To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance…with your customer. It also challenges you to live up to that personality and character lest you break trust and generalize into oblivion.
By instilling a strong relationship, you build respect for your target customer by being for them, not for everyone. Too often I’ve heard that ‘we serve everyone’ or that ‘our age target is 18-85’. This is not true or realistic, especially if your company’s offering is nearly a commodity. To be a brand that can thrive in the experience economy, you’ll want to have a personality instilled with substantive character traits.
In practice, the best way to identify who you are for, is to also identify who you aren’t for. Makeup brands could, for instance, target 15-21 aged cis-gendered women with a moderate budget for non-essentials and a light complexion. But while the data says this problematic targeting is out of step with the attitudinal aspects of Gen Z, and not realize that middle of the pyramid buyers are shrinking. It may be better to stand for say… revolution and revitalization, making your brand resonate with a target identity inclusive of Gen Z/Millennial conscious consumers, their rebel Gen X parents, and more. Gender non-conformity and a broader range of skin tones allows for the personality of your brand to meet the identities of all those who aren’t for the status quo of pretty and delicate. This may be difficult for brands that change their values expression according to the data set they look at, but it makes brands like Fenty Beauty thrive.
You have a narrow identity regardless of how many you try to serve. So don’t be afraid to stand for something, or risk being as differentiated and irrelevant to today’s consumer as generic toilet paper.
- Your personality is clear whether you like it or not
- Good character is earned, if it has substance
- Valued brands have a seamless character + personality