The Curse of Perfectionism in Branding

Life isn’t perfect or fair in any way, especially if you’re competing for your online market share.

Life isn’t perfect or fair in any way, especially if you’re competing for your online market share. SEO isn’t a perfect science, only available to an exclusive set of business owners. To be perfectly blunt, I get tired of reading about the “perfect SEO solution”, how “perfect” life is and the plethora of positivity quotes flung around on social networks.Then theres’ The curse of perfectionism in branding. What about brands – do they always have to be perfect? Well, I feel the same way about brands. Often, if not always, picking the perfect words, perfect image, perfect blog – everyone tries to – is futile.

What does brand have to do with SEO? Hear me out. Consumers have more of an opportunity today than ever before to become businesses. Not only can they create their own runaway brand, but some even strike it rich as well– IF it’s the right brand at the right time. How are they doing this? They sell themselves, their product and their services online, driven to visibility through SEO.

Now, seldom does a brand reach the point of “personality” and real person. A few examples include Jacqueline Smith and Martha Stuart – the brand is synonymous with the person. However, the more we associate a brand with human components, the stronger that brand typically.

How does a brand show humanity? I can’t think of a better example than when you call a customer service center. Most of the time, you can’t tell if a human or a machine has answered the call. Occasionally, however, you get those warm, genuine people who really want to help. They take the time to listen; you can tell they sympathize and are happy to help you solve the issue.

You hang up the phone feeling the brand cares about you. Not Jamal, Amy, Steve, Karen or whoever answered the phone, but the brand. Because, after all, the brand cares enough to hire real, helpful, friendly people, right?

Online, you have the opportunity to express your personality through words, which then reflect the human factor back to your brand. You create your overall brand in the keywords you choose, the copy you write and the style with which you write. In short, you solidify your brand with words.

Back to perfectionism and the perfect brand. Here’s the problem as I see it. If your brand is human and not a mindless corporation… well, humans make mistakes. You can’t be an automaton and still be human. While I don’t mean make intentional errors, I do mean that your behavior should be realistic. A brand perceived to be “perfect” (corporate black suits, huge logos, glass skyscrapers) is a brand distanced from their consumers.

As well, the more perfect your brand seems, the more perfect consumers expect you to be. Think of the disdain you feel when you read in the news that some large corporation has made a mistake. Why do you feel that disdain? Think about it.

Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and try to come up with the perfect words for the perfect campaign and the perfect brand image, discuss your ideas with a professional. Whatever you come up with, you have to be able to maintain what you build. Even if you could build perfection, could you maintain it?

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3 Responses

  1. Imperfections are only proof that we are human.

    Perfection? It’s a work in progress. Thomas Jefferson worked and improved Monticello til the day he died. Begs the question, when is it ever complete?

  2. Interesting post. I feel like its difficult sometimes to toe the line between being that perfect, distanced brand and someone more realistic. I often chat with my customers online and though I usually take a more friendly, relaxed tone; sometimes I wonder if I should be acting more proper and perfect to make me sound more credible.

    1. Hello Sasha, I have to answer your question with another question lol I know I hate when that happens. In what way is your brand connected to your services? If you have been “selling/using/promoting” your friendly relaxed tone and that’s what got you the clients, why would you want to change that about yourself/your brand? The other question that comes to mind is why would being more serious make you sound credible? Maybe that needs to be addressed? Serious about what you know, serious about what you offer? It’s your business you should know it cold. No need to write a script be yourself. Personally, that’s what I would vote for. Be Sasha, no one else like you. 😉
      PS surfed by your site … Very cool stuff you are doing there.

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