Personality Not Included | Rohit Bhargava

Summary of: Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity and How Great Brands Get It Back, Foreword by Guy Kawasaki
By: Rohit Bhargava

Introduction

Welcome to the summary of ‘Personality Not Included,’ a book that delves into the importance of authenticity in companies and how great brands can achieve it. In this summary, you will learn about the transformation of businesses from faceless entities to companies with distinct identities. Discover how spokespeople, unique marketing ideas, and powerful narratives can help in fostering an emotional connection between customers and brands. Finally, understand the barriers that hold businesses back, and the ways in which fostering ‘personality moments’ can create meaningful connections with consumers.

The Importance of Giving Your Company a Voice

McDonald’s is a prime example of a faceless company whose restaurants have no individual identity, erasing any personality to portray success and trustworthiness. However, success now depends on forging a bond with customers. A company with a disproportionate focus on rules and policies will give customers frustrating experiences. To create a bond with customers, companies must give themselves a voice. BzzAgent, a word-of-mouth marketing company, started a blog that helped customers get to know the company personally and grow the firm.

The Power of Authentic Spokespeople

A good spokesperson adds a human touch to your brand and can be a company founder or someone who authentically connects with your mission. Be careful selecting a spokesperson, as the wrong celebrity could alienate your audience and harm credibility.

Why do companies use spokespeople? It’s a way to make a brand more approachable and human. A spokesperson talks about the brand in public, proving that the company’s purpose is not solely to make money. Normally, businesses hire people to be their official spokesperson, but the founder of a company can be their own spokesperson as well. Being the company founder, they have the best understanding of the vision and can show dedication to it, garnering respect for the business. By speaking passionately about the brand, the founder can inspire others and enhance the credibility of the company.

However, there’s another type of spokesperson – the accidental spokesperson, someone who isn’t necessarily hired to be a company’s voice. Jared Fogle, who lost 100 pounds over three months by eating Subway sandwiches, was featured in a local newspaper as a feel-good story. Subway’s advertising agency took notice and made him their spokesperson, leading to a successful nationwide campaign. But companies need to be careful with their selection of spokesperson, as it can easily backfire. The wrong celebrity spokesperson can alienate the audience and build a negative or unreliable image of the company. Campaigns built around celebrity spokespeople often don’t foster a real connection.

For instance, Jamie Oliver, the famous British TV chef, was chosen as Sainsbury’s supermarket chain spokesperson. However, their partnership ended abruptly after Oliver admitted on national television that he preferred shopping at local markets, not stores like Sainsbury’s, which he compared to factories. It was clear that his endorsement wasn’t authentic.

Select a spokesperson carefully, as a good spokesperson will add authenticity to your brand. A founder or someone who genuinely connects to the mission can be an excellent choice. On the other hand, a celebrity might be the most popular choice but also comes with a high risk factor. A bad choice can lead to failure, which might harm the business’s credibility.

Creating a Lasting Brand Personality

Personalizing your brand with the UAT Filter

Marketing is all about getting your brand noticed, but creating a lasting personality for your company goes beyond sensational marketing stunts. While these may grab people’s attention, they are notoriously short-lived and have little connection to the brand itself. Instead, the key to building a lasting brand personality is through uniqueness, authenticity, and talkability – the UAT Filter.

To stand out, a company needs to find something that makes them unique. An example is Sighișoara in Romania, which saw millions of tourists flocking in after dubbing itself the birthplace of Vlad Țepeș, the inspiration for Count Dracula. Authenticity is equally important, with a focus on values that go beyond profit, like honesty and philanthropic commitment. Finally, creating talkability is crucial in getting people to share information about your brand with others. A catchy slogan, jingle or disco ball can do the trick.

With the UAT Filter, companies can create a personalized brand that is distinct, authentic and memorable. No need for flashy stunts – just a focus on being unique, authentic and talkable.

Building Brand Authenticity

Good storytelling can help build brand authenticity. Using the example of Dole bananas, the author illustrates how a good backstory creates an emotional connection with customers. The author proposes five models to follow when building your own backstory, which are the passionate enthusiast, the smart listener, the inspired inventor, the likable hero, and the little guy vs. big guy story. Storyville Coffee, Stacy Madison’s pita chips, Steve Jobs and his iPhone, Elon Musk with Tesla, and Snapchat vs. Facebook are all examples of these models. By following these models, you can build a compelling backstory for your brand and create an authentic emotional connection with your customers.

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