’ and ‘Sealed with a Twist’.
But it’s in its product descriptions that ModCloth really cuts the Colman’s.
Often telling the story of what you’d be doing while wearing their product. They paint a vivid picture of what your life would be like if you made a purchase.
I could write all day about innocent’s brilliant copy and brand strategy.
But dinner’s ready soon (and I promised I’d check on what that ol’ rascal of a Sheriff was up to).
From the design of its website and packaging to its humorous meta tags and product descriptions. Innocent leaves no stone unturned when exercising its distinctive vocal cords.
Or flexing its creative muscles.
But it’s on social media where innocent really catches the eye. When they’re not live-tweeting the latest episode of Bake Off, they’re posting Instagram photos of awesome campaigns like this.
(Knitted) hats off.
Remember the key ingredient from our brand checklist? Yep, consistency.
(But if you said they’re all key ingredients – 10 points for Gryffindor.)
Consistency is something that Chubbies does brilliantly in their email copy.
How do you write great emails to your customers? Write as if you’re talking to one friend.
And, as co-founder Rainer Castillo explains in this interview, that’s exactly the approach Chubbies has taken ever since they started out selling shorts to their friends.
But it’s not just in its emails that Chubbies speaks to you like a buddy.
After you’ve signed up for their newsletters, you’re greeted by this awesome bit of microcopy.
Oatly might have recently courted controversy for its choice of investment partner.
And the jury might not yet be back from its plant-based lunch.
But one thing’s for certain.
Its cookies’ opt-in is another great example of personality-rich microcopy.
Speaking of controversy. Who remembers KFC’s clever response to a potentially catastrophic crisis when they ran out of chickens?
Sure you do. Some of the juiciest copywriting imaginable for a boneless banquet.
Well, feast your eyes again on some more succulent copy. While nodding in admiration and declaring: ‘that’s your Colonel’.
Because KFC did it again. This time in response to growing complaints about its fries.
Embracing the criticism, KFC turned customers’ hate-tweets into ads promoting its new recipe.
No chip on KFC’s shoulder then.
Does your brand have a Mark?
You remember Mark. Digital Marketing Intern at bedding company Brooklinen.
He emailed colleagues about Brooklinen’s upcoming Black Friday promotional email.
Except he accidentally sent it to Brooklinen’s whole subscriber list.
Nah. Genius marketing strategy.
Allowing Brooklinen to steal a march on its competitors. And its customers to enjoy Black Friday a full week early.
But, as a rep explained, Brooklinen “also wanted to pay homage to the Mark in all of us, for all the accidental emails we’ve sent over the years!”
In the words of Brooklinen’s own cheeky UVP:
“Really good sheet.”
You’ve nailed your brand personality, culture, values and tone of voice.
But how do you communicate all that to new employees?
With tales of the unexpected.
Like customer-obsessed Nordstrom does. As described by Chip and Dan Heath in their super-sticky book, Made To Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck.
For Nordstrom, good customer service doesn’t stop at its doors.
No. Its brand philosophy goes much further: Make customers happy even at the expense of efficiency.
And it gets this across through stories of the stop-you-in-your-tracks service provided by some of its “Nordies”.
There’s the story about:
- the Nordy who cheerfully gift-wrapped products a customer bought elsewhere;
- the Nordy who made a last-minute delivery of party clothes to a frantic hostess;
- and the Nordy who refunded money for a set of snow chains. Even though Nordstrom doesn’t sell snow chains.
Too good to be true?
Here’s a real-life thank you letter.
From a Nordy. To a customer. Who’d visited Nordstrom because the Nordy stories had gone viral.
Bethany, you’re the best.
INSPIRATION NOT IMITATION
A seven-point checklist. A nine-strong list of creative brands to inspire you.
And now three takeaways.
- Be distinct.
- Be consistent.
- Be on-brand at every touch-point. From email sign-ups to employee interactions.
But hands off a Tone of Voice that’s:
- and clear.
Because we’ve bagsied that particular recipe for ourselves.