I’ve worked with many businesses and individuals the past 6 years as a full-time copywriter.
And I can attest that most businesses are lacking one critical ingredient that separates them from the pack.
Most people go into business as “Steve the Plumber” or “Joe the Insurance Agent”, put up a cookie-cutter website, and expect people to flock to them and buy their services.
But as soon as most people exit from their website, they forget about them as soon as they check their Facebook status or email.
Because their brand they are portraying is so forgettable (or non-existant) that people forget about them as soon as they click of their site.
I talked about Dave’s Killer Bread in this post: Important Copywriting And Marketing Lessons From A Loaf Of Bread? It’s a brand of bread that stands out from the Wonder Breads of the industry because Dave tells his story right on the package.
And now I’m going to show you more individuals who let their personalities shine through in themselves–and their marketing.
1) Jim Carrey
I used to watch Jim Carrey a lot when he was on “In Living Color” back in the day. Anyone remember “Fire Marshall Bill”?
Jim made his mark with exaggerated facial expressions and body movements. People who were into that kind of sense of humor laughed their butts off as a result.
Did everyone like Jim Carrey? No way. Some people didn’t care for his type of humor and preferred someone like Jerry Seinfeld who was a little more intellectual:
Jerry likes to point out the obvious in an intellectual way. That’s his style of humor and he grew a large fan base as a result.
So neither Jim or Jerry watered down their act to appeal to everyone. They each had their own personalities and “quirks” they displayed during their performances.
And that’s how they stood out amongst the sea of comedians.
2) The Warner Home Plumbing Guy
Anybody who has lived in the Washington D.C. area for a long time probably remembers this guy. He is a plumber who had some pretty goofy commercials.
How many plumbers do you know that dress up in a look-alike Superman outfit? Sure it seems corny and the guy is a little uncharismatic.
But when your toilet is overflowing at 1:47 in the morning, you want to call the first plumber that comes into your mind. It’s awful hard to get that cheesy Superman cape out of your head.
Plus I am distantly related to the guy. He’s my Dad’s second cousin–my genealogy isn’t very good so I don’t know his exact relation to me.
When I watched TV on a regular basis, I would come across Howard Stern’s TV show and find myself pausing to watch more. It was like slowing down to gawk at the scene of an accident. But I would then keep going on my destination–thankfully.
Many people hate his guts. However, his fans listen to him every day on Sirius radio and they’ll continue to listen to him until the day he dies.
Would he have a raving fan base if he wasn’t offensive? If he was just like every other radio personality that just played Top 40 hits every day?
Howard just acts like himself on the airwaves. And that’s how he stands out from his competitors.
4) Dan Kennedy
I talked a little bit about Dan Kennedy in last week’s post: My 10 Top Copywriting Resources (Both Paid And Free!). But here I will elaborate further.
I’ve listened to a lot of Dan Kennedy programs. Anyone who follows Dan can attest to the following:
- He hates cellphones
- He loves horses
- He is extremely anal about time management
- He’s just a tad grumpy
- He’ll let out an occasional 4-letter word now and then in seminars.
- He is NOT politically correct
- He just tells you like it is…and doesn’t sugar-coat anything.
In other words, Dan doesn’t water himself down so he appeals to everyone. Some are repulsed by him while others love his straight-shooter style.
These are the ones that love him go to his seminars, buy his books, and are customers for life.
In other words, Dan acts like himself.
(Hmm…see a pattern here?)
5) John Alanis
I saw John speak live at an event several years back. He’s from the Dan Kennedy school of marketing and knows the concept of the attractive character very well.
John is in the dating market and he calls himself, “The King of Let ‘Em Come To You”. That’s how he differentiates his business from the slew of dating sites that, for the most part, teaches men how to pick up women.
This is just SOME of what he reveals about himself in his marketing:
- He is a Dallas Cowboys fan
- He likes “Beavis and Butt-Head” and “Man vs. Food.”
- He loves 80’s hair metal bands and doesn’t care for the current music scene.
Is he afraid that some people on his list are Washington Redskins fans and will be offended every time they see him with a Cowboys hat on?
Does he care if someone on his list is a big fan of the early 90’s Seattle grunge scene…and gets offended when John talks about how the 80’s rock bands were way better.
Because he knows the people who DO agree with him will bond with him…and perhaps turn into a long-term customer. John acts like himself in his products and marketing–and that’s how he stands out in an ultra-competitive niche.
The attractive characters in this blog post stand out in the marketplace because they let their personalities shine through. They don’t try to “sugar coat” themselves so they can be all things to all people.
So now you need to ask yourself:
Are you watering yourself down in your business? Are you holding yourself back so you don’t offend anyone in your marketing communications?
Look at the examples above and think of ways you’ve been holding yourself back. And think of ways you can express yourself more so you stand out from your competitors.