There are brands, and then there are Brands with a capital “C”; the brands that have charisma and draw people into them. These are the brands that don’t have to work very hard for customer traffic. Customers come, without much advertising or promotion. What makes a brand charismatic?
“A Charismatic Brand is any product, service, or organization for which people believe there’s no substitute.”
Marty Neumeier – The Brand Gap
Charismatic Brand Difference
Being charismatic saves you money because people are drawn to your business. You don’t have to go out and find them. But how do you get this charisma, this magnetism that attracts customers? In one word: charm. For a business? Okay, here’s the full sentence: You must have a compelling personality. Compelling, meaning out of the ordinary.
Here’s an example of a charismatic brand: Bonny Doon Vineyard, a brand built on the personality of it’s founder, Randall Grahm, a personality that can be described as “renegade.” But a compelling personality is not the only requirement of charisma. It must resonate in a product that’s also out of the ordinary; a product that people want to buy. Grahm’s personality produced charismatic products like his Big House Red (a brand he has since sold) and Cardinal Zin. A new generation of wine lovers was drawn to Grahm’s personality and charismatic brand.
Speaking of charismatic brands with a renegade personality, how about a polka band. Oh please, a renegade polka band? Then you’ve never heard of Brave Combo, nor tried to squeeze on to the dance floor at one of their concerts. They’ve even had a guest shot on The Simpsons. Brave Combo at the annual WestFest Czech Festival is on my and my wife’s do-do list every year. We can’t help it, we’re attracted by their charisma and the awesome experience.
Brands with charisma attract loyal evangelists. It’s time to unleash your charisma. First, embrace a brand personality. Show people that you do more than just sell stuff. You don’t have to be a renegade, but you do have to be something: eclectic, gregarious, bold. Be something out of the ordinary.
Next, transfer that personality to products that resonate. Randall Grahm started the California trend of funky wine names. First he made good wines, then he stamped them with personality. Brave Combo makes dancing to polka music fun, even if you don’t know how to polka. They took a music genre that’s existed since the mid-19th century and stamped it with their renegade personality.
Does your brand have charm? What’s your brand personality?